eK0n0mi taK seriU$ d/h ekonomitakserius@blogspot.com

Juni 30, 2011

I heart you: banyak-banyak lah BERDIRI … 300611

Filed under: Medicine — bumi2009fans @ 2:09 am

Banyak Duduk Percepat Kematian
Rabu, 29 Juni 2011 | 17:37 WIB

TEMPO Interaktif, Jakarta – British Journal of Sports Medicine pada 2010 pernah merilis penelitian menarik tentang bahaya duduk yang bisa meningkatkan risiko kematian. Kini riset itu diperkuat dalam American Journal of Epidemiology Juni 2011.

Para ahli menyimpulkan duduk dalam jangka waktu lama atau sedikitnya 6 jam sehari cukup membuat seseorang mati muda. “Pria 18 persen adapun wanita 37 persen,” begitu perkiraan persentase risiko kematian yang ditulis dalam Huffington Post. Kecenderungan ini berlaku setelah aktivitas rutin tersebut dilakukan selama 13 tahun.

Penelitian ini dinilai akurat lantaran dilakukan terhadap 123 ribu orang dalam kurun waktu 14 tahun. Para peneliti mengamati pola duduk seseorang dalam rentang waktu 3 jam dan 6 jam. Hasilnya, orang yang duduk 6 jam atau lebih yang paling banyak berisiko mati.

Seseorang yang berlama-lama duduk cenderung diserang berbagai penyakit seperti diabetes, depresi, dan obesitas. Tempat seseorang duduk pun tak jadi soal, apakah di kantor, sekolah, mobil, di depan komputer, atau televisi. Intinya duduk enam jam atau lebih berbahaya bagi kesehatan.

Lalu bagaimana cara mengatasi masalah duduk yang sudah menjadi kebiasaan manusia modern? Para peneliti American Cancer Society mengimbau masyarakat tidak khawatir.

Potensi kematian akibat duduk dapat dilawan dengan pola hidup sehat. Misalnya melakukan olah raga rutin minimal 30 menit yang dilakukan selama 5 hari dalam seminggu.

RUDY

Juni 28, 2011

I heart you: emaaa($1500)aas … 280611

Filed under: EMAS or GOLD...ce'ileh... — bumi2009fans @ 1:14 am

Harga emas tertekan krisis Yunani
Oleh Bloomberg

bisnis indonesia

Published On: 28 June 2011

altSEOUL: Harga kontrak emas tertekan karena menurunnya permintaan sebagai alat lindung nilai seiring janji pemimpin Uni eropa (UE) untuk mencegah Yunani gagal bayar utangnya yang mendorong apresiasi dolar AS.
Harga perdagangan berjangka emas batangan untuk pengiriman segera tercatat turun 0,3% jadi US$1.498,15 per ounce dan US$1.500,18 pada pukul 15:17 di Seoul kemarin. Harga kontrak emas merosot 2,4% pekan lalu, terbesar sejak 6 Mei. Kontrak untuk pengiriman Agustus sedikit berubah pada US$1.500,50 per ounce di Comex, New York.

“Rencana penyelamatan bagi Yunani menekan emas ditambah lagi penguatan nilai tukar dolar AS. Penurunan harga minyak mengurangi tekanan inflasi,” ujar Hwang Il Doo, pedagang senior pada Korea Exchange Bank Futures Co di Seoul.

Para pemimpin UE berjanji akan membantu Yunani selama PM George Papandreou menyokong paket pengurangan anggaran pekan ini. Para menteri keuanangan Eropa akanmemutuskan pada 3 Juli apakah Yunani telah memenuhi persyaratan untuk mendapatkan bantuan lagi. Para pembuat kebijakan Yunani berdebat selama tiga hari tentang langkah ang akan diambil.

Nilai tukar dolar AS naik 0,3% terhadap enam mata uang kuat lainnya, setelah terapresiasi selama tiga minggu berturut-turut. Keadaan ini menjadi emas kurang menarik untuk dijadikan alternatif investasi. Harga minyak mentah turun 1,1% setelah melemah 2% pekan lalu (tw).

Juni 18, 2011

I heart you: emaaa($1540)aa$ … 180611

Filed under: EMAS or GOLD...ce'ileh... — bumi2009fans @ 10:34 am

Emas Menguat Gara-Gara Dolar Loyo
R Ghita Intan Permatasari – Okezone
Sabtu, 18 Juni 2011 11:19 wib

NEW YORK – Harga emas menguat hampir satu persen akibat melorotnya nilai dolar Amerika Serikat (AS). Ini merupakan penguatan terbesar bagi komoditas safe haven ini dalam tiga minggu terakhir.

