Ahhh, January… the time for those new year’s resolutions to kick in. For a lot of people, this means a commitment to being healthier and shedding those excess holiday pounds. Easier said than done for a lot of people. What do I mean by this?
Most people are still operating on the calorie-in vs.calorie-out mentality. With the advent of nutrigenomics, this old paradigm is quickly being discarded by integrative practitioners. It’s the interaction of hormones, including insulin and leptin, and the stress hormone, cortisol, that has the most powerful effect on your hunger cues and whether food is used or stored. In fact, starvation ultimately can lead to weight gain!
Dr. Lustig is from the USMS medical school endocrinology division. In this video, Dr. Lutsig explains the epidemic of obesity in the US. He uses scientific data, biochemical pathways, and politics for a complete, inclusive, picture. The most important point Dr. Lustig makes is how fructose consumption is THE cause of all the imbalances mentioned above that lead to weight gain. The result being obesity with concurrent conditions of high blood pressure, fatty liver, inflammation, and insulin and leptin resistance.
Here’s a brief explaination on how (for the biochemistry whizzes):
High blood pressure results from phosphorylation pathways leading to the production of Uric acid.
Dyslipidemia, hepatic stenosis, and de novo lipogenesis occurs through increased fatty acid production by the liver. (The liver is the ONLY organ that can metabolize fructose, creating a high toxic burden).
Hepatic insulin resistance due to the excess of fatty acids and the production of the enzyme, JUNCT, which inactivates insulin receptors
Obesity though the VLDL transport of increased fatty acids to adipocytes
Leptin resitance due to insulin pathways being disturbed. (Glucose and fructose both signal the brain through malonyl-CoA signaling pathway, but fructose doesn’t allow the signal to reach the portion of the brain that triggers satiety).
Although some practicioners may believe one pathway is more important to control, I believe Dr. Lutsig’s explanation on the cause of how these pathways get interrupted, fructose, is brillant. Fructose is found highest in soda pop, which has increased in consumption exponentially.
Biochemistry aside, the solution is simple- a whole food, high fiber, diet with healthy fats and proteins, and less sugar.