Specialized Topics  
 Appetite Control    
 Appetite Hormones
 Weight Loss Genes
 Eating & Sex         
 Ghrelin & Leptin     
 Dr K's Diet            

Activating the Good Genes To Help You Lose Weight

Increasing physical activity level, including exercise, adjusts your hormone levels, resulting in lower blood pressure and protection against type 2 diabetes. The primary effect is through weight loss. To be successful in losing weight you must remove the good and bad connotations from food. There are only beneficial foods, not harmful foods. Any whole food is good for you.

While some foods should be used sparingly, as I mentioned, the media has demonize food. For example, if it’s junk and high fat, it is evil and can kill you or give you a heart attack. Yet meat is supposed to be “safe” if it’s from cage-free chickens or labeled organic.

Are you really healthier if you eat organic meat, or is this belief the result of meat marketing?  Does organic meat have less fat than non-organic? Isn’t all fat the same? Can certain fats like fish oils actually help you lose weight?

Food is only one part contributing to the obesity problem. How much and what you select to eat plays a major role in appetite control. Did you know that margarine made with palm oils is less heart safe than that made with polyunsaturated vegetable oil.

I recommend you eat fat from grape seeds, which has greater amounts of antioxidants and is more digestible than corn oil. The type of fat really matters. In 2006, the country of Denmark banned trans fats from all foods. In 2008, the United States lowered the amounts of trans fats that are “ considered safe” in only a few states?

Even foods labeled “ZERO TRANS FATS” still contain some trans fats. Any foods with this label should be avoided since these are basically processed junk food. But what is it about these high-calorie-low nutrition foods that appeals to so many people?

It’s mostly the taste and mouth feel. There are well paid researchers who spend their entire professional lives making food taste better through chemical adulteration. Though your taste buds are tricked and titillated by these taste enhancers, inevitably it is your brain and the comfortable memories you link to fatty foods that encourages you to eat, even if you are not hungry.

What most people don’t know is that our over-stimulated brain is the major contributing factor in developing obesity or the metabolic syndrome.   So why do we eat sweets or fats if we aren’t being hungry?

Sugar is a very potent substance much like another white powder abused by Americans. Sugar becomes addicting by stimulating the serotonin system, which responds by promoting the storage of sugar as fat for future energy. But carbohydrates need not be purified into white sugar and flour. If these foods are eaten in their original form as sugar cane, honey, maple syrup or whole beets, they provide all the essential elements needed to metabolize them.

Once carbohydrates are processed or fried in oil or butter, they become even more delectable and delicious.  Now they are able to deliver higher and more concentrated fat calorie loads.  In this way fried foods create more addiction.

Furthermore, the additional fats and sweets are more likely to be stored as fat.  Fat cravings fire up those cytokines that make you feed your fat cells.  If you are not conscious, you become a fat factory. Counting your calories really helps you know where you are.

The problem results because the extra fat tissue that develops is a source of a variety of biologically active factors involved in the regulation of your energy balance and sugar metabolism. That means fat cells make you eat more to keep them stuffed. Cut down on your fat and don’t eat fried food.

Delicious nuts and berries provide a great advantages in preventing the metabolic syndrome. Preliminary results from an Italian study suggest that a Mediterranean diet improves levels of cholesterol, blood glucose and blood pressure.

In particular, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with 15 grams of walnuts, 7.5 grams of hazelnuts and 7.5 grams of almonds per day appeared to provide a long-term 50 percent reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease.

This diet's high fiber content and generous omega fatty acids is rich in antioxidants, as well as phytochemicals from olive oil, legumes, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables has a beneficial effect in metabolic syndrome patients.

Doubtless you understand by now that you eat for many reasons besides hunger. The pleasurable feelings you get from eating smooth and creamy foods may not be quite as good as sex, but they are close. Ask some women about their favorite chocolate and you will get a glimmering of what I mean. Some women say chocolate is even better than sex.

But chocolate is mostly cream, sugar and cocoa. If you cut down on your intake of white sugar and try to use brown sugar, if you have to use sugar at all, you will feel less hungry. If you miss chocolate, indulge yourself in dark chocolate every time you lose 10 pounds.

In reality the flooding of your liver with the free fatty acids from high-fat cream contributes to a slower metabolism and creates what is known as a “proinflammatory state”. This is measurable as C-reactive protein, an effective marker of inflammation, which can be reduced by increasing fiber in the diet and avoiding fatty foods.