Hal ini juga akibat ketidakpastian ekonomi Uni Eropa, termasuk langkah Jerman dan Perancis yang berniat menyelamatkan Yunani dari default dengan mendesak Perdana Menteri Yunani untuk mengganti Menteri Keuangannya karena rencana penghematannya yang dinilai tidak popular.

Kenaikan harga emas ini juga akibat aktivitas perekonomian AS yang diekspetasikan mengalami peningkatan malah mundur. Ditambah lagi dengan buruknya sentimen konsumen AS yang diperkirakan akan melemah pada Juni ini.

“Kami melihat kembali risiko di pasar ekuitas naik sehingga dolar turun. Jelas, emas bereaksi dengan baik,” ungkap Direktur Perdagangan Logam Vision Financial Markets David Meger seperti dikutip dari Reuters, Sabtu (18/6/2011).

Harga emas di pasar spot naik 0,8 persen menjadi USD1.540,99 per ounce. Kenaikan ini merupakan yang terkuat dalam satu hari sejak 27 Mei ketika melonjak 1,1 persen.
(wdi)

Juni 17, 2011

I heart you: vaksin antikanker (2) … 170611

Filed under: GLOBAL ECONOMY — bumi2009fans @ 9:39 am

Cervical cancer vaccine a success, says Lancet report

Australian study of injection to protect against HPV virus reveals drop in high-grade abnormalities among under-18s

Sarah Boseley, health editor
The Guardian, Friday 17 June 2011

Gardasil vaccine to protect against HPV virus which causes cervical cancer
Vaccinations against the HPV virus which causes cervical cancer have been a success, according to a new study. Photograph: Voisin/Phanie/Rex Features

The first evidence has emerged that nationwide vaccination programmes for young women against HPV, the virus that triggers cervical cancer, are likely to cut the numbers who get the disease.

A study in Australia, one of the first countries to introduce the vaccination, has shown a drop in high-grade cervical abnormalities – changes to the cells in the neck of the womb that can be the precursor to cancer.

Australia introduced nationwide HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccination for women aged 12 to 26 from 2007.

While it will take many years to find out whether vaccination programmes definitely reduce the numbers of cervical cancers in the population, Australian scientists were able to analyse the results from their screening programme to find out whether there has been any drop in the number of young women with abnormal cell changes that are the precursor of cancer.

Publishing in the Lancet medical journal, they report that the proportion of girls aged 17 and younger with high-grade abnormalities fell by 0.38% – almost halving the numbers, from 0.80% to 0.42%.

But there was no drop in the numbers of women with cervical abnormalities who were older than 17. This is unsurprising since the vaccine is known to be most effective if given to girls before they become sexually active.

That finding, say the authors, “reinforces the appropriateness of the targeting of prophylactic HPV vaccines to pre-adolescent girls”.

The findings were greeted with international interest.

“The not-so-cautious optimist in us wants to hail this early finding as true evidence of vaccine effect,” write Dr Mona Saraiya and Dr Susan Hariri of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, US, in a linked commentary for the journal.

But they said they wanted to know more about the vaccine status of the individuals (each woman is supposed to have three shots) and wanted more work to establish whether the reductions in potential cancers were really a result of vaccination or some other cause.

Michael Quinn, professor of gynaecology and gynaecologic oncology at the University of Melbourne, said: “The study is the first anywhere in the world to show falling rates of high-grade change in very young women.

“Although this is likely to be due to the effects of the vaccination programme, further analysis of information linking women’s smear history to their vaccination history will be needed to prove that the fall is entirely due to vaccination rather than other factors.”

Public health experts say that women should not assume they are not vulnerable to the disease after vaccination and should still go for regular screening checks.

The UK introduced its own cervical cancer vaccination programme in September 2008, offering the jab in school to 12- and 13-year-old girls, with catch-up programmes for those up to 18.

The cost was expected to be £100m a year. Of the two available vaccines, the UK decided to buy Cervarix, manufactured by the British company GlaxoSmithKline, even though it does not offer the additional protection against genital warts of the alternative, Gardasil.

