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29 August 2008

World Water Crisis Underlies World Food Crisis

The world's supplies of clean, fresh water cannot sustain growing use and inadequate management. The result has been shrinking food supplies and rising food costs in many countries.

Many of the world's irrigation areas are already highly stressed and drawing more water than rivers and groundwater reserves can sustain. At the same time freshwater food reserves are declining in the face of unsustainable water extractions from rivers.

Sanitation is a problem as well. As developing countries confront the first global food crisis since the 1970’s, as well as unprecedented water scarcity, a new 53 city survey indicates that 80 percent of cities studied are using untreated or partially treated wastewater for agriculture. In over 70 percent of the cities studied, more than half of urban agricultural land is irrigated with wastewater that is either raw or diluted in streams.


* Environmental News Service August 18, 2008

Killer Carbs: Why You Overeat As You Age

Neuroendocrinologist Dr. Zane Andrews has discovered that key appetite control cells in the human brain degenerate over time, causing increased hunger and potentially weight-gain as you grow older.

Appetite-suppressing cells are attacked by free radicals after eating; the degeneration is more significant following meals rich in carbohydrates and sugars.

"The more carbs and sugars you eat, the more your appetite-control cells are damaged, and potentially you consume more," Dr Andrews said.

The attack on appetite-suppressing cells creates a cellular imbalance between your need to eat and the message to your brain that tell you when to stop eating.


* Science Daily August 22, 2008

Can Low Cholesterol Cause Cancer?

Both high levels and low levels of LDL cholesterol were found to be associated with cancer in patients with type 2 diabetes.

A study of more than 6,000 patients with type 2 diabetes and found a V-shaped risk relation between LDL cholesterol and cancer. The study excluded people on statin drugs, as statins obscure the association between LDL cholesterol and cancer.

Low LDL levels were linked to cancers of digestive organs and peritoneum, genital and urinary organs, and lymphatic and blood tissues. High LDL levels raised the risks of oral, digestive, bone, skin, connective tissue, and breast cancers.


* Science Daily August 25, 2008

How MSG MakesYou Fat

Consumption of the widely used food additive monosodium glutamate, or MSG, may increase your likelihood of being overweight.

Researchers studied more than 750 men and women in three villages in China where about 80 percent of people add MSG in cooking. They found that those who used the most MSG were almost three times as likely to be overweight.

The mechanism for the connection between MSG and obesity as yet remains unclear.


* New York Times August 26, 2008