For 12 weeks a group of just over 260 patients swapped their normal food for a very-low-energy diet in the form of soups and milkshakes. 169 of the patients lost a lot of weight, averaging 16 per cent of their body weight. They were then divided into two groups so that they could switch back at different rates from the very-low-energy diet to energy reduced portions of normal food. One group completed the refeeding in a week, while the other took six weeks.
"After ten months the patients with the six-week refeeding period had gained 4 per cent in weight from their minimum weight, while the patients with the one-week refeeding period had gained eight per cent," says Lena Gripeteg, researcher at the Sahlgrenska Academy.
Very-low-energy diets have been used for many years in the health service to achieve rapid and safe weight loss in obese patients. While this treatment method is well-studied, there is a risk that patients will gain weight when they start to eat normal food again.
"We therefore want to look at the importance of different treatment advice on the transition from the very-low-energy diet back to normal food, and assess what actually works," says Gripeteg. "A simple tip that seems to work for patients is to revert slowly to normal food after losing weight on a very-low-energy diet."Her dissertation also includes research results from the current national SOS (Swedish Obese Subjects) study, which has followed 2,010 patients who have undergone surgical treatment for obesity and 2,037 matched control patients for up to 20 years. It shows that men who have undergone obesity surgery are less likely to need a disability pension, while obese women are just as likely to need a disability pension whether they lose weight or not.
"On the basis of this study, we can't explain why there is a difference in the sexes," says Gripeteg. "It may well be that the underlying health problems differ between women and men, which could explain why there is a significant improvement in the ability to work in men, but no effect in women after surgical obesity treatment."
Title of thesis: Weight Loss Studies in Obese Patients. Aspects of very-low-energy diet treatment and effects of obesity surgery on disability pension
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Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
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Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
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Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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