In spite of worries that parents would refuse to have their daughters vaccinated against what is essentially a sexually-transmitted virus, the take-up has been good, according to figures from the Department of Health.

In the school year 2009/10, more than three-quarters of 12- to 13-year-olds were given all three doses of the vaccine.

Juni 16, 2011

Filed under: GLOBAL ECONOMY — bumi2009fans @ 12:23 am

Anak-Anak Pun Antusias Lihat Gerhana Bulan

Iman Herdiana – Okezone
Kamis, 16 Juni 2011 04:42 wib
 1  36Email0
Ilustrasi

Ilustrasi

BANDUNG – Fenomena bulan gerhana bulan sempat terlihat jelas di Observatorium Bosscha Lembang, Bandung. Gerhana total tersebut tidak hanya memancing perhatian observer, astronom atau mahasiswa, tetapi juga anak-anak.

“Senang sekali bulannya merah ya,” kata Raihan (9), kepada okezone di Observatorium Bosscha, Kamis (16/6/2011) dini hari.

Raihan adalah salah satu anak yang penasaran ingin menonton gerhana bulan. Kebetulan, ketika dia keluar dari rumahnya yang berada di sekitar kompleks Bosscha sekira pukul 03.00 WIB, awan yang menutupi bulan sempat tersingkap.

Sehingga Raihan bersama adiknya, Kansa (7), yang diantar ibunya, Fenti (30), bisa bersama-sama menyaksikan bulan berwarna merah tua dengan mata telanjang. Sesekali mereka juga mengintip bulan lewat teleskop Bosscha.

Fenti mengaku, kedua anaknya sangat penasaran ingin menyaksikan gerhana. Kedua anaknya, kata Fenti, ingin menceritakan hasil amatan gerhana bulan kepada teman-temannya di sekolah. “Saya stel alarm jam tiga. Pas bangun ternyata gerhananya sudah total,” tuturnya.

Pantauan okezone, peneropongan dan pengamatan gerhana bulan memang sering terganggu awan dan kabut. Namun sekira pukul 03.00 WIB, bulan sabit merah sempat muncul. Lalu selama lima menit kembali tertutup awan. Sekira pukul 03.05 WIB kembali bulan muncul dalam bentuk cincin berwarna merah. Puncak pada pukul 03.10 WIB, bulan kembali muncul dengan bentuk lebih utuh dari sebelumnya.

Kepala Observatorium Bosscha Hakim L Malasan menjelaskan, menurut ramalan BMKG cuaca Juni seharusnya cerah. Namun di Lembang ppeneropongan terganggu karena munculnya awan dan kabut lokal.

Mengenai warna merah bulan saat terjadi gerhana, menurut Hakim, itu karena cahaya matahari yang sejajar dengan bumi dan bulan. Selain itu, bulan yang tadinya putih menjadi merah adalah ukuran tingkat kekotoran atmosfer. “Makin merah bulan makin kotor atmosfer, itu perhitungannya,” terangnya.
(fer)

11 Sekolah dan Puluhan Rumah Rusak Parah

Kamis, 16 Juni 2011 04:35 wib

TARUTUNG – Gempa berkekuatan 5,5 Skala Richter (SR) yang menggoncang Tarutung, Tapanuli Utara, Sumatera Utara menghancurkan puluhan rumah penduduk termasuk gedung sekolah dasar di Kecamatan Pahae Jae.

Kerusakan rumah penduduk terparah, terjadi di Dusun Gultom, Desa Nahornop, Kecamatan Pahae Jae. Kerusakan rumah penduduk rata-rata terjadi pada bagian dinding rumah yang terbuat dari beton maupun kayu.

Sedangkan untuk gedung sekolah, kerusakan terparah terjadi di SMA Negeri 1 Pahae Jae. Dua unit bangunan di sekolah tersebut hancur dan rata dengan tanah.

Kerusakan parah juga terjadi pada gedung SD Negeri Sarulla dan SD Negeri Aek Bulu. Kedua bangunan sekolah dasar tersebut nyaris tak satupun yang dapat dipergunakan untuk ruang belajar akibat ambruknya dinding beton sekolah dan ambruknya sejumlah plafon dari atap bangunan.

Hasil pendataan sementara pihak Pemkab Tapanuli Utara hingga, Rabu (15/6) pasca gempa, bahwa jumlah rumah penduduk yang mengalami rusak berat sebanyak 217 unit, rusak sedang 38 unit dan rusak ringan 520 unit.

