Smart-Snacking

Smart Snacking: Small portions and wait 15 minutes

Written by Leah Miranda on . Posted in Blog, From the Desk of Dr. Carson

In addressing cravings, there is often a controversy whether one should resist and abstain from snacking on tasty foods or to honor and satisfy the urge. Brian Wansink provides some interesting insight on this dilemma.

Individuals were presented either large or small portions of tasty snacks. The large portion consisted of 100 grams of chocolate chips, 200 grams of apple pie and 80 grams of potato chips totaling 1370 calories. The smaller portion consisted of 10 grams of chocolate chips, 40 grams of apple pie and 10 grams of potato chips totaling 195 calories. The participants were given as much time as needed to consume the snacks. Individuals were asked to rate hunger and cravings before the food was presented and 15 minutes after the taste test ended.

Individuals with access to smaller amounts had similar feelings of satisfaction as those exposed to larger amounts as both reported significantly less cravings. However, those presented larger portions had a mean intake of 103 (77%) more calories. This suggest that smaller portions can lead to a decline in hunger and desire and would help people limit food intake. Eating a smaller portion of palatable snack foods satisfies you just as much as a large portion. A small amount satisfies and does not magnify hunger and craving tendencies.

The message is to take a few bites, wait 15 minutes and your head and stomach will remember you had a tasty snack. This study does not address the emotional state of the participants nor their history of binge eating. It does provide some insight as to how a more flexible and permissive approach to satisfying cravings may eventually be implemented.


Reference: Van Kleef , Shimizu M and Wansink B Just a bite: Considerably smaller snack  portions satisfy delayed hunger and craving Food Quality and Preference(2013) 27: 96-100

The Second Brain: Beyond Gut Feelings (Part III)

Written by Dr. Ralph E. Carson on . Posted in Blog, From the Desk of Dr. Carson

Mood food connection

A MET receptor gene is found in brain regions tied to our socialization skills. Social withdrawal, irritability and repetitive behavior are symptoms of autism. A disruption of the MET signal or decreased MET protein expression contributes to an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder.

In autistic children, MET receptor function decreases brain development and gastrointestinal repair (Campbell-McBride ’09). Discovering why behavioral issues are exacerbated by gastrointestinal disturbances could provide insights to treatments for autism (Chaidez ’13).

The mood and food connection

In one study, individuals with nasogastric tubes were subjected to MRI scans. Researchers focused on parts of the brain that are active during stress. When melancholy music was played through earphones and saline was pumped through the tubes, there was no dampening of the neural response. Decreased neural activity was observed when fatty acid solutions were pumped through the tubes. Mood improved and hunger decreased with the presence of fatty acids in the gut (van Undenhauer ’11). This is a prime example of the connection between mood and food intake.

To compensate for these negative reactions to food ingredients, some foods contribute to healthy brain function. Live cultures in yogurt can create less activity in the emotional hyperactive brain regions. However, it is not known if this effect is beneficial. Sulfates serve a useful purpose by detoxifying metabolites of brain neurotransmitters. Toxins that originate in the gut, thus making the sulfate unable to perform a valuable function, can consume sulfates. Bacteria can also metabolize food sulfates into sulfite, as hydrogen sulfite is a toxic compound.