Bear in mind that being fat is very dangerous to anyone’s health. This metabolic mess can cause heart attacks, diabetes and premature death. To be successful in activating the good genes that prevent metabolic melt-down you need to learn to control your weight. These are some of the reasons for rampant obesity in mid-America.

I mentioned that Symlin®, a synthetic amylin, has been used by some doctors in obese non-diabetics to decrease appetite and promote weight loss. The very company that manufactures Symlin and Byetta®, is also working on a leptin analogue. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leptin. In the future doctors can help you lose, with new chemical appetite regulators.  

Reversal of the metabolic syndrome requires a combination of techniques, which can decrease inflammation. You have learned how a healthy eating pattern and physical activity accomplish this goal. These behaviors require burning energy and let’s face it most humans are lazy. By nature, we would rather lie around eating and having sex like other animals.

Luckily you don’t have to get up and hunt for your food. Take-out can be delivered to your door or served at every pizza stand or holiday meal. Some folks actually cook and watch what they eat, but most prefer not to.

Many Americans are too busy to take the time to exercise because the rewards are not as immediate as they are with fast food. The soporific  spacy feeling that chocolate gives some people’s brains is very seductive and hard to resist. It is this same feeling that overeaters get as the grow their fat cells.

These fat cells want to perpetuate themselves and keep gorging. They affect the hormones; predominantly insulin, glucagon and cortisol that directly monitor blood sugar. At the same time leptin and ghrelin play a critical role in normalizing appetite. 

But it gets even more complicated since these hormones also trigger the release of our self-regulating brain neurotransmitters like norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin. These neurotransmitters exchange signals affecting our desire for food and make us eat till we feel full.

It is the balance in this exchange that helps you to keep your weight stable. Once the energy stability is disrupted, it takes an entirely new approach to restore your equilibrium. This is where exercise comes in.

Exercise helps control appetite. The lowered eating behavior decreases the activity of the endocannabinoid system (ECS).   In the next decade, physicians will see stunning shifts in the treatment of obesity, in large part due to the discovery of the endocannabinoid system. But ultimately, long-term weight loss will always remain a matter of cutting back on calories and increasing activity.

Is it possible that in the future certain medications might provide that chemical courage needed to stick with a diet program, but it won’t last. Any medication for appetite control is required for a lifetime for it to remain effective. The majority of Americans today will still die from their obesity, despite knowing that premature death is the inevitable outcome.  

Pedersen JI, et al. Palm oil versus hydrogenated soybean oil: effects on serum lipids and plasma haemostatic variables. Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Department of Nutrition, University of Oslo, P.O.Box 1046 Blindern, N-0316 Oslo, Norway. j.i.pedersen@basalmed.uio.no . A palm oil based margarine is, however, less favourable than one based on a more polyunsaturated vegetable oil.

Charlene Laino , Trans Fats Up Heart Disease Risk/ WebMD Health News 2006. © 2006 WebMD Inc. Nov. 15, 2006 (Chicago) .American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2006, Nov. 12-15, 2006, Chicago. Qi Sun, MD, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston. Ray Gibbons, MD, AHA president; professor of medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Mozaffarian, D. The New England Journal of Medicine, April 13, 2006; vol. 354: pp 1601-1613.

Pagotto U, et al. The emerging role of the endocannabinoid system in endocrine regulation and energy balance. Endocr Rev. 2006;27:73-100.

Esposito K, Ceriello A, Giugliano D. Diet and the metabolic syndrome. Metab Syndr Relat Disord. 2007 Dec;5(4):291-6.

Zarich SW.Metabolic syndrome, diabetes and cardiovascular events: current controversies and recommendations. Minerva Cardioangiol. 2006 Apr;54(2):195-214. pszari@bpthosp.org.

Dimarzo V, Matias I. Endocannabinoid control of food intake and energy balance. Nat Neurosci.2005;8:585-89.

Pagotto U, Vicennati V, Pasquali R. The endocannabinoid system and the treatment of obesity. Ann Med. 2005;37(4):270-5.




Copyright © 2006-2009, Abraham H Kryger, MD, DMD.

Contact the Doctor: DrK@wellnessmd.com

Disclaimer: This book is for people in whom being overweight contributes to poor health and interferes with a desired, active lifestyle.  It is recommended that you consult your own physician before using any of the medications or supplements discussed in this book. The plans are not for everyone, Wellness MD on the Web does not warranty the results and shall have no liability for information provided on this or any other Internet website. The recommendations for dietary supplements are only for health purposes.  This information is provided solely as a guideline to be used when discussing a weight loss program with a medical professional.