Weight Loss and Supplementation

The basic facts of weight loss is that you must consumer fewer calories and increase exercise. If you rely on your food to provide the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients you need, then when you reduce your food intake you are reducing your nutrient intake. If you are also increasing exercise and building more muscle mass then you need more nutrients, not less.

So it becomes necessary to supplement your diet with high quality nutritional supplements especially when you are dieting.

Losing Weight May Send Pollutants Into the Bloodstream

If you’re working hard to achieve your New Year’s resolution of losing weight, you may want to proceed with caution.

Researchers have discovered that chemicals and pollutants may be stored in our body fat, and when significant amounts of body fat are broken down, as they are during weight loss, these harmful substances could be released into the bloodstream and may cause disease.

Dr. Duk-Hee Lee, study researcher and professor at the Kyungpook National University in Daegu, South Korea, and his team analyzed data collected between 1999 and 2002 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

During the analysis, researchers selected seven pollutants that held the highest detection rate in blood samples and concentrated on 1,099 people ages 40 or older who had measurable levels of these chemicals in their blood and who had recently lost or gained weight.

The study concluded that those who had lost weight had a higher amount of pollutants in their bloodstream, while those who gained weight had a lower concentration.

Researchers also noted that because the study was conducted using self-reported information gathered from the study individuals, there is a possibility for error.

“A lot of studies have shown that losing weight is helpful,” Lee told MyHealthNewsDaily. But there may also be underlying negative results, such as the release of pollutants into the bloodstream.

Hypertension, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis have been associated with organic pollutants, according to Lee.

Even though many of the pollutants examined in the study were banned by developed countries many decades ago, they are still often found in the environment and in people because of their slow tendency to break down, says Lee.

“Common pollutants in body fat include petroleum-based pollutants, pesticides, PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), chemicals from plastics, industrial solvents and heavy mercury,” says Dr. Myron Wentz, founder of USANA Health Sciences in Salt Lake City and author of the forthcoming book “The Healthy Home.”

“Pollutants are rapidly increasing in our home and work environments, in the air, water and products we are exposed to every day,” he told AOL Health. “Another source of exposure is through our consumption of meat, dairy and seafood, as these same pollutants accumulate in livestock and fatty fish.”

There are some steps that can be taken to decrease exposure to these pollutants, particularly if people are looking to lose weight without harmful effects.

“You can do this by cutting down on processed foods, non-organic fruits and vegetables, and meats raised using hormones and antibiotics,” says Wentz. “You should also drink plenty of purified water to help flush toxins from your bloodstream.”

He also advises people to be aware of their indoor air quality, which may be even more polluted that the outdoor air. Wentz suggests being choosy about personal-care products like lotions and deodorants. Look for products that are free of chemical preservatives, and try to cut down on the total number you use each day.

Top Five Trends in Dieting and Weight Loss in 2011

As the hectic holiday season comes to a close and a new year approaches, many consumers are once again vowing to adopt weight loss goals to shed those unwanted pounds. But with obesity increasing at alarming levels across the globe, a number of health experts are urging a new approach to help fight the nation’s burgeoning weight problem.

Over the past three decades, obesity rates in the U.S. alone have soared among all age groups, particularly among youth where the rate has more than tripled, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While many weight loss efforts have relied on the drastic elimination of certain foods and beverages, health professionals say it’s time to focus on the adoption of small lifestyle changes that will prevent future weight gain.

“Small changes can produce big results,” says Beth Hubrich, R.D., executive director of the Calorie Control Council, an international association representing the low-calorie and reduced-fat food and beverage industry. “Reducing portions, controlling calories, increasing physical activity and adding more “color” to the plate (e.g., including more fruits and vegetables) can help people prevent weight gain without feeling deprived. These small changes are lifestyle changes and hopefully that is what 2011 will bring – a focus on healthy changes that can be maintained for life.”

With so many Americans focusing on controlling and losing weight, what trends will emerge in 2011? The Council is making these predictions when it comes to weight loss and obesity for the coming year:

1) A focus on preventing weight gain. The average American adult gains one or two pounds every year. Over time, that annual weight gain can easily increase the risk for heart disease and other weight-related health problems. Instead of focusing on weight loss, though, some health experts are now emphasizing the adoption of small, achievable steps that will help adults avoid gaining weight. While this might seem like a minor effort in a nation where 65 percent of the population is considered overweight or obese, Dr. James O. Hill of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Denver Health Sciences Center is convinced that these small changes – such as cutting 100 calories per day and adding 2,000 steps per day of physical activity – may help combat the obesity crisis. This emphasis on prevention has been embraced by a growing number of health professionals who say the food restriction and dieting approach has proven ineffective in curbing obesity.