References:
Campbell-McBride Put Your Heart in Your Mouth Medinform Publishing (2007)
Campbell DB et al Distinct genetic risk based on association of MET in families with co-occurring autism and gastrointestinal conditions Pediatrics (2009) 123: 1018 – 1024
Campbell-McBride N Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAP Syndrome or GAPS) http://www.gaps.me/?page_id
Campbell-McBride N Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia Medinform Publishing (2010)
Chaidez V et al Gastrointestinal Problems in Children with Autism, Developmental Delays or Typical Development J Autism Dev Disord (2013 Nov 6)
Kang DW et al Reduced incidence of Prevotella and other fermenters in intestinal microflora of autistic children PLoS One (2013) 8:e68322
Labus JS et al Impaired Emotional Learning and Involvement of the Corticotropin-Releasing Factor Signaling System in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome Gastroenterology (2013 august 13)
Neufeld, F Effects of gut microbiasota on the brain: Implications for Psychiatry Rev Psyciatr Neurosci (2009) 34: 230 – 231
Neufeld, F Effects of gut microbiasota on the brain: Implications for Psychiatry J Psychiatry Neurosci (2009) 34 (3): 230 – 231
Rodriguez T Gut Bacteria may Exacerbate Depression: Microbes that escape the digestive tract may alter mood Scientific American Mind (Noverber/December 2013) 24:9
Rodriguez T Ulcer Bacteria Linked to Cognitive Decline Scientific American Mind (November/December 2013) 24:9
Tack J et al A controlled crossover study of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor citalopram in irritable bowel syndrome Gut (2006) 55: 1095 – 1103
Tillisch K and Labus JS Advances in imaging the brain-gut axis: functional gastrointestinal disorders Gastroenterology (2011) 140: 407 – 411
Tillisch K et al Consumption of fermented milk product with probiotic modulates brain activity Gastroenterology (2013) 144: 1394 – 1401
Van Oudenhove et al Fatty acid – induced gut brain signaling attenuates neural behavioral effects of sad emotions in humans J Clin Invest (2011) 121: 3094 – 3099

The Second Brain: Beyond Gut Feelings (Part II)

Written by Dr. Ralph E. Carson on . Posted in Blog, From the Desk of Dr. Carson

gut feeling

Image via http://www.ipgcounseling.com/growing_4.html

Foreign microbes that are known as clostridia are often present in the foods we eat. Clostridia are capable of escaping the defense mechanisms of our digestive tract and enter the blood stream though leaky gaps. This can activate the immune system and an inflammatory response. Additionally, these contaminants can cross the blood brain barrier, triggering depression and fatigue (Rodriguez ’13).

Studies reveal up to 85 percent of depressed patients experience leaks in their intestinal barriers. Bacteria also digest foods that produce toxins that are absorbed into the blood stream and enter the brain, which alters production of neurotransmitters and affects regions of the brain associated with emotions (Tillisch ’13; Labus ’13). Autoantibodies that attack the nervous system are also created from foreign invaders.

Gluteomorphins and casomorphins are byproducts of wheat and dairy that are similar in structure to opiates (morphine and heroin). These opiates are capable of crossing the blood brain barrier and interfering negatively with brain function. Children with autism and schizophrenia often do not digest milk and gluten properly and their guts are full of abnormal microbes.

Gut microbes and mental development

Several phenomenon related to gut microbes have been linked to autism (Kang ’13). For example, there are fewer types of gut bacteria in autistic children. Typically, 30 percent of children with autism experience lots of gastrointestinal problems, such as chronic diarrhea, constipation, esophageal reflux, IBS and ulcers that last into adulthood (Campbell-Mc’10). This association could result from damage to the gut lining, which allows neuron toxins to penetrate and enter the brain and affect mental development. An unusual dietary pattern results in 8 percent greater sensitivity to certain foods, which may also explain these abdominal symptoms.

Last week: The Second Brain: Beyond Gut Feelings (Part I)

Next week: The Second Brain: Beyond Gut Feelings (Part III)


