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The Link Between the Immune System & Weight

Posted Oct 18 2012 10:09pm
Posted on Oct. 15, 2012, 6 a.m. in Immune System Weight and Obesity

Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a chemical messenger in our immune system that plays an important role in fighting off infection. It is known that our normally low levels of interleukin-6 in the brain increase dramatically during an infection, typically accompanied by reduced hunger and fatigue. Erik Schele, from the University of Gothenburg (Sweden), and colleagues have identified specific types of brain cells that the IL-6 molecule targets, and have observed that lab animals whose brains produce abundant quantities of the molecule exhibit less hunger and more satiety. The study authors submit that: “Our data demonstrate that the MCH neurones of the human hypothalamus, as well as the [melanin-concentrating hormone] and orexin neurons of the mouse hypothalamus, contain [interleukin-6 receptor alpha]. This opens up the possibility that [interleukin-6] influences the energy balance.”

Schele E, Fekete C, Egri P, Füzesi T, Palkovits M, Keller E, Liposits Z, Gereben B, Karlsson-Lindahl L, Shao R, Jansson JO.  “Interleukin-6 receptor α is co-localised with melanin-concentrating hormone in human and mouse hypothalamus.”  J Neuroendocrinol. 2012 Jun;24(6):930-43.

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54. Screenings Save Lives
Age-appropriate screening tests lead the list among all the things you can do to prevent yourself from getting sick. Screening tests can find diseases early when they are easier to treat. The age at which you will start having regularly scheduled screenings will vary, based on your sex, your age, your medical and family history, and other factors.

Men should have the following screenings:
• Cholesterol Checks: At least every 5 years, starting at age 35. If you smoke, have diabetes, or if heart disease runs in your family, start having your cholesterol checked at age 20.
• Blood Pressure: At least every 2 years
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