“It’s always going to be harder to lose weight than to prevent weight gain in the first place. A weight ‘loss’ approach ultimately fails,” states Hill, who helped create America on the Move Foundation’s “Families on the Move” program, a national weight gain prevention initiative. “People need realistic goals, so we will continue to lose the obesity battle unless we do something qualitatively different. We have a better chance of using small, sustainable behavior changes that may be sufficient to prevent weight gain in most of the population. Walk a mile each day or take a few less bites at each meal. This approach can give us some needed optimism that we might actually be able to begin to turn the tide on the increasing prevalence of obesity.”

2) Updated dietary guidelines to help shape eating patterns. The U.S. departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services are expected to soon release the 2010 dietary guidelines, which will serve as federal dietary advice for the next 5 years. Based on the results of a June advisory report, many health professionals anticipate the final guidelines to place even greater emphasis on physical activity, while urging people to eat more fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, foods with Omega-3 fatty acids and low-calorie dairy products. Experts also expect the new guidelines to focus on limiting saturated fats and reducing “added sugars” in the diet (to reduce calories).

3) “Light” products light the way. With two-thirds of U.S. adults and almost one-third of children and adolescents overweight or obese, research shows that more consumers are increasingly focused on weight control. According to market research publisher Packaged Facts, the global weight loss and diet management market – including diet food and drinks, weight loss programs and services, surgical interventions and weight loss drugs and natural therapies – reached $26 billion in 2009. Diet food and drinks was the largest category, with $18 billion, or 73 percent, of total worldwide sales. The development of foods and beverages that provide satiety, or hunger satisfaction, is projected to be one of the hottest trends in weight management in the coming years. By incorporating low-calorie, sugar-free products such as diet sodas, light juices and light yogurts, consumers can control calories while still enjoying their favorite foods on a reasonable budget. For example, choosing sugar-free chocolate will save 50 calories a day. Over the course of a year, that daily calorie savings could result in a five-pound weight loss. Drinking a diet soda instead of the full-calorie version can save 150 calories a day – or potentially 15 pounds – by year’s end.

4) A healthy staff is good for business. Health professionals expect that companies will continue to fight obesity with more corporate wellness programs in 2011. A recent study put the health care costs of obesity-related diseases at $147 billion per year, which can put a heavy price on employers covering paid sick leave and insurance policies. To help combat the problem, employers are creating incentive programs to stimulate health behavior change for employees in order to reduce absenteeism and costs of health insurance. According to a 2010 MetLife survey, more than one-third of employers now offer wellness programs – up from just over a quarter in 2005. Among the larger employers – those with 500 or more employees — 61 percent now offer a wellness program.

5) Calorie consciousness is “in” at restaurants. Across the country, a growing number of cities have been experimenting with requiring restaurants and food chains to list the calories of the foods they offer on their menus. A new federal law that will take effect in 2011, for example, will require restaurant chains with 20 or more outlets to disclose calorie counts on their food items and supply information on how many calories a healthy person should eat in a day. The measure, which passed earlier this year, is intended to create a national policy modeled on legislation already approved in a number of cities and states including Philadelphia, New York City, California and Massachusetts that require restaurants with standardized menus to clearly label the calorie content of each item.

Overall, according to the Council, 2011 will be a year of positive change when it comes to calorie control – both calories consumed, and calories burned. “Forget about adopting extreme or restrictive diets and instead focus on a lifestyle approach that incorporates small improvements in eating and exercise habits,” advises Hubrich.

Sleep Makes the Body Leaner

From MedPage Today:

Diet and exercise are important factors in a healthy lifestyle, but a third factor — sleep — may be the real key to eliminating fat, according to a small study.

Middle-age, overweight patients who slept 8.5 hours burned more fat than those who slept just 5.5 hours, according to Plamen D. Penev, MD, PhD, of the University of Chicago, and colleagues, who reported their findings in the Oct. 5 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. 

By contrast, those who were sleep deprived burned more lean muscle mass. They also found participants in the sleep deprivation group were hungrier and expended less energy to compensate for reduced sleep.

