Skip to comments.Obesity as Protection Against Metabolic Syndrome, Not Its Cause
Posted on 03/09/2010 12:45:09 AM PST by SmartInsight
The collection of symptoms that is the metabolic syndrome -- insulin resistance, high cholesterol, fatty liver, and a greater risk for diabetes, heart disease, and stroke -- are all related to obesity, but, according to a review in the March 9th issue of Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism, not in the way you probably think they are.
In fact, says Roger Unger of the University of Texas Southwestern at Dallas, obesity is the body's way of storing lipids where they belong, in fat tissue, in an effort to protect our other organs from lipids' toxic effects. It's when the surplus of calories coming in gets to be too much for our fat tissue to handle that those lipids wind up in other places they shouldn't be, and the cascade of symptoms known as metabolic syndrome sets in.
There is some disagreement in the field about whether insulin resistance is a primary cause of metabolic syndrome or just one of its features, Unger notes. But on this, too, he has a clear view. Insulin resistance is not the cause of metabolic syndrome, he says, it is a "passive byproduct" of fat deposition in the liver and muscle once storage in fat cells begins to fail.
(Excerpt) Read more at sciencedaily.com ...
Scientists have long known that obesity is linked to inflammatory conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.
Yet, in a recent study, the U of I scientists demonstrated that fat tissue produces hormones that appear to compensate for this inflammation. "There are significant anti-inflammatory components in fat tissue and, if they were strategically unleashed, they could potentially protect obese people from further inflammatory insults, such as a heart attack or stroke. In obese animals, you can see the body compensating in an effort to protect itself," he said.
"Now we'd like to find a way to keep some of the anti-inflammatory, positive effects that develop over time with a high-fat diet while reducing that diet's negative effects, such as high blood glucose and high triglycerides. It's possible that supplementing a high-fat diet with soluble fiber could do that, even delaying the onset of diabetes," he said.
Not that being overweight is a good thing, but some of these studie seem to show it's more a symptom, not the cause of insulin resistance, etc.
A waist is a terrible thing to mind.
I've known a few and they all have the same thing in common: they all eat a high carb/low fat diet.
I also don't understand why they ignore the phenomena of people magically becoming non-diabetics after gastric bypass. Some of these people recover normal blood sugars after only a couple of days. Way too fast to be related to weight loss.
IMHO, insulin resistance is caused by a combination of diet, genetics and hormones.
Saw a report today that there are two distinct types of people. Those who loose weight better with low carb diet and those who do better on a low fat diet. Does anyone know how one gets tested to see which type you are? I got pretty good results with the induction phase of the Atkins diet, which is a low carb diet.
I think in a lot of cases Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is also said to bring on insulin resitance. This affects many, many, women.
"But on this, too, he has a clear view. Insulin resistance is not the cause of metabolic syndrome, he says, it is a "passive byproduct" of fat deposition in the liver and muscle once storage in fat cells begins to fail."
"It also makes sense in Unger's estimation that cells that have already taken on too much fat would begin to exclude glucose, causing its levels in blood and urine to rise. Once in cells, glucose becomes a substrate for the production of more fat."
In other words, people are getting fat so quickly that the body can't handle it. Wow.
""Once you reach a certain age, almost everybody is leptin resistant," he says. "Nature stops protecting you once you pass the reproductive years," requiring all of us to watch our diets and do exercise."
The only way to fix leptin resistance it to diet _hard_. Just as we're designed to store food as fat, we also respond positively to periods of low caloric intake. I think this is one of the reasons intermittent fasting works so well for people.
Interesting article, but I’ve been hearing that it’s more a matter of junk calories and people living on cheap, starchy, sugary, fatty food that is almost devoid of real nutrients, which leaves them always hungry.
Note that the article ends with this sentence that exhibits the standard liberal attitude that views us as a bunch of mindless lab rats who need to be herded like sheep:
“The failure of healthcare providers and pharmaceutical industries to contain the pandemic suggests that elimination of ‘bargain basement’ calories will be required to ‘price obesity out of the market.’ Unfortunately, this would have profound socioeconomic implications: How do we tax excessive calories while at the same time guaranteeing sufficient access to high-quality foods for the underprivileged?”
Of course the most obvious remedy—a free-market health-insurance system that allows insurers to offer discounts to people who take care of themselves is considered sacrilege.
“In my personal experience, diabetes and other auto-immune troubles are caused by chronic infection, and getting rid of the infection gets rid of the diabetes. “
Thank you for your post and the links to the enlightening and interesting research articles.
Sears explains the protective nature of the fat reserves in this book. When the fat cells can no longer buffer the toxic fats, the toxic fats enter the blood stream and begin to invade vital organs. That sets off a fairly rapid downward spiral of health problems.
Thanks for the information and link to the book. Very interesting — I think there is definitely something to this inflammation theory.
I did some search and a lot of medical articles came up on this topic.
Here is one:
Inflammation, stress, and diabetes
You can take a 3 hour glucose tolerance test and have the lab also test your insulin levels as well as your glucose levels. If your insulin is high but your glucose is normal, that means you have insulin resistance. Insulin resistance will lead to Type II diabetes eventually. You’ll might have to pay out of pocket to get this done, I don’t know. I got it done as part of fertility testing, which we paid completely out of pocket.
I have lost the most weight with the least amount of struggle while doing “Carb cycling.” “Crack the Fat Loss Code” describes the cycle. I just followed the carb counts listed in the cycles and ate what I wanted other than that - the author recommends protein shakes and stuff like that, but I believe in eating real food.
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