References:
Campbell-McBride Put Your Heart in Your Mouth Medinform Publishing (2007)
Campbell DB et al Distinct genetic risk based on association of MET in families with co-occurring autism and gastrointestinal conditions Pediatrics (2009) 123: 1018 – 1024
Campbell-McBride N Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAP Syndrome or GAPS) http://www.gaps.me/?page_id
Campbell-McBride N Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia Medinform Publishing (2010)
Chaidez V et al Gastrointestinal Problems in Children with Autism, Developmental Delays or Typical Development J Autism Dev Disord (2013 Nov 6)
Kang DW et al Reduced incidence of Prevotella and other fermenters in intestinal microflora of autistic children PLoS One (2013) 8:e68322
Labus JS et al Impaired Emotional Learning and Involvement of the Corticotropin-Releasing Factor Signaling System in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome Gastroenterology (2013 august 13)
Neufeld, F Effects of gut microbiasota on the brain: Implications for Psychiatry Rev Psyciatr Neurosci (2009) 34: 230 – 231
Neufeld, F Effects of gut microbiasota on the brain: Implications for Psychiatry J Psychiatry Neurosci (2009) 34 (3): 230 – 231
Rodriguez T Gut Bacteria may Exacerbate Depression: Microbes that escape the digestive tract may alter mood Scientific American Mind (Noverber/December 2013) 24:9
Rodriguez T Ulcer Bacteria Linked to Cognitive Decline Scientific American Mind (November/December 2013) 24:9
Tack J et al A controlled crossover study of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor citalopram in irritable bowel syndrome Gut (2006) 55: 1095 – 1103
Tillisch K and Labus JS Advances in imaging the brain-gut axis: functional gastrointestinal disorders Gastroenterology (2013) 144: 1394 – 1401
Van Oudenhove et al Fatty acid – induced gut brain signaling attenuates neural behavioral effects of sad emotions in humans J Clin Invest (2011) 121: 3094 – 3099

The Second Brain: Beyond Gut Feelings (Part I)

Written by Dr. Ralph E. Carson on . Posted in Blog, From the Desk of Dr. Carson

With over 100 million neurons and a vast assortment of neurotransmitters present in the brain, the gut truly has a mind of its own—and our stress levels can alter the composition of our gut population of bacteria.

The ever-harmful symptoms of stressStress

When we experience stress, the central nervous system sends a signal from the brain and the stress hormone known as cortisol is released, which contributes to gut symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea and nausea. Changes in cortisol affect chronic anxiety disorders and irritable bowel syndrome (Tillish ’11, Labus ’13).

Gastrointestinal illness is commonly connected to behavioral health illnesses. Antidepressant drugs are commonly used for IBS treatment. 20 milligrams of Citalopram, for example, can effectively reduce abdominal symptoms of diarrhea, constipation nausea and pain (Tack ’06).

Two strains of bacteria support a link between gut microbes and stress. Lactobacillus helvisticus and Bifidobacterium longus are diminished during the administration of a stressful exam. However, they are present in higher concentrations during periods of reduced stress and anxiety.

High concentrations of Heliobacteria pylori (or H. pylori) that are capable of escaping the gut and entering the brain can inhibit memory, cognitive abilities and IQ. Aggregates of H. pylori are frequently found in cases of Alzheimer’s disease.

Next week: The Second Brain: Beyond Gut Feelings (Part II)


 

References:
Campbell-McBride Put Your Heart in Your Mouth Medinform Publishing (2007)
Campbell DB et al Distinct genetic risk based on association of MET in families with co-occurring autism and gastrointestinal conditions Pediatrics (2009) 123: 1018 – 1024
Campbell-McBride N Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAP Syndrome or GAPS) http://www.gaps.me/?page_id
Campbell-McBride N Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia Medinform Publishing (2010)
Chaidez V et al Gastrointestinal Problems in Children with Autism, Developmental Delays or Typical Development J Autism Dev Disord (2013 Nov 6)
Kang DW et al Reduced incidence of Prevotella and other fermenters in intestinal microflora of autistic children PLoS One (2013) 8:e68322
Labus JS et al Impaired Emotional Learning and Involvement of the Corticotropin-Releasing Factor Signaling System in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome Gastroenterology (2013 august 13)
Neufeld, F Effects of gut microbiasota on the brain: Implications for Psychiatry Rev Psyciatr Neurosci (2009) 34: 230 – 231
Neufeld, F Effects of gut microbiasota on the brain: Implications for Psychiatry J Psychiatry Neurosci (2009) 34 (3): 230 – 231
Rodriguez T Gut Bacteria may Exacerbate Depression: Microbes that escape the digestive tract may alter mood Scientific American Mind (Noverber/December 2013) 24:9
Rodriguez T Ulcer Bacteria Linked to Cognitive Decline Scientific American Mind (November/December 2013) 24:9
Tack J et al A controlled crossover study of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor citalopram in irritable bowel syndrome Gut (2006) 55: 1095 – 1103
Tillisch K and Labus JS Advances in imaging the brain-gut axis: functional gastrointestinal disorders Gastroenterology (2011) 140: 407 – 41
Tillisch K et al Consumption of fermented milk product with probiotic modulates brain activity Gastroenterology (2013) 144: 1394 – 1401
Van Oudenhove et al Fatty acid – induced gut brain signaling attenuates neural behavioral effects of sad emotions in humans J Clin Invest (2011) 121: 3094 – 3099
How Diet & Hygiene Alter Gut Microbiota, Influence Our Health