Researchers concluded that sleep loss while dieting, “amplifies the pattern of ghrelin-associated changes in human hunger, glucose and fat utilization, and energy metabolism.”
The study measured fat and fat-free body mass loss, as well as secondary endpoint measures of caloric use, energy expenditure, hunger, and 24-hour metabolic hormone concentrations in 12 sedentary nonsmokers. The average age was 41 and at baseline the participants slept an average of 7.7 hours each night. Body mass indices ranged from 25 kg/m2to 35 kg/m.
Only 10 of the 12 volunteers completed the study (seven men).
Patients were randomly assigned to sleep for either 8.5 or 5.5 hours each night over 14 days and then crossed over for a second 14-day period at least three months later. Sleep was recorded nightly and patients were not allowed daytime naps.
Those in the study were given the same diet with calorie counts based on 90% of resting metabolic rate. Actual consumption was measured by weighing food before and after each meal.
Patients’ energy expenditure, hunger scores, respiratory quotients, body water changes, and body composition were measured. Additionally, the researchers measured metabolic hormone levels, including acylated ghrelin, which acts as a switch to control energy expenditure, hunger, and fat retention, as well as regulate glucose production in the liver.
Regardless of sleep duration, patients lost about 3 kg, but the weight loss came from mostly lean mass in the sleep deprivation group — 2.4 kg versus 1.5 in those who slept for 8.5 hours. Conversely, those who slept for more than 8 hours lost an average of 1.4 kg versus just 0.4 kg of fat loss in the sleep deprivation arm.
Also, patients in the sleep deprivation group were hungrier and 24-hour acylated ghrelin levels increased from an average 73 ng/L pretreatment to 84 ng/L group versus a decline in acylated ghrelin levels (81 ng/L to 75 ng/L) in the normal sleep group, which was statistically significant (P=0.04).
Alternately, resting metabolic rates were significantly higher in the better rested arm and 24-hour plasma epinephrine concentrations were lower, (P=0.005 for both).
There were no significant differences in the measures of the fractional thermic effect of food and 24-hour norepinephrine, cortisol, growth hormone, and thyroid hormone concentrations at the end of study between conditions.
The study was limited by its small sample size and short duration. The authors suggested, however, that the findings supported a larger trial with longer follow-up to examine long-term effects of reduced sleep on body composition, and energy metabolism.

Primary source: Annals of Internal Medicine
Source reference:
Nedeltcheva, AV. “Insufficient Sleep Undermines Dietary Efforts to Reduce Adiposity” Ann Intern Med 2010; 153: 435-441.

For those who have problems falling asleep, or staying asleep melatonin can be helpful. If you look for melatonin be sure it is synthetic and a pharmaceutical grade supplement. “Natural” melatonin is extracted from animal pineal glands, eyes, and digestive tract tissue. In this extraction it is common for viruses and other bio-products to contaminate the melatonin. This is why a number of countries have banned melatonin products. What I use is a bio-identical melatonin synthesized by a Swiss pharmaceutical company which is 100% pure melatonin and does not contain any biological contaminants.

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Obesity Shuts off the "I’m Full" Signal in Your Brain.

Success Builds on Success

Scientists have discovered that when a person becomes overweight or obese, the system in your brain designed to regulate appetite doesn’t work anymore. When your body has enough food, it secretes a substance called leptin, which inhibits appetite. However, studies have revealed that when you have too much body fat and too much leptin, the brain becomes insensitive to this feedback mechanism. The result is that hunger is not diminished when it should be and increased food intake results.
The great news about this discovery is you can actually turn the leptin mechanism back on by restricting food intake and exercising. Gradually over time, your body’s brain cells will again become sensitive to leptin if the leptin stimulus (fat cells) is decreased, giving those brain cells an opportunity to switch back on.
Choosing a portion controlled, low glycemic eating pattern, along with an increased activity level, will not only allow the gradual reduction of this block in inhibition, but will decrease high insulin levels, which are also known to be appetite stimulants. These small choices, taken each morning and followed throughout the day, will lead to appetite suppressionand a more healthy and more normal eating patter.
Courtesy Dr. Sennholz

Which is worse: Obesity or Smoking?

Obviously, the answer is neither. But an interesting, long term study conducted in Europe indicates that obesity is as dangerous to your health as smoking.

This study, published in the British Medical Journal and reported in theNew York Times, found that overweight young men were as likely to die by the age of 60 as light smokers and obese teens were as likely to die early as heavy smokers.

Study author, Dr. David S Williamson states, “It’s fairly dramatic when you say something is as lethal as smoking. We know of very few things from a health perspective that are as lethal as smoking.”

This study gives credence to the fact that if you allow your family to become unhealthy early in their lives, it will impact not only the quality of their life, but the length of it, also.

Dr. Kelly Sennholz

Our Young Girl’s Increasing Risk for Breast Cancer

Two well known risk factors for breast cancer have come in to play in a study released today: obesity and a greater number of menses over a lifetime. Now, a shocking new study out of Denmark notes that in less than 20 years, the age of menarche (first period or puberty) for young girls has gone down a FULL YEAR.

