Metabolism

Overview

The typical diet requirement for the average man is 2,100 calories with no additional activity, while the typical diet requirement for the average woman is 1,800 calories with no additional activity.

To compute a rough estimate of basic metabolic weight, take your body weight and multiple it by 10.

Side note: to lose weight, you must eat fewer calories than you expend; however, it is not necessarily the amount of calories, but the type of calories. Food that enters the bloodstream quickly promotes weight gain. One calorie is the quantity of energy needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water, one degree centigrade at sea level.

How Metabolism Works

  • Food contains hidden information and talks to your genes
  • Involves production of hormones
  • Incorporates brain messenger chemicals
  • Involves blood pressure control
  • Influences cholesterol levels
  • Impacts mood and the aging process
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Management

Fundamentals of Healthy Eating

  • Eat, whole, unrefined and unprocessed foods. If it has a label on it, you probably need to try and avoid it.
  • The ratio of total cholesterol to high-density cholesterol (HDL) is determined by the type of carbohydrate you eat.
  • Bad fats turn off your fat-burning genes
  • Good fats bind with PPARs (peroxisome proliferator activated receptors) these turn up genes/metabolism, and make you more insulin-sensitive. Alpha-omega fatty acids bind to PPAR's whereas trans-fatty acids do the opposite.

Good Fats Include

  • Omega fats
  • Mono-unsaturated fats like extra-virgin olive oils, hazelnuts, almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, avocados, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds
  • Some saturated fats in small quantities: less than 5% of total fat calories (lauric acid, coconut milk/oil, raw coconut, palm fruit oil, macadamia nut oil, and Mother's milk)
  • Unrefined omega-6 polyunsaturated fats like natural vegetable oil, expelled/cold-pressed grape seed, sunflower, safflower, walnut oil, and sesame seed oil

Bad Fats Include

  • Corn oil
  • Refined vegetable oil
  • Refined safflower oil
  • Hydrogenated oils
  • Eating cholesterol does NOT raise your cholesterol - saturated fats, and refined carbohydrates do.
  • Hydrogenated fats

    These are in nearly every processed or packaged food and they do not degenerate.

Carbohydrates in their natural form contain some of the most essential nutrients and specified chemicals, or phytonutrients Phytonutrients turn on genes that burn body fat and slow down aging. They are nature's source of most powerful antioxidants based on the phytonutrient index.

Good Sources of Phytonutrients Include

  • Soy foods - isoflavones (not too much; chemically mimic to some extent female hormones)
  • Flaxseed - lignans
  • Green tea - catechins
  • Cocoa - polyphenols
  • Broccoli - glucosinolates
  • Rosemary - calosol
  • Red Wine - resveratrol (avoid sulfites)
  • Deeper colors signify higher concentrations.

Metabolic Syndrome, or Syndrome X, is caused by constant high levels of sugar, which in turn, causes insulin-resistance. Most low glycemic foods are high in phytonutrients. Glycemic load is determined by how quickly carbohydrates enter the blood stream. The effects of higher sugars entering the blood stream are altered by the simultaneous ingestion of fats and protein, and by accompanying said ingestion with roughage, i.e. apple versus apple juice. The best motto to follow is low GI and high PNI. Animal fats translate to low PNI and low GI. Tannins, or the skin of grapes, contain resveratrol, which is good for slower oxidation and aging times.

Benefits of Fiber

  • Helps lose weight
  • Lowers blood sugar and cholesterol
  • Reduces risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Improves GI motility
  • Helps stabilize foods with high sugar that increase adrenaline and cortisol secretion

Pro-tip: Eat a good breakfast, spread your food intake, eat slowly, and wait at least three hours before going to bed after dinner. Take a walk, if possible. A famous quote to follow is "eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper." Do not eat if you are stressed out. Doing so will add belly fat, result in indigestion, slow metabolism, and promote fat storage. Plus, one tends to overeat when stressed.

