ABDOMINAL (VISCERAL) FAT KILLS. The following post tells you how, and suggests what you might do to prevent this scourge, which is gradually becoming an epidemic in America.
OBESITY is an energy imbalance problem. MORE CALORIES ARE CONSUMED THAN ARE NEEDED AND CAN BE UTILIZED. A Good quality Diet, with lots of natural (rather than processed) foods, especially vegetables and fruits, have lots of FIBER that takes up space and makes you feel full.
Fiber also feeds the MICROBIOME. If the foods are DIVERSE, the microbiome will also be diverse and help utilize the calories you eat. A healthy Microbiome also contributes to your health by manufacturing neurotransmitters, vitamins, and other factors that are just starting to be appreciated. Diet QUALITY, as well as quantity, is important.
EXERCISE is critical for more than utilizing calories. It increases ADIPONECTIN which guides fat to fat stores where they belong, rather than to the liver, and IRISIN which favors the production of BROWN FAT, thus utilizing energy. The opposite of exercise, the SEDENTARY LIFESTYLE, is now considered a disease system in itself.
Lack of SLEEP favors obesity in a number of ways; at the very least, you can’t eat while asleep. Abdominal fat contains INFLAMMATORY cells which go directly to the Liver via the hepatic portal system to cause metabolic disruption. Insulin sensitivity falls, blood sugar, LDL and triglycerides rise. DIABETES and the METABOLIC SYNDROME result.
The excessive weight also causes back, hip and knee problems which contribute to the 10% increase in overall medical costs due to Obesity.
We have no photographs, abdominal, navel-level girth measurements, CTs, BMIs or death certificates to prove it, but it is highly unlikely that Paleolithic Humans suffered from excessive abdominal fat. They had no refrigerators, deliciously packaged snacks, sugary, fructose-containing soft drinks and candy, nor did they have cave-lighting to extend their daylight eating hours and disrupt their diurnal rhythm.
They had to walk or run long distances to obtain their meagre food supplies, which tired them out so that they most likely had a good night’s sleep. SLEEP, DIET and EXERCISE are built into our Metabolism by Darwinian Evolution. Paleolithic humans didn’t live long lives and succumb to cancer and heart disease.
They died most often by violence, which made Blood clotting a survival benefit, rather than the Risk factor for stroke and heart attacks that coagulation is to us now. It is not all our fault that OBESITY is steadily increasing over the last few decades.
CAPITALISM is driven to provide us with ever increasingly available and tasty food. Both consumers and purveyors scream when even the most logical political check on OVEREATING is legislated: Taxing of sugary, fructose-containing, nutritionless soft drinks was tried in Philadelphia to a chorus of complaints. To my knowledge the tax has survived, reduced sugary drink consumption, and was helpful in reducing the weight of Philadelphia residents. Not many cities were brave enough to follow suit.
GENETIC Influences can also conspire against weight control. The FTO gene, while relatively infrequent does have an influence, as shown in twin studies. And there seems to be a SET POINT in weight that makes it difficult to take off the pounds and keep them off. 2 years after almost all diets, the weight has returned. Eating HABITS, once established are hard to change.
BARIATRIC SURGERY has been shown to help Obesity, as well as Metabolic syndrome and Diabetes .I hope it will survive the test of time. Weight gain is easier to PREVENT than it is to treat. Somehow, society must get to the children, and keep them from gaining weight in the first place. Even children are now becoming obese.
INTERMITTENT FASTING can help contain Obesity. My own version is TIME-RESTRICTED EATING. I limit my eating to 6 hours a day, from Noon (usually 1PM) until 6PM. This has resulted in a modest weight loss from 142 pounds to 137 pounds. My son lost some 30 pounds in a 30 day, 1000 calorie “crash” diet to fend off advised Back Surgery. He exercised a lot of SELF CONTROL both to lose the weight, and to keep it off.
Unfortunately, Self Control is in short supply in our present SOCIETY OF EXCESS. Good luck in your quest, if you choose to embark on weight reduction. And good luck with your health if you don’t. I recommend “the secret life of fat” by Sylvia Tara in either case. Also, search for intermittent fasting in DWWR.
