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Introduction

If the body becomes physiologically, chemically, or psychologically out of balance overtime it can cause disease including OBESITY. This imbalance is certainly caused by prescription medications,poor dietary choices, toxicity, excessive sugar intake, sedentary lifestyle and poor functioning organs including endocrine organs that can cause hormonal imbalance. Most believe that we can eat what we like, and food is a pleasure, which it is, but biologically, food is simply a fuel to keep our cellular energy factory’s working. Like any system, it is designed to function under particular conditions and if an overload occurs anywhere within the chain of sub processes then something is going to snap. The human body is no different, it is designed to function efficiently within certain parameters. However the body is wonderfully dynamic and adaptable, unlike a man made process that will buckle under extremes, the body adapts by building physical ‘add-ons’ to maintain stability, and keep the energy factorys going.  However it has its limits and whatever is consumed has to end up somewhere, and in the normal order of things it should always follow the normal cycle of consumption-digestion-nutrient enrichment-energy-waste elimination. If this cycle is broken or becomes a weak link in the cycle, than the body has to adapt dynamically to the new conditions. Food and Beverage corporation would have you believe that all the obese people on the planet are just simply overeating and not exercising enough, and that there is nothing wrong with the processed and fast food that is readily available in abundance..you’re just eating too much of it. Well, wouldn’t things be much easier to fix the obesity crisis if indeed this was true, just moderate your intake..problem fixed. How can it not be true, medical health care take little interest in counselling patients in dietary and lifestyle habits..and look what’s being sold in hospital vending machines..sugary snacks, chip, sodas etc…if this type of food is on sale in a hospital then it must be ok. The grocery shelves are stacked with processed food so it can’t be bad, Pizza Hut,Dominos Pizza, McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy’s and many more are selling millions of meals everyday, but I don’t see people dropping like flies on the street, so fast food can’t be all that bad either. Let us now get back to reality and discuss the reasons why the body gains weight.


Sugar I

If only we could turn back the hands of time and sugar remained a luxury and not developed into a substance that has become a cheap pervasive, very available product. Before mass production of sugar cane in the caribbean, and the slave trade in the 18th century, it was a luxury item during the 16th century costing as much as caviar today. Although, sugar is not a required nutrient for the body and even if you consumed no sugar at all there is about 1 teaspoon of sugar that is always present in the human body. Palatability and cravings has made this substance a human necessity, as in the title of these articles ‘The brain has been taken prisoner’. With the vast array of candies and sweets and pastries that have been developed, John Yudkin puts it ‘malnutrition of affluence’ referring to the dissociation of palatability and nutrition. A 100 years ago the annual sugar consumption was 3-4 pounds (approx 1.3-1.8 kilos)/person. Now it is in the range of 150 pounds(68 kilos)/person. Sugar is a digestible carbohydrate, where dietary carbohydrates consist of sugars and starches. Natural fruit is made up of Fructose and some glucose and sucrose. Sucrose is sugar as we know it. Lactose ( a disaccharide) in milk is made up of 2 monosaccharide sugars referred to as a disaccharide which is broken down in the body into glucose and galactose. There is always some glucose floating around the bloodstream which it receives from sugar, starch metabolism,absorption, and once sugar levels are normal, any excess sucrose is converted into a Polysaccharide ( several monosaccharide sugars) called Glycogen and stored in liver and muscle cells for later use if the glucose levels fall in the bloodstream. We don’t put on weight because we eat too many vegetables, eggs, meat or fish, it’s always the cakes, biscuits, cookies waffles, pastries, pizza and candy, beer and sugar soda. Of course somebody is going to reach for a chocolate bar or a doughnut to eat for a snack, not to satisfy hunger but pleasure, and they are not going to reach out for a floret of broccoli or cauliflower for pleasure.