Untuk fasilitas gedung sekolah, yang mengalami kerusakan sebanyak 11 unit, masing-masing gedung SMA, SMP, Madrasah dan SD. Sementara warga yang mendapat perawatan akibat menderita luka-luka ringan didata sebanyak 50 orang.

“Itulah hasil pendataan kita hingga hari ini pukul 14.00 WIB. Kita masih terus berkoordinasi dengan tim Badan Nasional Penanggulanga Bencana (BNPB) Kabupaten Tapanuli Utara dan kepala desa se-Kecamatan Pahae Jae dan Kecamatan Pahae Julu,” sebut Camat Pahae Jae, Elianto Sitompul, Rabu (15/6/2011).

Salah seorang penduduk Desa Nahornop, Sumiar Sitompul (53) mengatakan, hingga hari kedua, dirinya belum mendapat bantuan apa-apa dari pihak pemerintah setempat. Namun, Sumiar berharap, agar bantuan yang akan diberikan oleh pemerintah sebaiknya dalam bentuk bahan bangunan saja.

“Kalau boleh memilih, saya lebih menginginkan bahan bangunan sebagai bentuk bantuan dari pemerintah atas musibah bencana yang kami alami ini. Karena saya tidak memiliki cukup uang untuk merenovasi rumah saya ini. Dan lagi, hampir semua bangunan rumah saya tidak dapat digunakan lagi karena kondisinya semua rusak parah,” terang Sumiar.

Terpisah, Kepala Dinas Sosial Kabupaten Tapanuli Utara, Rosdiana Manurung kepada Okezone mengatakan, pihaknya kini masih menyiapkan bantuan tenda-tenda darurat, bantuan makanan, air mineral dan medis kepada penduduk yang terkena dampak kerusakan akibat gempa. Sedangkan untuk bantuan uang, pihaknya merencanakan bantuan senilai Rp150 juta.

“Bantuan yang kita fokuskan saat ini adalah bantuan pendirian tenda-tenda darurat, dapur umum, bantuan air mineral, dan makanan cepat saji. Karena penduduk yang terkena dampak gempa, masih enggan masuk ke dalam rumah masing-masing dan melihat kondisi rumah mereka yang hancur. Sedangkan bantuan uang kita rencanakan melalui Dinas Sosial senilai Rp150 juta,” sebut Rosdiana Manurung.

Hingga kini, penduduk di Kecamatan Pahae Jae dan Kecamatan Pahae Julu, Kabupaten Tapanuli Utara masih trauma pasca gempa kemarin. Warga di dua kecamatan itu sebagian besar kini masih memilih untuk menginap di tenda-tenda darurat maupun tenda-tenda bantuan pemerintah.
… sudah ada pengamat gempa yang mengumpulkan data kedekatan saat gempa, tsunami, dan gerhana :

Kamis, 07/09/2006 10:21 WIB
Antara Gerhana Bulan, Gempa dan Gunung Meletus

Jakarta – Sebagian orang berpendapat ada hubungan erat antara gerhana bulan dan aktivitas gunung berapi. Benarkah gunung akan meletus atau gempa mengguncang saat gerhana bulan? “Saya mencatat beberapa peristiwa gempa, yang ternyata kebetulan terjadi saat bulan baru atau purnama. Dan memang gerhana itu terjadi saat bulan baru,” ujar peneliti utama astronomi dan sains antartika Lembaga Penerbangan dan Antariksa Nasional (LAPAN) Thomas Jamaluddin. Hal itu disampaikan dia dalam perbincangan dengan detikcom, Kamis (7/9/2006). Menurut Thomas, ada dugaan saat purnama menjelang, baik saat gerhana atau tidak, berkaitan dengan efek pasang surut. Sebagian orang lantas mengaitkannya dengan gempa. Gempa Alor 12 November 2004 yang jatuh pada 29 Ramadan terjadi saat menjelang bulan baru. Gempa Nabire 26 November 2004 yang jatuh pada 13 Syawal juga terjadi saat menjelang purnama. Gempa di Aceh 26 Desember 2004 yang jatuh pada 14 Zulqaidah terjadi pada saat purnama. Gempa Nias pada 28 Maret jatuh pada 17 Safar terjadi pada saat bulan menjelang purnama. Gempa di Mentawai 10 April 2005 yang jatuh pada 29 Safar terjadi pada saat bulan baru. Dan yang baru-baru ini terjadi, gempa di Yogyakarta 27 Mei 2006 terjadi menjelang bulan baru. “Banyak sekali kebetulannya ya. Tapi memang belum ada penelitian yang mengkonklusikan ada hubungan erat. Hanya sebatas dugaan,” imbuh Thomas. Menurut Thomas, bulan purnama bisa menjadi trigger terlepasnya energi di lempengan bumi. “Mohon diingat, hanya trigger, bukan penyebab,” tambah dia. Apakah aktivitas Gunung Bromo harus diwaspadai? “Daerah yang berpotensi gunung meletus memang harus selalu waspada. Tapi ini sulit diramalkan,” tandasnya. (nvt/)