Water, the miracle molecule, proteins and fats are the very essence of life. Water does not dissolve fat, allowing for the cell membranes, and the compartmentalization of metabolic activity that allows life to happen.
FAT IS ESSENTIAL TO LIFE. Alas, all fats are not equally beneficial to nutrition, as the article stresses. Trans-fats, partially hydrogenated fatty acids produced mainly by industry, are the worst, acting to stimulate cholesterol synthesis, produce inflammation and damage the endoplasmic reticulum.
Their use has been banned in most countries. Saturated fat has been widely condemned, is not as good as the mono- and polyunsaturated fats, but not as bad as trans-fats. Some of life’s most delicious foods, such as cheeses, contain saturated fats, but it is best to keep down their consumption.
Remember that the first bite of something savory tastes the best; prevent habit from shoveling it down. Unsaturated fats are found in oily fish, which should be part of your diet.
Vegetables such as nuts, seeds, olives, and avocados are sources of “good fat” and should comprise 10-15% of your calories. Fats, compared to carbohydrates, contribute almost twice as many calories to your diet on a weight basis, and it’s easy to get carried away.
Total calories must be kept under control. STAY HEALTHY!
According to a recent study, obesity increases the risk of dying of Covid-19 by nearly 50%. Governments around the world are now hoping to encourage their citizens to lose weight. But with so much complex and often contradictory diet advice, as well as endless food fads, it can be hard to know what healthy eating actually looks like.
How many pieces of fruit and vegetables should you eat a day? Will cutting out carbs help you lose weight? Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day? Speaking to Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London about his new book Spoon-Fed, Madeleine Finlay asks why we’re still getting food science wrong, and explores the current scientific evidence on snacking, supplements and calorie labels.
Tim Spector is a Professor of Genetic Epidemiology and Director of the TwinsUK Registry at Kings College, London and has recently been elected to the prestigious Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences. He trained originally in rheumatology and epidemiology. In 1992 he moved into genetic epidemiology and founded the UK Twins Registry, of 13,000 twins, which is the richest collection of genotypic and phenotypic information worldwide. He is past President of the International Society of Twin Studies, directs the European Twin Registry Consortium (Discotwin) and collaborates with over 120 centres worldwide. He has demonstrated the genetic basis of a wide range of common complex traits, many previously thought to be mainly due to ageing and environment. Through genetic association studies (GWAS), his group have found over 500 novel gene loci in over 50 disease areas. He has published over 800 research articles and is ranked as being in the top 1% of the world’s most cited scientists by Thomson-Reuters. He held a prestigious European Research Council senior investigator award in epigenetics and is a NIHR Senior Investigator. His current work focuses on omics and the microbiome and directs the crowdfunded British Gut microbiome project. Together with an international team of leading scientists including researchers from King’s College London, Massachusetts General Hospital, Tufts University, Stanford University and nutritional science company ZOE he is conducting the largest scientific nutrition research project, showing that individual responses to the same foods are unique, even between identical twins. You can find more on https://joinzoe.com/ He is a prolific writer with several popular science books and a regular blog, focusing on genetics, epigenetics and most recently microbiome and diet (The Diet Myth). He is in demand as a public speaker and features regularly in the media.
Sometimes I wake up in the morning with a feeling of RELAXED ENERGY. My mind is clear, I have no fatigue, and believe once more that the world is wonderful, and it’s great to be alive.
I St-re-tch, exercise my hands (I have Osteoarthritis, and they are stiff), take out my Nite guard ( I grind my teeth at night and would otherwise wear them away), take my beta blocker eye drops ( to lower my intraocular pressure) and wash down my Eliquis ( an anticoagulant to prevent stroke from my Atrial Fibrillation) with 16 oz. of water, while thinking about all of the delights awaiting me.
Yes, my body was in better shape 60 years ago; but I had much more responsibility then, and much less discretionary time. All things considered, I like to believe that I am happier now.
The KEY is to stay in GOOD HEALTH. GOOD SLEEP is critical, but it cannot be had by willpower alone. As I have discussed previously, you need a bedtime routine, good SLEEP HYGIENE.
