Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Food companies have long marketed carbohydrate-rich drinks and energy bars to athletes with the message that the energy those snacks provide is key to lifting heavier and running farther. A new mouse study by IRP researchers, however, suggests that skipping a meal (or several) might be far more effective for increasing athletic prowess1.
Unlike modern Americans used to three square meals a day, our ancient ancestors couldn’t exactly throw a TV dinner in the microwave whenever they felt a bit peckish. As a result, they probably found themselves hunting wooly mammoths and fending off saber-toothed tigers on an empty stomach.
“From an evolutionary perspective, animals in the wild – particularly predators – need to be able to function at a high level when they’re in a food-deprived state,” says IRP Senior Investigator Mark P. Mattson, Ph.D., the study’s senior author. “Individuals who were able to perform at a high level in a fasted state had a survival advantage.”
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Last month I moderated our annual retreat with the NIH Scientific Directors, those individuals tasked with leading their Institute or Center (IC)-based intramural research program. We were joined by many of the IC Clinical Directors. And this year we decided to do something a little different: listen to a series of talks about exciting, new IRP research.
Friday, May 29, 2015
Many scientists at the NIH used the metabolic chamber—a room constructed as a scientific instrument in which volunteers could live—to study how our bodies use air, food, and water under different conditions. Would you have volunteered for a study? Today's NIH Intramural investigators have even more advanced technologies to learn about energy expenditure's affects on obesity.
Thursday, February 19, 2015
The solution to obesity seems simple on the surface—fewer calories in, more calories out—but for those who have tried to lose weight, it's usually not an easy task, partly because weight is the product of many interrelated factors: environment, family history and genetics, behavior, metabolism, and others. Investigators at the NIH Intramural Research Program (IRP) are studying all of those aspects and more to further understand the disease and better inform public health initiatives.