How Diet & Hygiene Alter Gut Microbiota, Influence Our Health

Written by Dr. Ralph E. Carson on . Posted in Blog, From the Desk of Dr. Carson

After one year of age, the intestinal microbiota is 99 percent anaerobic and not homogeneous (Tillisch ‘13). The number of bacteria increases the further along the intestine it travels. Clostridium, Lactobacillus and Enterococcus are found only in the mucus layer of the small intestine, and Bacteroides are found in the distal feces. The entire bacterial colony is composed of genera, which are the larger categories, such as Lactobacillus, to which each species belongs. Genera are determined by the first microbes of which a baby is exposed, blood type and metabolic fitness, or gut health.

Understanding human microbiota is crucial, and can help identify what foods to eat in order to stay slim, how well we digest and utilize calories, and our vulnerability to inflammatory bowel disease (Brown ’12). Ineffective flora leads to inflammation, which can result in infection, compromised immune system, digestive diseases, obesity and cancer. However, scientists admit they currently do not know the exact mechanism linking disease and gut microbes.

Changes in diet impact our bacteria

Provided the diet remains consistent, the bacteria population will remain stable. But our environment and the foods we eat (whole foods, high fiber, resistant starches, legumes, nuts, seeds, produce and whole grains) greatly contribute to what determines our flora. Changes in diet explain 57 percent of our bacterial population; genetics explain 11 percent.

Throughout our lives, our diet contributes to the composition of gut flora and the disruption or integrity of the gut’s protective barrier.

  • A low fat/high fiber diet positively influences normobiosis, an environment dominated by healthy bacteria. Consuming yogurt increases lactobacillus, which produces lactic acid and staves off harmful bacteria.
  • A highly refined (sugar) and processed (fat) intake represented by the typical western diet contributes to overgrowth of pathological bacteria and yeast.

We need a better balanced diet!

The current average American diet consists of very little variety and is mostly composed of fewer than 30 different foods. It primarily consists of corn, soy and wheat, which is in sharp contrast to how our intestines adapted during the Paleolithic Times, or even as recently as 50 years ago.

As a result of the rapid change in our food supply, the modern American diet reduces the diversity of gut bacterial community. This has permitted only ‘generalist bacteria’ that can digest many different foods. Breaking up the friendly bacteria with which humans evolved and reducing the diversity of the gut bacterial community could be profound. The shift in the microbes could potentially cause several illnesses as we move away from normal healthy bacteria (Spencer ‘11).

The hygiene hypothesis

Consider the hygiene hypothesis of disappearing microbiota theory: Clean living and reduced exposure to bacteria may lead to maladjusted immune systems and ultimately make one vulnerable to allergies and inflammation (Blasser ’11). Bacteria can be transferred from one person or animal to another other, or from surfaces to hands. This exposure is minimized or eliminated by frequent washing and sanitization.

Fruits, vegetables, spices and herbs are contaminated with bacterial growth that is lost by extensive cooking and cleaning. Every time we are exposed to bacteria, it is possible to recolonize the colon with opportunistic germs or introduce foreign microorganism unfamiliar to the host.

