As someone who was around in the ’50s and ’60s when there was less obesity, I have to tell you that diets were not that good. TV dinners, Wonder bread, instant mashed potatoes, fish-sticks and whole milk predominated and vegetables tended towards the overcooked. Food was cooked in Crisco, full of trans fats, and cotton seed oils. Fresh vegetables came in during the late 60s, but predominated on the coasts. There was less soda and no high fructose corn syrup, and portion sizes were somewhat smaller, but the caloric difference may not be enough to explain why we have an epidemic of infant obesity today that we didn’t then. And I doubt that the babies today are doing any less exercise, although their older siblings may be indoors on computers more instead of riding bikes. Continue reading Chemicals and Obesity: What if it isn’t all your fault?
An article by John Cloud, Why Exercise Won’t Make You Thin on Time.com misses the point of why exercise is important. It is true that exercise only burns an infinitesimal number of calories. If you are into the calories in, calories out frame of mind, you will need to exercise for 10 hours to cover a Big Mac. 20 minutes of jogging barely covers a small chocolate chip cookie. It isn’t even a matter of converting fat to muscle: if you converted 10 pounds of fat to muscle, you would be able to burn an extra 40 calories a day, which isn’t that much. No, the reason to exercise is metabolic, and you need to match that with metabolic eating.
Say you eat an apple which is all sucrose and some fiber. Half of sucrose is glucose and 76% of that burns off at the first pass while 24 % of it goes into the liver where most of it is stored as glycogen and the rest powers mitochondria for energy. Maybe a half a calorie goes through the TCA cycle which will turn into VLDL cholesterol, used to store fat. The other half is fructose of which 72% goes into the liver. The breakdown products of this fructose in the liver is far more pernicious, including uric acid which causes gout and hypertension, but more importantly Continue reading Time Article Misses the Point of Exercise in Weight Loss
The video by Robert Lustig of UCSF is extremely interesting, but wonky. If you work in health care or are dealing with blood sugar issues, I highly recommend listening. I do anyway. But here are the highlights for the rest of you:
- We have a worldwide epidemic of obese six month olds. Yes, 6 months. So it isn’t all about more food in and less exercise out.
- Americans now eat 141 pounds of sugar per year, 63 pounds of which is high fructose corn syrup and over half of which is fructose in all forms.
- A calorie is not a calorie. Some calories are nutritious, some are merely empty, some are poisonous.
- If we are consuming 275 extra calories a day compared to 20 years ago, it is because our regulatory hormones like leptin are not stopping us. We had as much food available 50 years ago, but less obesity. Something in us changed.
- And it isn’t our fat consumption, which has dropped. Fat dropped significantly after 1992 when the food pyramid was established, suggesting we increase our carbohydrate consumption.
This is a very funny and informative video on Vitamin D, with images that will stick with you. (I especially liked his publication strategy to get new patients.)
- Infant chimps, which we have already seen need similar Vitamin D to humans can take 5000 iu per day.
- Collagen without sufficient Vitamin D is like putting Jello in water- it gets softer and can’t support the bones.
- Iguana owners have a better idea of Vitamin D needs than most doctors. (And the pictures of Vitamin D deficient iguanas will stick with you.)
- Vitamin D is responsible for regulating the blood pressure hormone rennin, and for combating elevated levels of C-reactive protein in your body.
- Malignant melanoma usually appears in areas without exposure to sun, and working out of doors lowers your malignant melanoma rate.
- Squamous cell skin cancer is the only cancer that occurs more in sunbathers, the ones that will kill you are lower.
- Vitamin D toxicity occurred in a Florida lawyer who was taking 1 million iu of Vitamin D for two years due to a manufacturing accident. When they gave him a diuretic and kept him out of the sun for a month, it reversed.
- While tanning bed enthusiasts get more cancer, they also have higher bone density.
Lots more and hard information:
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Fatty liver is now recognized as the most common cause of abnormal liver function tests in the western world. Around one in five persons in the USA has a fatty liver and it is poised to be as big a disease as diabetes. Fatty liver is usually associated with abdominal obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Fatty liver may be associated with or may lead to inflammation of the liver. This can cause scarring and hardening of the liver. When scarring becomes extensive, it is called cirrhosis, and this is a very serious condition which can lead to liver failure. Continue reading What is Fatty Liver and How Can Chinese Medicine Help?