Communion Of Dreams

Well, at least it isn’t G-23 Paxilon Hydrochlorate*.
March 16, 2012, 10:20 am
Filed under: Firefly, Health, movies, Science, Science Fiction, Serenity

I’ve said before that there is some kind of environmental effect behind the rising obesity rates worldwide over the last several decades. It could be a virus. It could be change in our gut flora. It could just be a response to rising stress levels in our society. It could be some kind of leeching plastics, or the use of HFC, or any number of other factors individually or in combination.

Or, perhaps it is the air we breathe:

Could Air Pollution Be Making Us Fat?

Steadily rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may be affecting brain chemistry, increasing appetite and contributing to the obesity epidemic, according to a new hypothesis, which still awaits rigorous testing and inevitable debate.

The idea proposes that breathing in extra CO2 makes blood more acidic, which in turn causes neurons that regulate appetite, sleep and metabolism to fire more frequently. As a result, we might be eating more, sleeping less and gaining more weight, partly as a result of the air we breathe.

Major studies are in the works to test the hypothesis, which is still very much in the what-if stage. But if the link pans out, the research would offer yet another reason to reduce the CO2 we produce, while also potentially inspiring new obesity treatments.

OK, as the article stresses, this is *not* proven yet. But there is enough preliminary data and a plausible mechanism to warrant some serious investigation. And it tracks well with the rapid spread of obesity rates – CO2 levels have about doubled in the last 50 years.

Still, I’d rather have to fight fat than Reavers.

Jim Downey


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