Juni 10, 2011

I heart you: emaaa($1543)aas … 100611

Filed under: Medicine — bumi2009fans @ 5:27 am
Harga Emas Diramal Masih “Bullish”
Erlangga Djumena | Jumat, 10 Juni 2011 | 10:57 WIB

SEOUL, KOMPAS.com — Kontrak harga emas masih diramal bullish alias naik. Harga emas sudah menanjak selama empat minggu berturut-turut. Kecemasan mengenai krisis utang Eropa dan perlambatan ekonomi AS mendongkrak permintaan emas sebagai investasi alternatif.

Pada pukul 10.18 waktu Seoul, kontrak harga emas untuk pengantaran cepat tak banyak mengalami perubahan di posisi 1.543,88 dollar AS per troy ounce di Comex New York. Dalam seminggu terakhir, harga emas naik 0,1 persen. Sementara kontrak harga emas untuk pengantaran Agustus tak banyak berubah di posisi 1.544,90 dollar AS per troy ounce. “Sepertinya tidak ada jalan keluar lain di Eropa. Faktor tersebut akan menyebabkan harga emas masih bullish ke depannya,” tutur Bruce Ikemizu, Head of Commodity Trading Standard Bank Plc. (Barratut Taqiyyah/Kontan)

I heart you: rokok mentol AWALNYA … 100611

Filed under: Medicine — bumi2009fans @ 2:54 am

A Lost Opportunity for Public Health — The FDA Advisory Committee Report on Menthol

NEJM | May 4, 2011 | Topics: Drugs, Devices, and the FDA

Michael Siegel, M.D., M.P.H.

Although some public health groups hailed as a public health victory the release of a report on menthol cigarettes by the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA),1 close examination of the report and its recommendations reveals that it actually represents a huge victory for Lorillard, the manufacturer of the leading brand of menthol cigarettes (Newport) — and a disappointing setback for the health of black Americans.

The TPSAC was created in 2009 by federal legislation, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, granting the FDA regulatory authority over tobacco products. The committee’s mandate was to examine the effects of menthol cigarettes on the public’s health and to issue a report and recommendations to the FDA.2 After studying the issue for the past year, the panel issued its long-awaited recommendations on March 23, 2011.

Menthol.

Although the report concluded that the addition of menthol (see diagram) to cigarettes does not increase their toxicity, it established unequivocally that menthol harms the public’s health by enhancing smoking initiation and impeding smoking cessation, thus increasing smoking prevalence by affecting both ends of the smoking continuum. Citing abundant scientific evidence, the report concluded that menthol masks the harshness of tobacco, making cigarettes more appealing, especially to young people who might otherwise be deterred by irritation or an unpleasant taste. The report also concluded that smokers of menthol cigarettes have a more difficult time quitting than smokers of nonmenthol cigarettes.

Despite these conclusions, the TPSAC did not recommend a ban on menthol cigarettes. Instead, the report simply stated, “Removal of menthol cigarettes from the marketplace would benefit public health in the United States.”1 Thus, the committee’s basic “recommendation” is not a recommendation at all, but a conclusion that doesn’t suggest any particular action to the FDA.

That banning menthol cigarettes would benefit public health is self-evident. There are 19.2 million menthol-cigarette smokers in the United States,1 and if even a fraction of them quit smoking in response to a menthol ban, it would have a profound effect on public health. Moreover, approximately half of people who are just starting to smoke usually smoke a menthol brand,1 and if even a fraction of those people were to be deterred from initiating smoking, this, too, would have a profound public health benefit.