You also need a…….. GOOD DIET. with lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Fatty, spicy foods will stay in your stomach and bother you at night, particularly if you eat Late. I like to finish eating by 5 PM. Late dinner is also likely to produce GERD, and maybe Sleep Apnea.
GOOD EXERCISE is also critical. If you are not tired at the end of the day, it is hard to get good sleep. I always seem to sleep better on the day when I walk the hills for an hour, which is 3 days a week. Try not to exercise within 2 hours of bedtime. Assuming that you have a good base of SLEEP, DIET and EXERCISE, there are other mechanisms that can foul things up. INFLAMMATORY conditions often cause fatigue.
The most common inflammatory diseases are OBESITY, METABOLIC SYNDROME and DIABETES. OBESITY is the defining disease of our EXCESSIVE SOCIETY, where there is too much of everything, and excessive consumption is relentlessly advertised everywhere.
External correction is probably a pipe dream, since there is no will even to Tax Sugar-containing Beverages, the “low hanging fruit” of dietary excess. Internal correction is all that is left, and that takes WILL POWER, also in short supply.
INFECTIOUS DISEASES are a subset of inflammatory conditions. COVID 19 is the poster child of infection, and FATIGUE is one of the hallmarks of the disease. Interleukins, like TNF-alpha, IL-1, andIL-6 are some of the defense factors which cause the fatigue. AUTOIMMUNE Diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus are also associated with fatigue-producing interleukins.
Fatigue even has its own flagship disease, CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME. Chronic viral disease has been suspected as the cause of this condition, and inflammatory cytokines may be elevated. This condition, and the similar GULF WAR SYNDROME are still poorly understood. Several CFS patients were sent to me when I was in practice, and I had some success in getting them to exercise regularly, which seemed to help. CANCER is another category of diseases where Fatigue is prominent.
Inflammation plays a role in these diseases, which also drain energy substrates from the Patients body; Cancer cells have a high metabolic requirement. MEDICATIONS, Cancer meds especially, but a variety of other Drugs are associated with FATIGUE. I went through MY MEDICATION LIST. Lo and behold, 3 of them are associated with fatigue.
Finasteride is a relic of my prostate operation, recommended to keep it from growing back. It causes fatigue, probably because of its ANTITESTOSTERONE effect. At least I can still pee, and am not bald. I take METFORMIN because of its fame in prolonging life. Its mechanism is that of interacting with the Sirtuin system, and increasing the inefficiency of mitochondria. Isn’t this surprising?
Like many other things in physiology, you place a stress on the body, and the body responds by improving its performance. If you are fatigued, you exercise. Respecting the body works with drugs as well. If you are drinking a ton of coffee and stop it, after a few weeks you will feel less fatigued.
And when you ARE FATIGUED, you drink a LITTLE coffee, and it wakes you right up. Caffeine works by displacing ADENOSINE, which causes Fatigue as it increases through the morning, peaking at SIESTA (or tea) time,at about 2 PM. OMEPRAZOLE, which I take to prevent HEARTBURN, also is related to fatigue especially if it blocks MAGNESIUM for long enough. DEPRESSION overlaps with fatigue, as does SLEEPINESS, to increase the complexity of the situation.
Many chronic LUNG, KIDNEY and LIVER diseases are associated with fatigue as a secondary concern. STAY HEALTHY!
Osteoarthritis (OA) was considered a Degenerative disease when I went to Med School in the late 50s. I am more interested in OA since I have developed it myself.
There is a 40-60% hereditary component. My father’s mother had arthritis badly in her hands, as did my mother’s mother, and so on. A lot of genome-correlation work has shown many different genes involved,
But without a single big contributor, OA appears to be “multifactorial”, similar to a lot of common diseases like Diabetes l. Trauma can be a factor. Old sports injuries, like an ACL tear, that you thought a thing of the past, may come back to haunt you in later years.