Up Next: The Second Brain: Beyond Gut Feelings

 


References:
Blasser MJ and Flakow S What are the consequences of the disappearing human microbiota? Nature Reviews Microbiology (2009) 7: 887 – 894
Blasser MJ Antibiotic overuse: Stop the killing of beneficial bacteria Nature (2011) 47: 393 – 394
Brown K et al Diet-Induced Dysbiosis of the Intestinal Microbiota and the Effects on Immunity and Disease Nutrients (2012) 4: 1095 – 1119
Spencer MD et al Association between composition of the human gastrointestinal microbiome and development of fatty liver with choline deficiency Gastroenterology (2011) 140: 976
Tillisch K and Labus JS Advances in imaging the brain-gut axis: functional gastrointestinal disorders Gastroenterology (2011) 140: 407 – 411

Antibiotics: To Treat Or Not To Treat, That Is the Question

Antibiotics: To Treat Or Not To Treat, That Is the Question

Written by Dr. Ralph E. Carson on . Posted in Blog, From the Desk of Dr. Carson

Overly aggressive antibiotic prescriptions can pose challenges to a healthy bacterial population (Cox ’13, Blasser  ’09; ’11). Antibodies change the assortment of microbes and produce species that make it easier for the body to store a greater amount of fat in the liver from unused calories. Antibiotics also kill beneficial bacteria and allow harmful bugs (i.e. Clostridium difficile) to surge and produce excess toxins.

Broad-spectrum antibiotics can be ineffective for harmful resistant bacteria, while simultaneously killing protective bacteria. Historically, it was not unusual for individuals to receive 20 rounds of antibiotics by the time they reached the age of 20. There is a pattern suggesting that those who receive antibiotics in the first year of life put on more weight.

Opportunistic bacteria

There may be several bacterial strains that have evolved or mutated into a form that escapes destruction by the antibiotic administered. Some bacteria are capable of forming spores or biofilms (minerals such as Ca, Fe, or Mg and then combine with mucus or polysaccharides) that act as a shield and make it impossible to be attacked by probiotics or antibiotics. These opportunistic bacteria hide from the immune system and later capitalize and multiply to populate the gut colony following antibiotic treatment.

H.pylori and gut flora management

Treatment for Helicobacter pyloris, or H.pyloris, is a prime example of the complexity and need for balance when managing the gut flora. Though killing off these gastric residents may prevent or cure chronic ulcers, their eradication may lead to greater acidity and potential damage to the esophagus (GERD), Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer (Benoit ’11). Additionally, killing H. pylori raises grehlin levels, which can raise appetite and subsequent weight gain (Roper ‘08). Reducing H. pylori also increases the risk of childhood asthma (Coelho ‘13).

Previous: The Origins of Microbiota…Thanks Mom!    Up Next: How Diet & Hygiene Alter Gut Microbiota, Influence Our Health


References:
Benoit SL and Mua RJM (HP0868) is a nickel-binding protein that modulates unease activity in helicobacter pylori mBio (2011) 2: e00039-1
Blasser MJ and Flakow S What are the consequences of the disappearing human microbiota? Nature Reviews Microbiology (2009) 7: 887 – 894
Blasser MJ Antibiotic overuse: Stop the killing of beneficial bacteria Nature (2011) 47: 393 – 394
Coelho LG et al rd Brazilian Consensus on Helicobacter pylori Arquivos de Gastroenterologia (2013) 50 (2)
Cox LM and Blaser MJ Pathways in microbe-induced obesity Cell Metab (2013) 17: 883 – 894
Roper J et al Leptin and ghrelin in relation to Helicobacter pylori status in adult males Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (2008) 93: 2350
The Origins of Microbiota… Thanks, Mom!

The Origins of Microbiota… Thanks, Mom!

Written by Leah Miranda on . Posted in Blog, From the Desk of Dr. Carson

When you were a fetus, your gut was empty and sterile. On your passage through the birth canal, your alimentary track was seeded with your mom’s microorganisms. Her bacteria create your unique flora. The circumstances are beneficial, as long as mom does not have dysbiosis—a microbial imbalance due to a predominance of harmful bacteria—which can lead to infections, digestive problems (i.e. colic and gas) and neurological problems (i.e. ADHD, OCD).

