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Fatty foods to the rescue?


Chemistry Professor Patrick L. Daubenmire prompts students to consider chemistry’s relationship to the environment. ARTS AND SCIENCES

about more than the nuts and bolts of chemistry. He wants them to understand why the subject is valuable and how it affects people’s lives—particularly with regard to sustainability. “It’s critical to impart those

concepts,” Daubenmire says. “Students need to be aware of the science that is helping us think about what we can and can’t do with natural resources.” As part of his mission, he was

part of a Chicago-area volunteer program for high school students to emphasize the intersection of chemistry and sustainability. “For example, the Law of Con-

servation of Matter corresponds to why our trash doesn’t just go

Chemistry meets nature C

hemistry Professor Patrick L. Daubenmire strives to teach students

Award-winning efforts

Daubenmire is one of four recipients of the 2015 Award for Incorporation of Sustainability into Chemistry Education, a prestigious award from the American Chemical Society and its Committee on Environmental Improvement. Daubenmire has also received the Loyola Excellence in Teaching Freshmen award. He teaches general chemistry as well as the University core- scientific foundations course.

away,” Daubenmire says. “Or the limitations of energy transforma- tions explain why we’ll eventually run out of fossil fuels.” In addition to classroom les-

sons, the high school students were encouraged to monitor their household energy and water usage and to lower them over the course of the program.

t’s well known that over the long run, a high-fat diet increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.

But a new Loyola study has found that a

high-fat diet, eaten one day to two weeks before a heart attack, actually reduced heart-attack damage in mice by about 50 percent. The finding by a team led by W. Keith

Jones, PhD, professor and chair of the De- partment of Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, was recently published in the American Journal of Physi- ology—Heart and Circulatory Physiology. “The study improves our understand-

ing of the relationship between diet and health,” Dr. Jones said. “Learning about how fat, in the short run, protects against heart attacks could help in the develop- ment of better therapies.” Dr. Jones emphasized the study is not

a license to eat a lot of cheeseburgers and ice cream. The study may provide new insight into

the “obesity paradox”: obesity is a major risk factor for heart disease, but once a heart attack or heart failure does occur, moderately obese patients tend to live longer. In the study, mice were given a high-fat

“We saw a change in pro-

environmental behaviors in all students—even the ones who just got classroom lessons,” Dauben- mire says. “It was wonderfully surprising. Based on the amount of participation, we saw some change in family members’ be- haviors as well.”

diet (60 percent of calories from animal fat) before experiencing heart attacks. Mice that consumed a high-fat diet for either one day, one week, or two weeks before the heart attack experienced about half as much heart damage as mice that ate a con- trol diet. The benefit was greatest among mice that ate a high-fat diet for one week before the heart attack. But in mice that ate a high-fat diet for six weeks, the protective effect disappeared. The authors added that given a rise in

obesity in both developed and developing countries, understanding the relationship between fat intake and heart health is “criti- cally important.”


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