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Are nutritional deficiencies to blame for being overweight?

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Reprinted with the kind permission of Life Extension.

The August 2015 issue of The FASEB Journal published an article by Bruce N. Ames, PhD, of Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute and colleagues that presents an interesting hypothesis concerning one potential cause of weight gain.
 
By conducting three eight-week trials involving the twice daily intake of nutrient bars for two months by 43 lean and overweight or obese adults, Dr Ames and colleagues observed reductions in weight, waist circumference, diastolic blood pressure, heart rate, triglycerides, insulin resistance and insulin, accompanied by improvements in lipids among overweight/obese participants whose high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP) levels were low at the beginning of the study. Among overweight and obese subjects with higher CRP levels, inflammation and heart rate were reduced and the large HDL subfraction increased. Lean participants also experienced metabolic improvements. "Thus, favorable changes in measures of cardiovascular health, insulin resistance, inflammation, and obesity were initiated within eight weeks in the overweight/obese by replacing deficiencies in Western diets without requiring other dietary or lifestyle modifications; chronic inflammation blunted most improvements," the authors conclude.
 
"It is well known that habitual consumption of poor diets means increased risk of future disease, but clearly this is not a compelling enough reason for many to improve their eating habits," stated Dr Ames. "However, a relatively easy intervention with something like the nutrient bar used in this study may help people to realize the positive impact that a diet with adequate nutrition can have in their daily lives, which may be a stronger incentive for change."
 
The FASEB Journal's Editor-in-Chief, Gerald Weissmann, MD, observed that "This report shows that what you eat is as important, if not more, than how much you eat and how many calories you burn in the gym."

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