Microbiota & C-Sections

If a C-section was necessary, you missed out on exposure to your mother’s beneficial or harmful bacteria. However, research does not support that emergency C-sections have an influence on contributing to obesity in the future, even if the child is not exposed to the mother’s bacteria (Manun ’13). There is also speculation that contraceptives may have a negative effect on a newborn’s normobiosis.

Microbiota & Breast-feeding

A second contribution to a healthy flora occurs during breast-feeding. Infants with uninterrupted nursing that continues through the first year of life scored higher on IQ tests, had fewer GI infections and exhibited a lower risk of obesity (Belfort ’13). There is speculation that early bottle-feeding predisposes infants to early health problems due to alterations in the gut flora. According to Kalliomaki (Kalliomaki ’08), obesity is influenced by bacteria in the baby’s gut, attributed to substituting formula for breast-feeding. Formulas could be sterile or fortified with prebiotics and probiotics to mimic what naturally occurs. Often these supplements have a very high glycemic index (95), similar to pure sugar (glucose 100). Hydrolyzed formulas actually have been shown to increase inflammation (atopic dermatitis, cow’s milk allergies, wheezing).

A Baby’s Diet Is Key!

Conventional baby foods were not available until 1920. There may be subtle health consequences when mothers substitute convenient baby foods that are overly processed and refined, instead of preparing homemade foods. There is no proof that rice cereal, which is highly refined rice flour, has any beneficial effect on reducing the incidence of allergies (Greer ’08). Children not exposed to a variety of whole foods with real textures and flavors could influence the types of bacteria that flourish in their colon. As a result of consuming soft processed foods like graham crackers, cereals (Cheerios), pasta, pizza and mashed foods, families are raising picky eaters unwilling to eat traditional fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts (Greene ’09).

The American Academy of Pediatrics currently recommends meats to complement breast-feeding of infants. Meat supplies protein, iron and zinc, thereby adding nutritional value.

Next Up: Antibiotics: To Treat or Not to Treat, That Is the Question


ReferencesBelfort MB et al Infant feeding and childhood cognition at ages 3 and 7 years: Effects of breastfeeding duration and exclusivity JAMA Pediatr (2013) 167:836 – 844Greene A Feeding Baby Green: The Earth Friendly Program for Healthy, Safe Nutrition During Pregnancy, Childhood, and Beyond Jossey-Bass (2009)

Greenway F. Virus-induced obesity. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 2006; 290:188-189

Greer FR et al Effects of Early Nutritional Interventions on the Development of Atopic Disease in Infants and Children: The Role of Maternal Dietary Restriction, Breastfeeding, Timing of Introduction of Complementary Foods, and Hydrolyzed Formulas Pediatrics (2008) 121: 183 – 191

Kalliomaki M et al Early differences in fecal microbiota composition in children may predict overweight    Early differences in fecal microbiota composition in children may predict overweight AJCN (2008) 87: 534 – 538

Manun AA et al Cesarean Delivery and the Long-Term Risk of Offspring Obesity Obstet Gynocol (2013 Nov 6)

4_FitRx_groceryB

Adventures Of the Alimentary Canal: How gut microbes define how we look, think and feel

Written by Dr. Ralph E. Carson on . Posted in Blog, From the Desk of Dr. Carson

The gut is a winding tube that transverses nearly 32 feet through the body. An impermeable cell barrier that polices what enters into the bloodstream lines the alimentary track. If orally consumed substances are not recognized as beneficial or nutritional, they enter one end of the gut (mouth) and go out the other (well, you know).

The inhabitants of the canal consist of over 100 trillion microbes made up of thousands of different species. This community includes both good/beneficial and bad/pathological guys that play a very important role when it comes to health, body size (or fat deposits) and behavior.

Unwelcome intruders!

It’s critical that the barrier between the lumen (or gut tube) and the host (our body) remain intact. Once these tight junctions between cells are loosened and separated or the cells are damaged, the underlying tissue becomes exposed and vulnerable to attack from several sources. Common unwelcome intruders include microorganisms, endotoxins and unfamiliar food molecules such as peptides, gluten and oligosaccharides. These uninvited visitors are attacked by several defense mechanisms that recruit the aid of inflammatory agents and the immune system. The consequences can range from allergies (i.e. eczema), diseases (i.e. atherosclerosis and cancers) and neurological disorders (i.e. autism).