In fact, it is specifically because Congress knew that a menthol ban would substantially benefit the public’s health (by decreasing tobacco sales) that politicians chose to exempt menthol from the Tobacco Act in the first place. It is because a menthol ban would actually reduce tobacco sales that an advocacy group called the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and other health groups supporting the tobacco-regulation legislation ensured that such a ban was not included in it3 — since it would have risked the loss of Philip Morris’s support for the law and the crumbling of the deal that had been forged with the country’s largest tobacco company.4 The mandate for the TPSAC to study the menthol issue was actually a compromise forged to appease the Black Congressional Caucus, which vigorously denounced the exclusion of menthol from the bill’s flavoring ban. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, for its part, opposed an amendment that would have eliminated the menthol exemption, defending that opposition by warning that if menthol were banned, a black market in contraband cigarettes was likely to be created3,5 — an argument that had been made vigorously by Lorillard.

Adopting this line of thought, the TPSAC report, in its only actual recommendation, warns the FDA against banning menthol cigarettes because of the potential for a black market; it expresses this concern in language almost identical to that used by Lorillard and its consultants. Far from issuing a call for a ban on menthol cigarettes, then, the advisory committee has punted the issue back to the FDA.

If there were any doubts about whether the TPSAC’s actions should be expected to benefit Lorillard or the public’s health, by decreasing or increasing the prospects for a menthol-cigarette ban, they were resolved within hours after the report’s release, when the value of Lorillard stock shot up by 8%.

A number of political factors make it extremely unlikely that the FDA will ban menthol cigarettes. First, taking on a menthol ban is the last thing that the Obama administration needs, given that it is already fighting desperately to save its health care reforms and to stave off criticisms about a purported government “takeover” of health care.

Second, Congress has already made it clear that it has no intention of banning menthol cigarettes and that there would be no political backup for the administration if it chose to pursue such a policy. Had the political will existed for such a ban, it would have been accomplished in the context of the original Tobacco Act.

Had the TPSAC come out with a clear and strongly stated recommendation that the FDA ban menthol cigarettes to protect the public’s health, it would have exerted substantial enough pressure on the agency to make serious consideration of such a policy possible. Instead, the FDA now has the explicit acknowledgment of its advisory committee that “a black market for menthol cigarettes could be created, criminal activity could ensue, and different methods might be used to supply such a black market.”1 The agency can thus avoid making the politically toxic move of banning menthol cigarettes without having to act in direct opposition to the stated recommendations of its advisory committee.

Moreover, by recommending that the FDA undertake an extensive study of potential black-market effects, the committee may have tied the hands of the agency for years to come. Any rule-making process is unlikely to be initiated until the agency completes such a review. More important, the wind has been taken out of the sails of the menthol issue; it is no longer a dominant concern on the agenda of the advisory committee, which is quickly moving on to other matters.

At the end of the day, it is difficult to understand the rationale for a policy that bans every other type of cigarette flavoring — including chocolate, strawberry, banana, pineapple, cherry, and kiwi — yet exempts the one flavoring that is actually used extensively by tobacco companies to recruit and maintain smokers, a finding that has been documented extensively by the TPSAC itself.1 Ironically, it is because removing menthol would actually improve the public’s health by reducing the consumption of cigarettes that we are not going to see such an action from the federal government. There is no political risk in banning chocolate and strawberry cigarettes, since no companies are currently selling such products and they play no role in smoking initiation. Menthol, however, is a major contributor to smoking initiation and continued addiction, and for this reason, it will continue to enjoy the protection of a federal government that seems afraid to alienate any corporation, whether it’s part of Big Pharma, Big Insurance, or Big Tobacco.

I heart you: nikotin BIKIN kurus … 100611

Filed under: Medicine — bumi2009fans @ 12:45 am

Study finds why smokers gain weight when they quit
AP

By LAURAN NEERGAARD, AP Medical Writer – Thu Jun 9, 4:53 pm ET

WASHINGTON – Scientists say they’ve finally discovered why smokers tend to gain some weight when they kick the habit.

It turns out that nicotine can rev up brain cells that normally signal people to stop eating when they’re full, researchers report in Friday’s edition of the journal Science.

The weight connection isn’t huge: On average, quitters gain less than 10 pounds. Still, it’s a worry that many smokers cite when asked why they don’t try to quit. Now the question is whether the discovery might lead to better treatments to help them quit without worrying about weight.