To give some perspective to this, in the 19th century, girls reached puberty at the age of 15 to 17 years of age, depending upon country of origin. In the 1960’s, the internationally stated age of puberty was set at 12. Now, these new statistics (which appear to be matched in the U.S.) reveal an average age of puberty of less than 9 years old. It is not only the lower age of puberty that is of concern. The rapidity with which this change has occurred is equally concerning.

Scientists are speculating that two causes may be at play. The first: children are more obese than they used to be causing their bodies to make more estrogen. This could result in earlier menses. The second factor: chemicals in our environment called estrogen disruptors may also play a part in this shocking development. These chemicals are found in our food supply, our water and even in the tools with which we eat and drink.

Concerns about health problems related to earlier menses, such as cancer and the associated obesity with its complications are certainly prevalent. Hitting puberty results in a longer lifetime exposure to estrogen which is a factor in breast cancer and heart disease. In addition, socially these younger girls have to face unprecedented sexual pressure. Now they have bodies that are mature before they are emotionally prepared to deal with these issues.

Ten years ago there was debate whether some of the health changes that are rapidly appearing, such as autism, obesity, MS and premature menarche, were due to better collection of data. The data we are receiving now is collected in a modern time. These are real changes and real numbers.

My rumination on this topic would be that hundreds to thousands of years used to be required for such a dramatic change in human physiology. Now, over less than 20 years, this change has been documented. We are left with the question, “What is happening to the health of our children and our citizens?” Now, that’s a question we should get to work on!!

High altitude helps people lose weight, study shows

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa)


Munich (dpa) – Obese people lose weight at high altitudes and keep it off for at least four weeks, according to a team of German scientists.

Independent of any other change in lifestyle, high altitudes appear to increase metabolism, decrease appetite and lower diastolic blood pressure, the researchers report in the journal Obesity.

Understanding the mechanisms behind this weight loss could provide a basis for new treatments for obesity, they say.

Florian Lippl and colleagues at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich studied the effect of living in high altitudes for one week on the body weight of 20 obese males, while no other change was made to their exercise routine or food availability.

At the end of the week, their body weight, food intake, and diastolic blood pressure had been significantly lowered, effects that were still present four weeks after returning from high altitude.

The low levels of oxygen present at high altitudes could be responsible for an observed increase in leptin, a hormone thought to suppress appetite, though the causes of this need to be further studied, the researchers say.

The lasting weight reduction seen at high altitudes is primarily due to an increased metabolism and decreased food intake, though the reasons behind these changes remain unclear and may be a temporary effect of the body acclimatizing to new surroundings.

Obesity Increases Cancer Risk

A recent report from the American Institute of Cancer Research states that excess body fat is now seen as a major cause of cancer. They studied seven different cancers known to have links with obesity and estimated that obesity may actually be responsible for nearly 100,000 cancer cases annually. The researchers concluded that carrying excess body fat plays a central role in many of the most common cancers. The felt that the reason excess body fat has a link to cancer is because it lowers immune function, increases inflammation, and increases oxidative stress, which all can lead to DNA damage.

Weight loss more than just physical

Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News


Dec. 23–New Year’s resolutions for many Americans will mean the latest diets and gym memberships.

But losing weight and keeping it off might be as much about the psychological struggles as the physical changes.

“Some people say losing weight is in the mind,” said Judith Horvath, director of the psychotherapy training program at Texas Tech’s Health Sciences Center.

The HSC psychiatrist said giving yourself a mental workout can complement healthful eating and exercise regimens.

“I think they need to go hand-in-hand,” she said.

Psychological feelings make the holiday season one of the worst times of the year to embark on a program, Horvath said.

“Food can be used as emotional nourishment and to calm anxieties,” she said. “The holidays stir up unfulfilled longings in people. People are reminded of the things they are missing out on.”

But other emotions make losing weight hard year-round, Horvath said. Feelings of depression, a loss of control, rationalizing weight gain and low self-esteem can make losing weight seem like an impossible task, local experts said.

“Some people don’t think they can allow themselves to look their best because they feel like they don’t deserve to be a more attractive person,” Horvath said.

Most of the morbidly obese patients treated at Lubbock’s Advanced Bariatric Surgery Center are depressed, said David Syn, a bariatric surgeon who opened the practice in 2002. Many of them give up the antidepressants when they shed their extra pounds, he said.

They might also feel like they’re losing a friend, like they must reach their ideal weight to succeed, or like they’ve already failed.