Healthy vs. harmful bacteria

The large and diverse variety of bacteria have evolved and adapted to live in a symbiotic arrangement with the human host. Physiologically, these microorganisms assist by strengthening the immune system, aiding digestion and absorption, and protecting the intestinal barrier (Yale University ’05). An environment composed primarily of healthy bacteria is described as ‘normobiosis’ while ‘dysbiosis’ means harmful microbes that produce a disease prone environment dominate the intestinal flora. Gut microbes also influence a host of brain disorders such as ADHD, depression and eating disorders in a process described as gut and psychological syndrome (GAPS).

Microbiota

We humans have a gut that supports a unique and complex mixture of microbes that outnumber our cells 10-to-1. Currently, science doesn’t know enough to make sweeping generalizations, but in the coming weeks I will attempt to elaborate on several important issues that drive treatment towards creating a healthy microbiota. This insight will augment nutritional and therapeutic care for people with binge eating disorder (BED).

Next up: Origins of Microbiota

Metabolism: Notes On Supplements (SERIES 4 fo 5)

Written by Leah Miranda on . Posted in Blog, From the Desk of Dr. Carson

Arginine: (Jobgen ’06; Lucotti ’06)

  • watermelonDietary arginine supplementation (2–3 grams 3x/day; found in foods) promotes muscle burning over fat gain
  • Watermelon (arginine) given to obese mice enhanced the oxidation of fat and glucose and promoted weight loss
    • Arginine stimulates the breakdown of stored fat
  • L-arginine supplementation stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis and brown adipose tissue development (McNight ‘10)
    • L-arginine supplementation reduces adiposity in genetically obese rats
    • Suppress appetite
  • Dietary arginine supplementation shifts nutrient partitioning to promote muscle over fat gain (Jobgen ‘09)
  • CLA and arginine modulated adipose tissue metabolism by separate, but not additive (Nail ‘09)
  • Supplementation of arginine can increase the activity of catecholamines, familiarly known as the “fight or flight” hormones;
    • Increased activity of catecholamines can promote weight loss (Billes ’08; McConell ’07)

Taurine: Does not promote increased calorie-burning or produce improved fat or carbohydrate burning during exercise (Galloway ‘08)

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA):

  • Increases muscle and boosts metabolism. CLA (3.4 grams/day) reduces body fat and preserves muscle tissue in people who do not change their diet.
  • CLA reduces body fat, but not body weight in healthy exercising humans of normal body weight (Thom ’01)
  • Long-term supplementation with CLA-FFA or CLA-triacylglycerol reduces BFM in healthy overweight adults (Gaullier ‘04)
  • Dietary of L-arginine and conjugated linoleic acid reduced retroperitoneal fat mass and increases lean body mass in rats (Nail ‘09)
  • CLA (3.4 grams/day) reduced body fat and preserved muscle tissue in overweight or obese people who did not change their diet (Blankston ‘00)
  • CLA doesn’t decrease overall body weight; rather, as Pariza told the American Chemical Society, “it keeps a little fat cell from getting bigger.”
  • If you stop taking it, you will gain fat
    • Stopped dieting and did not take CLA eventually put weight back on in a typical manner – about 75 percent fat to 25 percent muscle. Participants who stopped dieting, but kept taking CLA, also gained weight, but at a 50-50 fat-to-muscle ratio.