Yale University associate research scientist Yann Mineur stumbled onto the connection while studying a nicotine-related substance in mice — and the animals suddenly started eating less.

Nicotine hooks onto a variety of receptors, or docking sites, on the surface of cells. That’s how it triggers addiction in one part of the brain.

But when it comes to weight, the Yale research found that both nicotine and the related drug cytisine were activating a different receptor than the one involved in addiction. This one is located on a small set of neurons in the hypothalamus, a region that regulates appetite.

When they gave nicotine to mice without that cellular pathway, it didn’t help them lose weight like it did normal mice.

Smoking causes cancer, heart attacks and a host of other ailments so worry about modest weight gain shouldn’t deter someone from quitting. But smokers who do have that concern should try nicotine-based smoking-cessation treatments, said study senior author Marina Picciotto, a Yale professor of psychiatry and neurobiology.

The other drug used in the mouse experiments, cytisine, is sold in Eastern Europe for smoking cessation but not in the U.S., and she’d like to see if there’s data on the weight of smokers abroad who’ve used it.

Developing a drug to target only these specific receptors would be difficult, she cautions, because they’re also involved in the body’s stress responses in ways that could lead to such side effects as high blood pressure.

Why Smokers Are Skinny
by Sarah C.P. Williams on 9 June 2011, 2:01 PM | Permanent Link | 0

Craving an afternoon snack? Take a drag on a cigarette, and your hunger will likely disappear. Smoking is the number one cause of preventable deaths in the Unites States and other developed countries, causing lung cancer, heart disease, and chronic bronchitis. But smokers are, on average, skinnier than nonsmokers. New research reveals how nicotine, the active ingredient in cigarettes, works in the brain to suppress smokers’ appetites. The finding also pinpoints a new drug target for nicotine withdrawal—and weight loss.

The nicotine receptor in the brain has 15 subunits; they can combine in a multitude of ways to form different receptors with different jobs. Nicotine can bind to each combination and spur a cascade of distinct events; some lead to the addictive properties of cigarettes, others to an increase in blood pressure or a feeling of relaxation. It’s long been known that nicotine causes a slump in appetite, and scientists suspected that this worked through receptors associated with reward and behavior reinforcement. After all, the brain considers both cigarettes and food to be rewards. But the new finding suggests that appetite has its own pathway.

Behavioral neuroscientist Marina Picciotto of Yale University set out to study whether activating one particular nicotine receptor, dubbed α3β4, had antidepressant effects on mice. But as postdoctoral researcher Yann Mineur was caring for the mice, which had received drugs engineered to stimulate only α3β4 receptors, he noticed a side effect: the mice were eating less.

“Before this study, we really didn’t think that this type of receptor would have such a big role in the brain in food intake,” Picciotto says. She and Mineur went on to show that nicotine does, in fact, bind to α3β4 receptors, which then send a signal throughout the rest of the brain, signaling satiety. It’s indistinguishable from the signal the brain propagates after eating a large meal. Mice that received the drug binding to the α3β4 receptor ate half the amount of food as untreated mice in the 2 hours following administration of the drug. Their body fat dropped 15% to 20% over 30 days, the team reports online today in Science.

Since the weight gain that comes with stopping smoking is often one deterrent for smokers to quit, Picciotto suggests that the new pathway could be targeted by pharmaceuticals to suppress appetite during the initial stages of smoking cessation. In addition, such a drug could have wider reach as an appetite suppressant to aid in weight loss, without the health hazards tied to cigarette smoke.

Neil Grunberg, a behavioral neuroscientist at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, was the first to prove, through rat studies in 1982, that nicotine causes a decrease in appetite. He says the new study is a step forward in understanding the phenomenon he first observed.

“Most people had accepted that the decrease in appetite was caused through a dopamine-reward pathway and left it at that,” Grunberg says. “So I think the most important contribution of this paper is to prove that there is another whole pathway that nicotine is working through.”

Grunberg notes, however, that the study looks only at male mice. In his previous work, he has found differences in the effects of nicotine on weight between males and females. Females, he says, experience larger weight loss when they start smoking and a larger weight gain if they quit. Whether this means nicotine is working through an additional, hormone-regulated pathway in the female brain is yet to be determined.

Picciotto says her group is repeating the experiments on female mice. “We’re also still trying to get back to that original question we had,” she says: “Does this also have antidepressant actions?”

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