Scientists discover sixth basic taste the human tongue can detect – fat

tongue

The researchers hope their discovery can be exploited to combat obesity by increasing people’s sensitivity to fat in their food.

Scientists thought the human tongue could detect only four basic tastes: sweet, sour, salt and bitter. Then a fifth was discovered, “umami” or savory. Now, researchers have identified a previously-unrecognized “sixth taste” – fat.

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Alligator fat could be a new source of biodiesel

alligator

Alligator fat meets nearly all of the official standards for high-quality biodiesel.

Alligators, in addition to being a novelty food, could also provide a feedstock for biodiesel. The alligator meat industry disposes of about 15 million pounds of alligator fat in landfills every year. Scientists discover the that oil can be extracted from the fat and used to make a high-quality biodiesel.

 

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6 Out of 10 Pet Dogs Are Too Fat

fat dog

Older owners were more likely to have overweight dogs and to give more snacks.

A majority of pet dogs are now too fat, according to a study that found six out of 10 adult dogs are classified as overweight or obese.  Risk factors which made dogs in the study more likely to be overweight included lack of exercise, being fed on table scraps, and being given too many snacks or treats.  Dogs were also more likely to be overweight if their owners were elderly or poorer – or, say the researchers, if the owners were themselves obese.

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Britons Living Longer Even Though They Are Getting Fatter and Drinking More

beer gut

A quarter of Britons are overweight and alcohol related deaths have doubled.

Nearly a quarter are overweight and the number of alcohol related deaths has more than doubled since the early nineties, the Office for National Statistics revealed.  The latest edition of the Social Trends report also reveals that one-in-five men and one-in-seven women over 16 drink more than double the recommended daily allowance of alcohol once a week.

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Fat and Muscle Tissue Could Be Turned Into Bone and Cartilage

Muscle

Muscle cells, pictured, could be encouraged to change into cartilage and then bone by using a form of gene therapy.

Fat and muscle tissue taken from patients’ own bodies could be converted into bone and cartilage to speed up the time it takes to heal injuries.  Researchers have been able to regrow bone and cartilage by inserting a gene into muscle and fat cells and then implanting them at the site of an injury.

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Extraordinary Scans Reveal What Being Fat Does to Your Body

 

scan of body fatscan of body

The obese woman on the left has fat around her organs (shown by the yellow areas) and an enlarged heart which can have dire consequences on her health

Carrying extra pounds may not look attractive from the outside, but it’s been difficult to understand precisely the havoc it wreaks on your insides – until now.  Here, in a pair of astonishing pictures, we can see exactly what being overweight does to the organs, bones and muscles. These images of two women were taken by a magnetic resonance imaging (MRIRI) scanner and reveal in horrifying detail the obesity effect.

 

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Children Will Indulge in Over 5 Pounds of Chocolate Over the Easter Holiday

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A typical child will eat over five and a half pounds of chocolate over the Easter period

Children will indulge in an average of more than five and a half pounds of chocolate over the Easter holiday – taking in nearly 13,000 calories and 650 grams of fat, a survey found.  The poll, by mystery shopping company Retail Active, found a typical 200g Easter egg has 990 calories and 50 grams of fat, with youngsters aged 10-14 eating an average of 13, many first thing on Easter Sunday.

 

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High-Fructose Corn Syrup “Prompts Considerably More Weight Gain” than Sugar

real-sugar sodas

Sugar vs. HFCS

High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has been a whipping boy of late for its heavily processed origins (prompting a campaign about how natural it is), but it’s much worse than that: Princeton researchers find that HFCS has a significant tie to obesity.

You can find HFCS as a sugar substitute in nearly everything sweet and junk foody—partially because it’s cheaper than sugar due to corn subsidies. Unfortunately it’s also much more likely to make you—or at least lab rats—fat:

A Princeton University research team has demonstrated that all sweeteners are not equal when it comes to weight gain: Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same…

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