INFLAMMATION, the most popular explanatory cause of the decade, may be operating in OA. For instance, you can imagine that OBESITY would contribute to hip and knee OA simply through the traumatic force of gravity. But obesity is also a disease of Inflammation, and increases IL-6 and other cytokines as well.
My own OA involves the classic distal 2 interphalangeal joints (go to the wikipedia manekin for a color-representation of OA classic locations). The base of my thumb, neck and back are also a problem.
Strangely, but wonderfully, my “wheels”, the Hips and Knees, are spared. I have exercised a lot in my life. Clearly, you can’t “wear out” your joints with ordinary exercise.
Our joints have evolved to allow us to move. Since bone has a lot of pain fibres, it would be painful to move the joints, directly bone-on-bone. So we have cartilage on the ends of the bones and discs between the vertebrae. The cartilage is slick to reduce friction.
Cartilage has no blood to supply it with nutrients. Instead, it relies on the joint (synovial) fluid. The cartilage is like a sponge. Walking alternately compresses and relaxes the spongy cartilage, increasing the synovial fluid circulation, thus improving the nutrition of the cartilage. If the Cartilage disappears, there is pain.
I am not a fan of pain medication. My belief was strengthened by the side effects of the study of a medication designed to genetically block pain transmission by injection into the painful joints. The side effect was virtual dissolution of the joints in a fraction of those treated. I felt more comfortable with my pain after reading the article.
Although Acetaminophen helps a little, NSAIDs usually work better, perhaps because of their anti-inflammatory action.
If, like me, you have stomach issues, there are the COX-2 inhibitors like Celebrex. The one dose I recently took was almost magical in its effects. Maybe if you don’t use pain Meds much, they work better.
I do take Glucosamine-Chondroitin, thinking that providing building blocks for cartilage couldn’t hurt. Along this line I also EAT CARTILAGE whenever I eat Chicken or ribs, being careful not to damage my teeth in the act of of exercising my jaws.
I also take Curcumin, hoping to relieve some pain, in spite of the fact that it is poorly absorbed (some brave souls take it by injection). I don’t know if any of this helps, How can you know in such a variable disorder, in the absence of controlled studies.
And pain has no OBJECTIVE markers, and is notoriously hard to study. We literally know more about the surface of mars than we know about Pain.
SLEEP, DIET, and EXERCISE, by minimizing OA factors kike OBESITY and INFLAMMATION are the best bet for preventing and treating OA at present.
From Phys.org/Univ. of Michigan (June 9, 2020):
“On a high-sugar diet, we find that the fruit flies’ dopaminergic neurons are less active, because the high sugar intake decreases the intensity of the sweetness signal that comes from the mouth,” Dus said. “Animals use this feedback from dopamine to make predictions about how rewarding or filling a food will be. In the high-sugar diet flies, this process is broken—they get less dopamine neuron activation and so end up eating more than they need, which over time makes them gain weight.”
It is well known that consuming food and drink high in sugar is not great for us, but scientists are continuing to unravel the intricacies of how the sweet stuff drives negative health outcomes. The latest finding comes from researchers at the University of Michigan, who through studies in fruit flies have found that excess amounts of sugar can shut down crucial neural circuits linked to regulating satiety, possibly leading to overeating in humans.
SUGAR IS A POISON.
A novel illustration of sugars’ lethality was the Georgia sugar refinery explosion in 2008, which killed 14 people. Finely ground sugar is flammable.
Sugar appeared early in civilization, but it was expensive, sparing all but the wealthy of its’ depredations, mainly tooth decay. Only with the post WWII expansion of wealth was it consumed excessively to produce the diseases of overeating. The developed world now consumes over 70 pounds of sugar per person, amounting to over 250 CALORIES PER DAY!
This article shows how SUGAR acts like a DRUG In its INTERFERENCE with the DOPAMINERGIC Reward system. The neurons send less signal, so you need MORE SUGAR to satisfy.
The metabolic systems through which overeating and sugar causes the OBESITY, DIABETES, VASCULAR DISEASE and Early DEMENTIA are convoluted.The best detailed explication is in the NEJM article in intermittent fasting, a healthful practice that is the polar opposite of overeating.
