Shoe mecca and opioids

Today I visited mecca.


Ladies, that is a shoecase. A showcase for shoes. And it was glorious.

Mervi is a well renowned Professor of gynecology at Univeristy of Helsinki. She is not only an acclaimed physician, but an inspirational academic and professional role model to women.

We had the utmost privilege to take a peek into her illustrious shoe exhibition last night!


I have some new standards for my future house 😉

Mervi’s impeccable style doesn’t end at her ankles…


It was asked of 6th year medical students at University of Helsinki, “What will you remember from your past year?” and the response from some? “Mervi’s shoes.”


No. Doubt.

Thank you, Mervi, for hosting our shoe therapy escape in your beautiful home, and for being a living example of beauty and brains! 🙂
But Mervi’s indulgences are indemnified by science, so let’s get to it!

Opioids and Obesity

Now that it’s summer, I finally have time to sit down and read all the Duodecim medical journals that come in the mail. Towards the end of the semester these often go into exile because after a day of studying and reading the least relaxing thing for me is to come home and read. Especially medical journals, give this brain a (all-things-related-to-medicine) break!


Today I tackled a few journals, one of which included an article about opioid receptor system and obesity (“Lihavuus on yhteydessä opioidijärjestelmän muutokseen” Duodecim 2015;131:962, Henry K. Karlsson et al.)

Initially my excitement was purely based on my newly existing knowledge of opioids we learned in our pharmacology course last semester. (Med students: You know that feeling when you’re watching House, or ER and they say something you recognize and you say “I KNOW THAT!!!!” feel like a total genius, ready to graduate tomorrow because you recognized the word miconazole and knew it was an antifungal? Yeah, I had one of those moments today when I read this article 😉 Graduation? TOMORROW.)

The article details the effects of neurotransmitters and the pleasure centers in the brain.


It was found that in overweight individuals have fewer opioid receptors compared to their normal weight counterparts. The fewer number of receptors could predispose to overeating, the study suggests.

In the above PET photo (which was taken in Turku 😉 ) you can see less tracer element (color) binding to the opioid μ-receptors. Less color = less receptors. The authors concluded the indirect correlation between BMI and number of μ-receptors which explains the increased tendency for overeating.

Interesting huh? 🙂 Maybe this will help fight the growing obesity epidemic!

Speaking of overeating, what is it about blueberries that screams summer?

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My breakfast for the past week and will be for the next 8. Finnish blubes ❤  🙂


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