The vicious cycle of Consumption – Disease – Addiction

I wish I could tell you that eating excessive refined sugar does not induce weight gain but it does. The Sugar Association would have you believe that ‘Sugar works for you with each bite you eat, since sugar is the fuel your body burns for energy’, which is true, but its glucose not sucrose that is the body fuel supply. Excessive Fructose and/or sucrose is going to get stored in the body as fat in adipose tissue; even fructose from natural fruit will cause you to gain weight if you do not provide a means to burn off the excess, but its not calories in vs calories out that’s going to work for most people, it’s simply the reduction of calories in.. Given particular circumstances, eating a piece of fruit like a banana can give you additional energy in 10-15 minutes after consuming it. On occasion after playing tennis for an hour I find myself feeling weak from low blood glucose so eating a banana restarts my engines and I am good for the rest of the match. The problem begins when 500, 1000 or even 1500 calories are taken as sugar every day that soon adds up, hidden in that piece of pizza, in that sauce I had for lunch. The sugar industry tried to convince people that eating was controlled by the level of your blood glucose, and in fact as I have experienced low blood sugar makes you very hungry as well as fatigued. What is most important is the type of calorie that is consumed which will make or break the belt around the waistline. Without a doubt, man manipulated sucrose is pure nutritionless, empty carbohydrates which will cause the consumer to gain weight especially with the nutrient deficient consumer which is practically everybody in western societies.

The Leptin/Insulin relationship

This vicious cycle, biologically, occurs when the pancreatic hormone insulin saturates the bloodstream from excessive sugar consumed by the host. Excessive sugar intake also saturates the bloodstream that the body has to shunt to the cells to normalize glucose blood levels. Simultaneously, another hormone called leptin is also secreted into the bloodstream by the adipocytes which are adipose (fat ) cells to signal satiety. The official purpose for leptin is to regulate energy homeostasis and body weight, although current research has discovered leptin’s role in the reward, motivation, learning and memory systems of the body. In addition, leptin plays a role in autonomic function such as vomiting and sneezing through its connection to the solitary nucleus located in the medulla oblongata of the brainstem. In the case of weight control, its purpose is to regulate fat cell ( adipose tissue ) mass and inform the hypothalamus that the host has reached a level of satiety and to inhibit further food intake. This signal is shown in the diagram below in pink which activates ‘signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3 gene), which is responsible for gene regulation involved in cell growth, division. movement and apoptosis. The leptin signal opposes the insulin signal which is attempting to eliminate the glucose in the blood by converting it into fat storage. The insulin hormone signal uses P13/Akt mTOR pathway ( mTOR refers to ‘mammalian Target Of Rapamycin’), an integrative signaling pathway for both intracellular and extracellular signals to centrally regulate metabolism, growth, proliferation and survival. This pathway exists within the cell plasma Membrane. The diagram also shows specific neurons (POMC, NPY) within the hypothalamus lateral area that process insulin and leptin signals, and ultimately inhibit food intake once the required satiety levels have been reached.

The crux of the matter..the cause of weight gain in terms of excess calorie intake

Since the leptin signal is the OFF switch to stop people eating excessively, it becomes blocked by the constant activation of the insulin signal which is the ON switch to keep eating which remains high, disabling the leptin OFF switch. As we stated before the individual becomes addicted and craves for the high sugar carbohydrate food in processed and fast food not realising that the very food they are consuming is spiking the insulin signal permanently causing insulin resistance. In addition the hypothalamic reward circuitry is triggering the need to overeat.


A calorie is a calorie..is a calorie…is a sugar..is a calorie

Have you even stepped into a Starbucks coffee shop and ordered a 16 oz grande Frappuccino. This beverage ‘weighs-in’ at 470 calories delivering 75 grams of sugar = 15 teaspoons of sugar ( recommended daily intake max # of teaspoons of sugar is 9). A 24 oz Venti is 590 calories delivering 97 grams of sugar = 19.4. Remember what I said earlier, the liver reaches a fructose metabolism threshold at approximately 30 grams /day which is roughly equal to 60 grams of sugar ( since sugar is 50% sucrose and 50% fructose)…you have just blown it with one beverage. Then at lunch you decide to order a hamburger ( big mac from Mcdonalds for example), large fries and a large soda = 85 grams of Sugar, and a coffee break you decide to have a doughnut which is about 12g of sugar for a plain doughnut, and then you decide to take it easy and just have soup and you consume a 15,5 oz Campbell’s slow kettle tomato & sweet basil bisque and then you look at the packaging and find that this has 290 calories delivering 24 grams of sugar/cup, but 1 cup = 8 fluid oz so you have consumed nearly 16 oz = 48 grams of sugar. From this example, it is easy to see how your daily sugar intake can mount up to unacceptable levels.  However, a survey of American food trends and the growing obesity epidemic was conducted in 2011 by Shao & Voon Shin and concluded :

‘Our analysis showed that total calorie intake and consumption of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) did not correlate with rising obesity trends. Intake of other major food types, including chicken, dairy fats, salad and cooking oils, and cheese also did not correlate with obesity trends. However, our results surprisingly revealed that consumption of corn products correlated with rising obesity and was independent of gender and race/ethnicity among population dynamics in the U.S.’