Two very important metabolic mechanisms are discussed, the mTOR system and the Sirtuin system. These systems are important for NUTRIENT SENSING and repair, and conserved in all animals. They worked just fine in our early ancestors.
It seems that primitive man was not blessed (or is it cursed) with easy overabundance or food, and actually spent hours or days in Hunger. When times were good, his body put on muscle, and stored fat against the hard times to come. This is called ANABOLISM. When times were bad, his body went into repair mode, and used the fat for energy. This is called CATABOLISM.
Anabolism has evolved expressly for Young Animals, where extra food is welcome for Growth. After the growing and Reproductive years, our Bodies’ evolutionary “warrant” expires, since the genes it carries have already been spread. Our older bodies are left to deal with machinery more suited to an earlier vibrancy. Our metabolism didn’t evolve to deal with the calories we shove into our aging Bodies. Many mechanisms beneficial in the young prove harmful later on. This divergence has been called “ antagonistic pleiotropy”.
Whatever the explanation, the observation remains: if adults eat more than they can use, they gain weight. With insufficient exercise, this weight is fat. With excessive fat, the joints, blood vessels, liver, heart and brain suffer, and lifespan is shortened.
RETHINK YOUR LIFESTYLE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. AVOIDING SUGAR, and ALL THINGS CONTAINING SUGAR is as good a place as any to start. You will be rewarded by being able to fully taste and enjoy the natural sweetness of many REAL FOODS, and afforded a longer life to partake in this pleasure.
We observed that increased adherence to the MedDiet modulates specific components of the gut microbiota that were associated with a reduction in risk of frailty, improved cognitive function and reduced inflammatory status.
Dr Philip Smith, Digital and Education Editor of Gut and Consultant Gastroenterologist at the Royal Liverpool Hospital interviews Professor Paul O’Toole; who is Professor of Microbial Genomics, Head of School of Microbiology and Principal Investigator in APC Microbiome Ireland, an SFI funded centre at University College Cork, Ireland, on “Mediterranean diet intervention alters the gut microbiome in older people reducing frailty and improving health status: the NU-AGE 1-year dietary intervention across 5 European countries” published in paper copy in Gut in July 2020.
Diet is one of the 3 pillars ( or 4, if you don’t consider intellectual stimulation a form of exercise) of health. And there are 3 prime dimensions to diet: Quality, Quantity, and Timing. This excellent study addresses the Quality of the diet. Vegetables, fruits and whole grains are the foundation.
Dietary Fiber is the main difference between the healthful Mediterranean diet and the highly processed diet so common in America.
How can you be sure you are eating enough fiber? Read on.
On almost all cans and boxes, you will find a nutritional statement, by law. Assuming that the contents are “real food”, and preferably “organic”, look for the “fiber” in grams, and the “calories” in 100’s, and mentally divide the grams of fiber by 100s of calories, and you get a number. Let’s say that your fiber for the day totals “25” gms. and your calories for the day Totals 2500; that is “25” hundred calories. Divide the 25 grams by the 25 hundred calories, and you get “1”. Anything less than 1 is low in fiber.
25 grams of fiber is about the daily recommendation for fiber. 25 hundred calories is a ballpark figure for an average diet.
PORTION SIZE DOESN’T MATTER, since your dividend is a ratio.
The bacteria in your MICROBIOME feed on the fiber, and the higher and more diverse the fiber ( within reason. Hay is high in fiber) the healthier the food.
Blueberries are good for a fruit at 4-5 gms. of fiber per hundred calories. Broccoli is a good vegetable at 10 gms fiber per hundred calories, carrots about 3, and so on.
Sugar is the perfect “bad” food, at no fiber for as many calories as you can pack in. It makes you Want more, and “desensitizes” your taste buds to the natural sweetness of fruit, or even vegetables.
HIGH FIBER foods are MORE FILLING, leading you to eat less.
Civilization and Capitalism pushes too much food and too many calories at us. Overeating , obesity, and many of the modern illnesses is the result.
Generally, fresh fruits and vegetables are preferred, though cooking doesn’t do much harm, other than some vitamin loss that can be replaced.