Iron: Proper iron levels prevent fatigue and allows you to be more active to burn calories

Chromium picolinate (200 – 400 mg/d) increases the metabolic action of insulin and helps prevent insulin resistance

Vitamin B12: Does not have any direct effects relating to energy and metabolism. Instead, it maintains optimal functionality and will only appear to incite positive effects in deficient individuals.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D:

  • Deficiency impedes ability to reduce abdominal fat despite eating the same calories.
  • Adequate levels (600 IU/d)
  • 70 percent of the population is Vitamin D deficient and nearly three out of every four (75 percent) are overweight and borderline obese
  • Low circulating vitamin D is common in obesity and visceral body fat distribution (Sulistyoningrum ‘12)
  • Obesity causes vitamin D deficiency, vitamin D deficiency does not cause obesity (Vimaleswaran ‘13)
    • A 10 percent rise in body-mass index (BMI) was linked with a 4 percent drop in concentrations of vitamin D
  • Mechanism by which obesity could contribute to low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D is adipose sequestration of vitamin D (Earthman ‘12)
  • People with adequate levels of vitamin D loss weight more quickly (especially abdominal area) than those with low levels despite eating the same calories. Deficiency may impede ability to lose weight on a reduced calories diet (Sibley ’09)
    • Higher intake of vitamin D (2000 mg) were able to lose approximately a half pound more than the people that only followed the diet plan
  • Calcium plus cholecalciferol supplementation has a small effect on the prevention of weight gain
    • Vitamin D function:
    • Targets belly fat
    • Turns fat into fat burning vs. fat storing mode
    • Effects the Leptin, or the “I’m full” hormoneGrapefruit
    • Reduces inflammation

Grapefruit (Nootkatone): Stimulates energy metabolism and prevents diet-induced abdominal accumulation (Murase ‘10)

  • Nootkatone, a characteristic constituent of grapefruit, stimulates energy metabolism and prevents diet-induced obesity by activating AMPK
    • Nootkatone significantly reduced high-fat and high-sucrose diet-induced body weight gain, abdominal fat accumulation, and the development of hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, and hyperleptinemia in mice
  • AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a serine/threonine kinase that is implicated in the control of energy metabolism and is considered to be a molecular target for the suppression of obesity and the treatment of metabolic syndrome
  • This research indicates that long-term intake of nootkatone is beneficial toward preventing obesity due to enhanced energy metabolism through AMPK activation in skeletal muscle and liver

Pesticides (organochlorines): cause a greater than normal drop in metabolism when combined with food restriction; make it harder to lose pounds (Pelletier ‘03)

  • Toxin interfere with energy burning process
  • Decreased triiodothyronine (T3) concentration, resting metabolic rate, and skeletal muscle markers for fat oxidation
  • Accumulation of these compounds in the body seems to be related to fat mass, obese individuals having a higher plasma organochlorine concentration than lean subjects
  • During body weight loss, lipid mobilization and a decrease in fat mass result in increased concentrations of organochlorines in plasma and adipose tissue

DHEA (Kalman ’00; Zenk ’02; ’07; Cokeer ‘99)

  • Increased RMR is associated with weight loss among overweight and obese adults
    • Boost metabolism by 5.4 percent
    • Produces 200 percent greater weight loss than placebo (with diet and exercise) and the majority was pure body fat
  • 7-Keto has been shown to positively impact RMR and ultimately contribute to three times more weight loss when compared with diet and exercise efforts alone
    • Executive summary: 7-Keto (a trade name for the compound 3-acetyl-7-oxo dehydroepiandrosterone or 7-oxo DHEA) is a substance found naturally in the body and its presence in human urine was documented in 1958

References: Supplements
Billes SK and Cowley MA Neuropsychopharmacology”; Catecholamine Reuptake Inhibition Causes Weight Loss by Increasing Locomotor Activity and Thermogenesis Neuropsychopharmacology (2008) 33: 1287 – 1297
Blankson H et al Conjugated linoleic acid reduces body fat mass in overweight and obese humans J Nutr (2000) 130: 2943 – 2948
Cokeer CM et al Double-Blind Study Evaluating the Effects of Exercise Plus 3-Acetyl-7-oxo-dehydroepiandrosterone on Body Composition and the Endocrine System in Overweight Adults. Abstract presented at 2nd ASEP Annual Meeting, October 14-16, 1999, and published in Journal of Exercise Physiology online, Volume 2 Number 4 October 1999
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