GMOs Contributing to Obesity?

There is a huge controversy surrounding GMO foods.  There is concern among GMO critics that these foods are making us obese as the main byproducts of GMOs are fats and sugars mainly high fructose corn syrup.  GMOs are present in many take out meals and processed foods.  The big three GMO foods are corn, soybeans, and canola.  There are other foods like wheat, papaya, sugar beets, and squash to name a few which have also been genetically modified.

Researchers in Norway ran an experiment where they fed GMO foods to one group of rats while the other group ate non-GMO foods.  The rats eating the GMOs were heavier at the end of the study than their counterparts.  The Norwegians also ran a study where they gave GMO fed fish to a group of rats to see what the effects would be.  Interestingly, the results were the same even though the heavier rats did not directly eat the GMO food.  One can make the case that humans are not rats, but the study raises the question of what GMO fed organisms are doing to us when we eat them.

The Academies of Sciences, however, rendered an opinion in 2016 in San Francisco that GMO foods did not contribute to obesity, illness or decreased immunity.

We do know that GMO foods have a higher concentration of pesticides compared to non-GMO foods.

For now, the controversy involving GMOs continues.  I would recommend buying organic until the issue is put to rest.

Wishing you continued success with your weight loss and maintenance, Pablo.

Freeze Dried Poop for Weight Loss

There is a hypothesis being tested to see if eating fecal matter from a thin person will help an obese person shed weight.  No, I am not making this up.

The study is being conducted at the prestigious Mass General Hospital.  For six weeks, some of the twenty patients in the study will eat a tiny amount of poop taken from a thin person and then encapsulated.  The other patients will take a placebo.  The patients will then be followed for twelve months.  If the hypothesis is correct, the patients eating the poop capsules will lose more weight than the patients taking the placebo.

The stool samples are analyzed to make certain that they contain the right type of bacteria.  The fecal matter is provided by a company called OpenBiome.  This company has been providing fecal matter, either in pill form or in its natural form, to physicians for use in fecal transplants in patients suffering from the potentially fatal gastrointestinal infection from Clostridium difficile.  This infection is known as pseudomembranous colitis.  The transplant occurs either by ingesting the pill or having the fecal matter transplanted via colonoscopy.  So there has already been medical precedent for using poop.

There is some evidence that eating poop from a thin person will help the overweight person lose weight.  This is shown by a study conducted in 2013 which transplanted human feces into mice.  The mice given the sample from the overweight subject gained weight while the mice given the sample from the normal weight person maintained a healthy weight.  There is also another study where feces from fat mice are transplanted to thin mice.  The thin mice then gained weight.

Research has shown that obese people have a considerable amount of bacteria in their gastrointestinal tract called Firmicutes, and low numbers of another form of bacteria known as Bacteroidetes.  Weight loss causes an increase in Bacteroidetes and a decrease in Firmicutes.

It is thought by some nutritionists that eating fiber will increase the number of bacteria responsible for keeping you thin.  It’s been known for a long time that eating fiber helps with weight loss by giving the person a feeling of fullness.  Now it appears that the fiber may also be working by encouraging the growth of weight loss bacteria in your gut.

There is still considerable argument about the benefits of eating poop for weight loss.  It is not an approved therapy yet.

Would you really eat poop to get thin?  This is a question that only you can answer.

In my opinion, I would rather exercise and eat the right types of food.   Wishing you success with your weight management and loss, Pablo.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has become one of the latest panaceas for weight loss.  People usually place one to two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in 8 ounces of water, and drink the mixture three times a day prior to meals.  Proponents of this method state that the acid in the vinegar helps break down proteins in your stomach thereby aiding in digestion.  In addition, the vinegar decreases the amount of time that fat remains in your digestive system.  These actions supposedly are part of the reason why people lose weight.  And not only is there overall weight loss, but there is specific weight loss of stomach and belly fat.

Other potential benefits of drinking the vinegar include increasing the body’s immunity, improving blood pressure and heart health, treating kidney stones, improving arthritis, fighting cancer, helping with allergies, and decreasing blood sugar levels (glucose) following a meal.  Of these benefits, decreased glucose is the only one that has been shown to actually occur in preliminary studies.  This could be potentially helpful in people with Type II diabetes mellitus.

If you take a look at the potential side effects, however, the apple cider vinegar actually delays stomach emptying (gastroparesis) leading to abdominal discomfort and bloating.  This goes against the claim that the vinegar actually helps digestion.  Erosion of teeth enamel is also a possible side effect since you are drinking acetic and citric acids.  For people with osteoporosis (thin bones), the vinegar may actually be harmful in that osteoporosis is worsened with this concoction.

Other side effects that can occur are sore throat and esophageal burns and low potassium.  The low potassium (hypokalemia) can cause muscle cramping, and people can even exhibit arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeat) with severe hypokalemia.  Acne and itchy skin (pruritis) can also be side effects of the apple cider vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar is also available in pill form.  It is not known by the advocates of using the apple cider vinegar, however, if the pill form actually helps people lose weight.