Whole grain cereals have fiber in addition to other nutrients. Also, the complex carbohydrates in whole grains are released more slowly than wIth refined cereals. This floods your blood less rapidly with glucose, and elicits a Less precipitous insulin response. This results in a lower, healthier “glycemic Index”.
Vegetables, fruits Legumes, seeds, nuts and their oils are the mainstay of the Vegan diet, which is healthful If enough protein and essential fats are ingested.
Fish, eggs, milk and cheeses are other components of the Mediterranean diet.
I take many of my daily Vegetable and fruits and liquefy them in a food blender. Drinking my daily vegetables and fruits is a tasty and convenient way to improve my diet. I Savor individually those items I find most tasty, like nuts, apples, avocado, And fruit in season. This exercises my jaws, which is probably healthy.
YOUR MICROBIOME helps you in many ways that science is just beginning to understand. A healthy Microbiome is a DIVERSE Microbiome. FIBER is the food of the Microbiome, and a diversity in dietary fiber leads to a diverse Microbiome. A diverse, happy Microbiome produces many biological substances, like neurotransmitters, and probably communicates with the brain directly through the gut-brain Axis.
The Podcast on the 1 year Meddiet showed how directly a diet can BENEFIT HEALTH STATUS.
From The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology (June 2020):
Our findings show that the intensive lifestyle intervention led to significant weight loss at 12 months, and was associated with diabetes remission in over 60% of participants and normoglycaemia in over 30% of participants. The provision of this lifestyle intervention could allow a large proportion of young individuals with early diabetes to achieve improvements in key cardiometabolic outcomes, with potential long-term benefits for health and wellbeing.
Type 2 diabetes is affecting people at an increasingly younger age, particularly in the Middle East and in north Africa. We aimed to assess whether an intensive lifestyle intervention would lead to significant weight loss and improved glycaemia in young individuals with early diabetes..Between July 16, 2017, and Sept 30, 2018, we enrolled and randomly assigned 158 participants (n=79 in each group) to the study. 147 participants (70 in the intervention group and 77 in the control group) were included in the final intention-to-treat analysis population. Between baseline and 12 months, the mean bodyweight of participants in the intervention group reduced by 11·98 kg (95% CI 9·72 to 14·23) compared with 3·98 kg (2·78 to 5·18) in the control group (adjusted mean difference −6·08 kg [95% CI −8·37 to −3·79], p<0·0001). In the intervention group, 21% of participants achieved more than 15% weight loss between baseline and 12 months compared with 1% of participants in the control group (p<0·0001). Diabetes remission occurred in 61% of participants in the intervention group compared with 12% of those in the control group (odds ratio [OR] 12·03 [95% CI 5·17 to 28·03], p<0·0001). 33% of participants in the intervention group had normoglycaemia compared with 4% of participants in the control group (OR 12·07 [3·43 to 42·45], p<0·0001)
This article gave an interesting classification of fermented foods, pointing out that with some, like bread and wine, we eat the products of fermentation without the living organisms, while with others like kefir and yogurt, we eat the viable critters also.
Lactobacilli are called probiotics, and are supposed to have health benefits. It is not proven that they do, but at least the lactobacilli use up some of the sugar we would otherwise be eating, and taste good.
The problem with the claim that they diversify and benefit our microbiome, and crowd out the bad germs, is that they do not generally attach to our intestinal walls, and go right through with the rest of our food. They don’t stick around long enough to do any good.
My late wife had a bad infection with a bad actor called Clostridium difficile, which caused her to have a severe, bloody enterocolitis. After the second hospitalization with this affliction, an Infectious disease doctor suggested “culturelle”, which contained a patented Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, which WAS supposedly proven to attach for a while. My wife took this, and never had another attack.
I still take this daily, “on faith”. Gullible me. Fecal transplants are now used effectively for C. Dif. enterocolitis. Avoiding unnecessary antibiotics, which wipe out your normal microbiome, your “good guy competition”, is An even better idea, but seems risky.
BOTTOM LINE: Kefir and yogurt are calorie depleted, and taste good. What is not to like?