Summary of “Why Living in a Poor Neighborhood Can Change Your Biology”

The people who did move to better neighborhoods didn’t change their diets or daily lifestyles.
The people who moved out of poor neighborhoods were healthier.
The HUD study, and subsequent research, have shown that something more than race, individual behavior, or genetics is taking a toll on the health of people who live in poor neighborhoods: stress.
In its early stages, drugs that increase sensitivity to insulin, along with diet and exercise, can restore some cell function in people with Type 2; later, people with Type 2 diabetes need insulin injections to keep high blood sugar in check.
A recent Pew Charitable Trusts study found that 66 percent of African Americans born between 1985 and 2000 lived in neighborhoods where at least 20 percent of people were poor.
African-Americans and whites living at or near the poverty line had higher rates of diabetes than their wealthier peers.
That’s not the case: Black Africans have lower rates of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and depression than their distant cousins in the U.S. And Hasson says Type 2 diabetes among blacks and Hispanics drops just as fast as among whites in response to changes in exercise or diet-powerful evidence that there’s no inherent physiological difference at play.
“Hasson, of the University of Michigan, praises Obama.”She’s bringing attention to the fact that people need to get out and start moving, and people are starting to ask: “How can we motivate people to start moving again?” Hasson says.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Stress Around You Could Cause Obesity or Diabetes”

When they went back and measured the differences between people who got vouchers and people who didn’t, the results were remarkable: The people who got vouchers to move to low-poverty neighborhoods had significantly lower rates of obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
“By dint of the design, the cause of the difference in diabetes and obesity was the voucher and the move to a less-distressed neighborhood,” Whitaker says.
“The amazing thing is that the cause of the difference in obesity and diabetes was the move.”
“Even if you’re not stress-eating, there’s a direct link between cortisol and Type 2 diabetes risk, and cortisol and obesity,” Hasson says.
In its early stages, drugs that increase sensitivity to insulin, along with diet and exercise, can restore some cell function in people with Type 2; later, people with Type 2 diabetes need insulin injections to keep high blood sugar in check.
That’s not the case: Black Africans have lower rates of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and depression than their distant cousins in the U.S. And Hasson says Type 2 diabetes among blacks and Hispanics drops just as fast as among whites in response to changes in exercise or diet-powerful evidence that there’s no inherent physiological difference at play.
He’s spent a decade and a half hunting for genes that contribute to racial differences in obesity and diabetes.
Perhaps no program is as identified with the individual approach to preventing obesity and Type 2 diabetes as Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move.” With the telegenic First Lady as its figurehead, the program has put a spotlight on encouraging kids and adults to exercise more and eat less.

The orginal article.

Summary of “”Stress Hormone” Cortisol Linked to Early Toll on Thinking Ability”

The study of more than 2,000 people, most of them in their 40s, found those with the highest levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol performed worse on tests of memory, organization, visual perception and attention.
Higher cortisol levels, measured in subjects’ blood, were also found to be associated with physical changes in the brain that are often seen as precursors to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, according to the study published Wednesday in Neurology.
The link between high cortisol levels and low performance was particularly strong for women, the study found.
It remains unclear whether women in midlife are under more stress than men or simply more likely to have their stress manifested in higher cortisol levels, says lead researcher Sudha Seshadri.
Bruce McEwen, a neuroscientist and cortisol expert at The Rockefeller University who also was not part of the study, says he found it “Frankly remarkable.” Cortisol, he notes, is necessary for life-so it is obviously not all bad. But stress can lead people to potentially problematic behaviors such as smoking, drinking and eating unhealthy food.
The highest cortisol levels were associated with changes that could be seen on an MRI scan of the brain, the study found.
Cortisol does not distinguish between physical and mental stress, so some of the people with high levels might have had physical illnesses such as diabetes that drove up their cortisol levels, Seshadri says.
Each subject’s cortisol level was measured only once, so the measurements do not reflect changes over time or variations throughout the day, she notes.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Stress Around You Could Cause Obesity or Diabetes”

When they went back and measured the differences between people who got vouchers and people who didn’t, the results were remarkable: The people who got vouchers to move to low-poverty neighborhoods had significantly lower rates of obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
“By dint of the design, the cause of the difference in diabetes and obesity was the voucher and the move to a less-distressed neighborhood,” Whitaker says.
“The amazing thing is that the cause of the difference in obesity and diabetes was the move.”
“Even if you’re not stress-eating, there’s a direct link between cortisol and Type 2 diabetes risk, and cortisol and obesity,” Hasson says.
In its early stages, drugs that increase sensitivity to insulin, along with diet and exercise, can restore some cell function in people with Type 2; later, people with Type 2 diabetes need insulin injections to keep high blood sugar in check.
That’s not the case: Black Africans have lower rates of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and depression than their distant cousins in the U.S. And Hasson says Type 2 diabetes among blacks and Hispanics drops just as fast as among whites in response to changes in exercise or diet-powerful evidence that there’s no inherent physiological difference at play.
He’s spent a decade and a half hunting for genes that contribute to racial differences in obesity and diabetes.
Perhaps no program is as identified with the individual approach to preventing obesity and Type 2 diabetes as Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move.” With the telegenic First Lady as its figurehead, the program has put a spotlight on encouraging kids and adults to exercise more and eat less.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How stress works in the human body, to make or break us”

How does all of this stress ‘get under our skin’? What does it do to our brains and our bodies? What can we do about it? And is stress so multifaceted and pervasive that we could have trouble controlling it at all?
Our collaboration, continued under the auspices of the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, has shown that stress acts on the body and brain, profoundly influencing health and disease.
As opposed to motherhood and musicianship, toxic stress can increase anxiety by causing neurons in the amygdala, a brain region controlling anxiety and aggression, to become larger.
We now understand that epigenetics is the means by which stress acts on the body, the genome, and the brain.
The hippocampus has since become a gateway into learning how sex hormones, metabolic hormones and stress hormones enter the brain, bind to receptors and act epigenetically to positively regulate structure and affect our behaviour.
Thanks to genetically programmed sex differences in our brains, men and women respond differently to stress.
Adverse early life experience involving poverty, abuse and neglect affects how genes are expressed, and determines how well brain regions such as the hippocampus, amygdala and prefrontal cortex develop and function during childhood into young adulthood.
The brain is continually changing with experience, which creates memories and alters brain architecture via mechanisms that are facilitated in part by circulating sex, stress and metabolic hormones and chemicals produced by the immune system.

The orginal article.