Entries in Weight Gain (6)


Diet drinks do not work and may contribute to weight gain

Artificial sweeteners in diet drinks and colas aren’t inert. Despite having no or low calories, they change the way the body processes sugar, and they contribute to diabetes and weight gain. In one study of 474 older adults, all participants saw their waistlines expand, yet those who reported drinking diet drinks had 70% greater increases in waistline growth than non-diet-soda-drinkers 9.5 years later. For those who consumed two or more diet drinks a day, waistline increase was 500% greater than among non-diet-soda-drinkers. Another study reported a striking dose-response relationship: increasing diet drinks was associated with escalating abdominal obesity. The more the participants consumed, the more obesity they experienced. In a study of 17 obese people, those who drank water sweetened with sucralose (Splenda®, an artificial sweetener) saw their insulin levels rise by 20%. In support of this, a recent study found consumption of artificial sweeteners drives the development of glucose intolerance through upsetting the gut microflora. These sweetener-altered microbial metabolic pathways are linked to host susceptibility to metabolic disease and obesity.

Similarly, studies in animals suggest that artificial sweetener consumption may lead to even more eating and weight gain, perhaps in part because it triggers the body to start storing more calories as fat. Rats fed artificial sweeteners in conjunction with their normal diet consumed more calories and got fatter. In another study, rats eating artificially sweetened yoghurt ate more chow than those eating sugar-sweetened yoghurt, so overall calorie intakes were the same. However, the rats consuming artificial sweetener gained weight at a rate faster than those eating sugar.



Chocolate is known to contain a wide variety of minerals and trace elements including magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper and manganese. It is also a rich source of antioxidants and has been identified as a potent antioxidant for LDL cholesterol. The phenalyic content of chocolate is 20 times higher than tomatoes, 3 times that of grapes, and twice the level of garlic. Dark chocolate contains more than twice the level of phenyls compared to milk chocolate while white chocolate contains no anti-oxidants. A bar of milk chocolate (45 grams) was found to contain approximately the same level of phenyls as 150 mill glass of red wine. Chocolate contains a higher concentration of phenyls than either red wine or green tea on a weight basis.

And just in time for Easter. A study out this week found, believe it or not, chocolate consumption was associated with a lower Body Mass Index (weight). Chocolate has shown favorable metabolic associations with blood pressure (BP), insulin sensitivity, and cholesterol level.


Soft drinks and sugar kill

Another study found that just one can of soft drink a day increases your risk of heart attack by 20%. The study of 42,833 men found just one 12-ounce sugar-sweetened drink a day had a 20 percent higher risk of heart attacks. Putting this in perspective the so called benefits of taking statin drugs like lipitor and zocor is around 1%.

By eliminating sugar from our diet, this includes high GI foods as well we can dramatically reduce our risk of CVD.

The Authors of the study said "Continually subjecting our bodies to high amounts of glucose, to high blood sugar levels that trigger large secretions of insulin results in stresses that in the long run show up as high risk of heart disease and diabetes,"

We have known about this since the 1950's but the information has been pushed under the table by the cholesterol and fat lobby.

PS this does not mean you can have diet soft drinks, they are just as bad.


BPA and plastics

A recent independent scientific report cautions women to avoid BPA to minimize their chances of breast cancer. The study said there was a "biological plausibility" that BPA is linked to breast cancer. Scientists can see a mechanism in animals by which certain substances, including BPA, might cause breast cancer, but there is not enough information to assess the risk in humans, the study said.

BPA is a harmful organic chemical compound which is used in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. It is an environmental contaminant that disrupts reproductive processes through changing hormonal systems in the body. The effects of BPA have been studied on humans, however, There has been increased awareness of the health related risks to BPA exposure, due to recent research into its environmental distribution and its detection in humans. A recent US study found 91% have traces of BPA.

The main source of human exposure is from food and drink that has been in contact with materials containing BPA such as plastic food and drink containers. Food and beverage containers and culinary utensils are manufactured from polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. These resins are used as linings for metal products including bottletops, food cans and water supply pipes.

Studies have suggested that BPA is associated with a number of serious health effects including; causing cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and also reproductive abnormalities. BPA is also known as an endocrine disruptor, which can interfere with reproduction and development. Fetuses, infants and children are usually more susceptible than adults, due to their fast developmental stages. There is a considerable amount of evidence now that exposure to certain environmental factors in early stages of development promote the risk of numerous chronic diseases in adulthood. Research has recently highlighted the estrogen‑like and carcinogenic adverse effects of BPA and there have been increased incidences of accelerated growth and puberty linked to BPA exposure.

One of the studies carried out on the effects of BPA exposure on pregnant women and the fetus which showed BPA caused prenatal and or postnatal reproductive issues. The ability for a fetal liver to detoxify BPA is much less than that of an adult. However, studies have also shown that 8PA increases infant bodyweight due to its estrogen‑like effects. It has been recorded that there is a link between serum BPA levels and recurring miscarriage. In one study patients with a history of three of consecutive first trimester miscarriages had blood BPA levels of around three times higher than the control group with no history of miscarriage or infertility.


Pregnancy and probiotics

A new study in the British Journal of Nutrition of July this year (2010. doi:10.1017/S0007114509993898), found that supplementing pregnant women with probiotics helps reduce the risk of diabetes during pregnancy, improve blood glucose control and improve child health. The women who took probiotics had gestational diabetes mellitus at a rate of 13 percent compared to 36 percent for the diet/placebo group and 34 percent for the control group. This is almost a 2/3rds reduction in gestational diabetes. This is such a cheap and effect intervention without any increased risk. It is thought that by reducing gestational diabetes it also reduces the risk of the mother developing diabetes later in life. The probiotic supplement was contained the bacteria Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG, Valio) and Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12. These are big names but it helps scientists identify which ones are the most effective as not all probiotics are the same.

In an earlier study of 50 pregnant women published in the same journal in March 2010 (doi:10.1017/S0007114510000176) found those women who experienced excessive weight gain during pregnancy had more Escherichia coli bacteria in their gut, and fewer Bifidobacteria than women with normal weight gain during pregnancy. This builds on a growing body of evidence dating back to 2006 linking healthy gut flora to healthy weight maintenance. The study showed that overweight women had fewer Bifidobacterium and Bacteroides and more Staphylococcus, Enterobacteriaceae and E. coli than normal-weight women.

Raakel Luoto, Kirsi Laitinen, Merja Nermes and Erika Isolauri
Impact of maternal probiotic-supplemented dietary counselling on pregnancy outcome and prenatal and postnatal growth: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study
British Journal of Nutrition (2010) doi:10.1017/S0007114509993898

Source: British Journal of Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, First View article, doi:10.1017/S0007114510000176
“Gut microbiota composition is associated with body weight, weight gain and biochemical parameters in pregnant women”
Authors: A. Santacruz, M. C. Collado, L. García-Valdés, M. T. Segura, J. A. Martin-Lagos, T. Anjos, M. Martí-Romero, R. M. Lopez, J. Florido, C. Campoy, Y. Sanz