“If you look at the laundry list of diets they’ve tried on their own and failed, that can’t have a positive impact on someone’s psyche,” Syn said.

Syn helps his patients overcome their overeating through surgery, counseling and education, he said.

“One of the great misunderstandings about what I do is that it’s just surgery,” said Syn, who spends hours with his patients before surgery and follows most for many years after.

“We are empowering people to take back their lives,” he said.

Horvath said people striving for less dramatic weight loss can benefit from including family and friends in the process or talking to a professional.

The Texas Tech HSC Psychiatry Clinic provides a free counseling program for patients planning to lose weight, she said.

People should try to find distractions that help them stay away from food, Horvath said.

“They have to find out how to deal with the loss of satisfaction eating provides them,” she said. “It’s about exchanging the reward of food for the reward of achieving their goals.”

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Can you die from too much food?

Saw a show on PBS last night called “Eating” had an interesting statement: “More people today die of too much food than too little.”

What we are putting in our mouth is killing us. Our food is full of empty calories and fat and lacking essential nutrition. They typical American diet leads to heart disease, cancer, stroke, and other degenerative diseases. I saw a video from the Children’s Hunger Fund, which is an excellent charitable organization, where they were delivering food packs to hungry kids in the Michigan rust belt where unemployment was near 75%. What was amazing was that of the dozen or so houses they called on to deliver food, mother, dad, and kids were all, without exception, obese. Amazing families can be morbidly obese and starving at the same time. McDonnald is a cheap meal, but full of fat, refined flour, and lots of sugar, but sorely lacking basic nutrition and fiber. They’d be much better off with a bag of apples, a bowl of beans, and some rice.

Need to lose some weight in a healthy sensible manner? Please contact us.  The results of the program we use have been documented in a study at the University of Colorado at Denver.

FDA investigates weight loss drug Alli for liver damage

By Lorraine Heller, 05-Jun-2009

FDA is investigating the only over-the-counter weight loss drug – Allifollowing signals that it could be linked to liver damage.

Sold by drug giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Alli was approved as the only non-prescription weight loss drug in 2007, bringing it into direct competition with the dietary supplement weight loss category.
FDA yesterday updated drug surveillance information on its website, which lists all products that are identified as potentially harmful. Amongst the new products added to the list was orlistat, a weight loss drug sold by GSK’s under its Alli brand and by Roche as the prescription product Xenical.
The potential risk was identified via an adverse event reporting system for drugs, which highlighted possible liver problems (hepatotoxicity) linked to the products.
FDA says that the addition of a drug to this surveillance list does not mean that a causal relationship between the drug and the listed risk has been identified. “It means that FDA has identified a potential safety issue.”
“FDA is continuing to evaluate this issue to determine the need for any regulatory action,” states the agency.
To view the list on FDA’s website, click here .
GSK told NutraIngredients-USA.com that the reporting of adverse events for Alli was standard procedure.
“Very few adverse events have been reported, which is significant when you consider that more than six million people have used Alli since we launched [it] in 2007,” said a company spokesperson.
“Most of these reports have been mild and have not provided evidence for clinical concern; none have been causally linked to Alli. Liver changes (specifically elevation in liver function tests) are common and can have many causes.”
The health signal comes just over a month after a leading national weight loss dietary supplement brand was recalled in the US due to liver damage.
On May 1, 14 different products in the Hydroxycut line, which sold over nine million units in 2008 alone, were voluntarily recalled by their manufacturer Iovate Health Sciences after 23 adverse event reports recorded instances of serious liver damage, as well as one death.
The recall prompted a flood of attacks on the supplements industry in the mainstream press, which still continue today. Amongst other accusations, the one recurring criticism is that supplements are not properly regulated in the US.
Indeed, the anti-obesity group Reality Coalition was amongst the first to call for a review of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA). The Reality Coalition was set up in 2006, supported by a grant from GSK.
Alli vs Supplements
The battle for market share between Alli and supplement weight loss products took a sharp turn in April last year, when a petition filed by GSK sought to wipe out supplements from the weight loss category.
Filed together with the American Dietetic Association, The Obesity Society and Shaping America’s Health, the citizen petition requested that all weight loss claims be considered disease claims. This would effectively prevent dietary supplement products from claiming they can promote, assist or otherwise help in weight loss.
However, although the petition generated heated industry debate at the time, FDA has made no response as yet, and most supplement players feel the issue has been buried and forgotten in a mount of legislative bureaucracy.

The safest way to lost weight is to reduce calorie intake and monitor the types of foods eaten.