Further studies are needed before apple cider vinegar can actually be promoted as a weight loss regimen.  At the present time, the FDA does not approve apple cider vinegar for weight loss.  There is one study that was done in Japan in 2009 that evaluated the weight loss benefits of apple cider vinegar.  One group of patients drank water and the other group drank the vinegar for twelve weeks.  At the end of that time, the group that drank the vinegar lost one to two pounds more than the group which drank the water.  As I mentioned, further studies are needed to evaluate the weight loss claims.

I saw an advertisement recently that recommended combining apple cider vinegar and forskolin for weight loss.  Forskalin, however, has its share of potential side effects as elucidated on one of my posts on this site.  What will they think up next?

As I keep saying, lifestyle modification consisting of eating wisely and exercising is the key to weight loss and maintenance.

Wishing you success in your weight loss and maintenance regimen.  Pablo

Avocado Seed for Weight Loss?

There has recently been some discussion on the internet about eating the avocado seed for weight loss.  Recipes for consuming the avocado seed range from making a tea out of large chunks of the seed to pulverizing the seed and putting the powder into smoothies.  There are a variety of sites which have instructions for preparing the seed for consumption so I won’t go into the details here.

Advocates of using the avocado seed state that some medical conditions such as diarrhea, generalized aches and pains, seizures and thyroid problems, among others, are helped.

It is important to understand that controlled medical studies to substantiate the above claims do not exist at this time.  The California Avocado Commission does not recommend consuming the avocado pit as it is unknown whether the avocado seed is safe to eat.  There is a recommendation, however, that pregnant and breast feeding women avoid eating the avocado as the fruit may decrease milk production.

Ironically, the avocado fruit is a high caloric food so you should avoid eating the fruit on a daily basis if you are watching your weight.  This doesn’t mean that you can’t eat avocado.  Remember, everything in moderation including ingestion of the avocado.

The avocado seed contains the poison cyanide.  The cyanide concentrations, however, are so small that it is safe for human consumption.  Therefore, you don’t have to worry about poisoning yourself if you’re eating the seed.

Ultimately, I would recommend against eating the avocado seed for weight loss and management at this time until there is more data on the subject.

Wishing you continued success with your weight management.  Pablo

Diet Failures

You have heard, and I have mentioned on this website, that there is a tendency to regain the weight that is lost on a diet.  Often, the person winds up being heavier than they were prior to starting the diet.  There is actual research that substantiates this fact.  The results of fourteen studies were published in the journal, American Psychology in 2007, and all fourteen studies concluded that diet (caloric restriction) is not the answer.  The problem with starvation diets revolves around the fact that your body will slow its metabolism in order to conserve calories.  As a consequence, you will gain the weight back after you stop your diet in spite of eating less because your body is conserving calories in response to the starvation.

I mention the findings in this article to encourage you to modify your diet and exercise instead of placing yourself on a diet which will ultimately fail.  There are other articles available if you want to perform further research, but the findings can be confusing.

For example, the American Medical Association (AMA) demonstrated the effectiveness of a higher fat, low carbohydrate diet in a combined American and Canadian weight loss study which followed 7000 patients at intervals of six and twelve months.  The advice given to doctors by the AMA, however, was to recommend the exact opposite to their patients for weight loss.  If there is confusion among the experts, there is bound to be confusion among lay personnel.

I recommend following a diet based on moderation and common sense as explained in the diet section of this site.

Wishing you continued success in your weight loss and maintenance, Pablo.

Garcinia and Forskolin Warnings

Thusfar, taking Garcinia for twelve weeks or less has been studied.  Long term safety of Garcinia is unknown at this time.  This supplement has been associated with nausea, headache, and stomach discomfort.  As I stated in my product reviews, you may wish to use this supplement to lose weight quickly for an upcoming event, but I do not recommend using Garcinia for a long time.  I know that there are several celebrities who are enthusiastic about this product, but like I like to say, buyer beware. There are some concerns about Forskolin as well.  A recent Consumer Review found that some brands of Forskolin contain less than 20% of this ingredient which renders the product less effective.  20% is the recommended standard for each pill in order to effectively produce weight loss.  Forskolin has not been completely studied as far as safety is concerned.  Flushing, cough, tremor, and headache are some of the side effects with this supplement. Every time you turn around, there is a new miracle weight loss pill.  To further confuse the issue, these products are advertised by well known celebrities and, in some cases, physicians. We know what works in the long run.  Diet and exercise are key to weight loss and maintenance.  Don’t be fooled by today’s latest and greatest solution to your weight management.  I’m sure something else will surface in a few months that is the “answer” to losing weight. Wishing you continued success in your pursuit of weight loss and management.  Pablo