Grind for November 27th, 2018
“Why does the eye see a thing more clearly in dreams than the imagination when awake?”
– Leonardo da Vinci
Turkey doesn’t actually make you tired; family does
Contrary to popular belief, turkey isn’t what makes us so tired on Thanksgiving (yes, turkey contains tryptophan, but it isn’t any more sleep-inducing than other foods).
In reality, what makes us tired on Thanksgiving is a combination of calorie intake and stress.
Calorie intake: The average American adult consumes between 3,000 and 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving. That’s more than twice the recommended amount.
With all those calories to process, it’s no surprise you feel so tired.
Another factor at play is alcohol, which tends to flow freely at family gatherings.
Stress & relief: Those who host gatherings on Thanksgiving are bound to feel relief that another annual event has been planned and executed. This relief, coupled with weeks of stress before the holiday, can make you feel exhausted.
Social overload & boredom: Let’s face it, there are always members of the family who don’t enjoy holiday events. And if you’re like me, being around people wears you out (especially when those people are relatives).
New study suggests a type of sugar could help fight cancer
According to a study published this month in the journal Nature, a type of sugar called mannose could help fight cancer.
Like normal cells, cancer cells use glucose for fuel. And because cancer cells multiply so fast, they require lots of fuel.
In theory, depriving cancer cells of glucose could restrict their growth.
“Tumors need a lot of glucose to grow, so limiting the amount they can use should slow cancer progression,” explains study author Kevin Ryan, a professor at the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute. “The problem is that normal tissues need glucose as well, so we can’t completely remove it from the body.”
Mannose (or D-mannose) is a type of sugar the body produces in order to slow down glucose metabolism.
To learn more about the potential use of mannose in fighting cancer, Ryan and his team added it to the drinking water of mice with cancerous tumors.
The results were promising.
“In our study, we found a dosage of mannose that could block enough glucose to slow tumor growth in mice, but not so much that normal tissues were affected,” says Ryan.
The team also discovered that mannose improved the effects of chemotherapy, reduced tumor size, and lengthened lifespan.
After testing mannose on a variety of cancer cells in the lab, the team determined that mannose’s effects were reduced in the presence of the enzyme phosphomannose isomerase.
“This is early research,” notes Ryan, “but it is hoped that finding this perfect balance means that, in the future, mannose could be given to cancer patients to enhance chemotherapy without damaging their overall health.”
The team hopes to start clinical trials in humans as soon as possible.
GOOD TO THE LAST DROP:
Did you know… A cesium atom in an atomic clock beats over nine billion times a second.