This survey was conducted in 2011 when approximately 937 million adults were considered overweight and a further 396 million were obese worldwide. Their conclusions stated that the notion of particular nutrients or food sources that might influence obesity is controversial, even though they confirmed that in a previous mice study, the mice gained weight after being given HFCS ladened water. They also found correlation between rising obesity levels and the consumption of corn products, but not with HFCS, but HFCS is a corn product?. They also applied statistical tools like Pearson’s Coefficient to acquire some type of trend analysis of food types and obesity, but obesity is a biological problem not a statistical problem. Many, if not all of these obesity studies never mention the health of the obese subjects, making this erroneous correlation between obesity and burning off the excess by exercise. OBESE PEOPLE ARE SICK AND UNHEALTHY, HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY TALK ABOUT EXERCISE UNTIL THE PERSON BECOMES HEALTHY AGAIN…SO HEALTH FIRST THEN EXERCISE. The absolute first treatment is to lower their insulin level to allow the Leptin hormone to function. In the following articles we will discuss the treatment protocol for obesity.

Conclusions

I believe that we can all agree that Obesity is not a disease, but a biological imbalance caused by excess consumption of man made food products that is unhealthy, nutritionless and from a biological aspect poisonous to the human body. As I stated before, man made processed food creates Racemization ( the mixture of both enantiomeric pairs which does not exist in nature) and the formation of cross-linked amino acids such as Lysinoalanine and ornithine alanine, which basically convert L-Amino acids to D-analogues producing indigestible proteins and foodstuff that are of poor nutritional quality. The bioengineering that is applied to these man made foods are designed to put the hypothalamic reward centre in overdrive creating an unnatural craving for the food causing the consumer to binge eat. Furthermore, as more insulin builds up in the blood the less likely the Leptin hormone that is responsible for inhibiting food intake once satiety is reached will ever be triggered. This situation causes a vicious cycle of consumption-disease-addiction. The next article we will continue the topic of how we get fat, further dangers of sugar, and excess adipose tissue does to the body’s biological processes. We will also discover that the formation of obesity goes deeper biologically than just the leptin/insulin relationship.

“People have rather an erroneous idea, probably gathered from Dickens’s Fat Boy in ‘Pickwick,’ that corpulent people have none of the finer feelings and are of a lethargic and dull comprehension. This is altogether a mistake, as many a poor corpulent lady can tell you. When she ascends a crowded omnibus on a hot summer’s day every one of the indignant glances levelled at her by her more fortunate sisters are as so many little dagger thrusts of mortification, though her ruddy complexion and defiant stentorian breathing may seem to belie the truth of these words.”

Taken from an 1893 edition of Charles Dickens’ weekly literary magazine All the Year Round


Check out the previous articles in this series :

The Brain has been taken prisoner – Obesity Part I: How did we get here

 

References/Acknowledgments :

  1. The Health benefits of sugarcane Health Benefits times.com
  2. Pure White & Deadly John Rudkin
  3. Leptin signaling in brain: A link between nutrition and cognition? Christopher Morrison 2008 Sciencedirect
  4. POMC/NPY, P13/AKT/mTOR Pathway, STAT3, Arcuate nucleus, Medulla Oblongata, Nucleus of the solitary tract Wikipedia
  5. Possible Integrative Actions of Leptin and Insulin Signaling in the Hypothalamus Targeting Energy Homeostasis. Thon, Hosoi, Ozawa 2016 NCBI
  6. 30 Foods With More Sugar Than a Donut Feb 2017 Eat this, not that
  7. Eat wheat Book 2017 Dr John Douillard
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