Original Diet Includes

  • Low glycemic index
  • More omega-3 fatty acids
  • Balance of protein, fats and slowly absorbed carbohydrates
  • Abundance of minerals and vitamins
  • Many alkaline foods
  • Low levels of sodium
  • High fiber content

Keys To Losing Weight

  • Control your appetite
  • Reduce stress
  • Control inflammation
  • Prevent cellular rust (oxidative stress due to free radicals)
  • Learn to turbo charge your metabolism*
  • Insure that your thyroid is working properly
  • Detoxify your liver
  • *To turbo charge your metabolism, eat foods with high PI and low GI, eat correctly, and ingest plenty of vitamins and minerals.

Keys to Controlling your Appetite

Note: The parasympathetic system relaxes and calms you, and helps you lose weight. It is made up of:

  • Pancreas and fat cells: leptin, insulin, adiponectin, and visfatin
  • Brain : NPY, melanocortin, cart (cocaine and amphetamine regulated transcript)
  • Stomach: ghrelin, PYY, proglucagon, CCK, and cytokines which are messenger molecules for the immune system.

These are also molecules of inflammation, produced by fat cells, white blood cells, and the liver.

Fats control genes, weight and inflammation. Omega-3's communicate with genes, turn them on, improve blood sugar control, correct insulin-resistance, and reduce inflammation.

Fiber reduces the production of HmG coA reductase, a process that controls production of cholesterol.

The best bread for appetite control is rye bread which contains Lignans.

The worst sugars for appetite control are corn syrup, or HFCS, glucose, sucrose, maltose, dextrose, lactose, fructose, white grape juice, honey, barley malt, maple sugar, sucanat, natural cane sugar, dehydrated cane sugar, brown sugar, turbinado, and invert sugar.

The introduction of HFCS is what introduced the obesity epidemic. Fructose does not stimulate insulin. Once it is absorbed in the body's cells, fructose is an uncontrollable source of carbon, or Acetyl CoA, which is made into cholesterol and triglycerides. This HFCS also results in a fatty liver.

Artificial sweeteners to avoid include aspartame. Consuming large amounts may lead to an increased food and caloric intake, creating insulin production and an excess of insulin. It also disrupts brain chemistry by mimicking neurotransmitters associated with increased seizure risk, depression and headaches. Increased insulin also results in high blood pressure, low HDL, and high LDL. High TG's, obesity and inflammation are other conditions caused by excessive insulin production.

Metabolic Syndrome (Syndrome X)- An Insensitivity to Insulin

Causes of Metabolic Syndrome

  • Physical inactivity
  • Genetic factors
  • High glycemic diet

Causes Associated with Metabolic Syndrome

  • High uric acid
  • Low serum magnesium
  • High serum ferritin (iron)
  • Abnormal liver function
  • Raised fasting blood sugar and insulin levels
  • High LDL's and TG'S

Foods to Avoid

  • Hydrogenated oils
  • Refined vegetable oils
  • Sugars and artificial sweeteners
  • High fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
  • Flour products
  • Refined grains
  • Junk foods/fast foods/processed foods

Foods to Take as Supplements for Improved Metabolism

  • Ginseng
  • Green tea
  • Fenugreek
  • Cinnamon

Supplements to Take for Improved Appetite Control

  • Alpha-lipoic acid (aids glucose metabolism)
  • Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA-evening primrose oil)
  • PGX (Polyglycoplex X-Konjac root fiber)

Obese males have higher estrogen levels; therefore, there is a higher likelihood of benign prostatic hyperplasia.

To Prevent Oxidative Stress

  • Test urine and blood for rancid fats and damaged DNA
  • Exclude antibodies to mold and mold toxins
  • Reduce leptin levels - leptin resistance leads to failure to control appetite
  • Low levels of alpha-melanocortin stimulating hormone

Free radicals cause oxidative stress, which is responsible for facial wrinkles, and they also steal electrons from other molecules. Free radicals damage DNA and cell membranes, cause rancid cholesterol, or arterial wall deposition, and stiffening of arteries, wrinkles, and premature aging. Oxidized cells do not function normally.

Rust, or oxidative stress, leads to fatigue, poor mental function, lowered resistance to infection, muscle weakness, muscle and joint pains, digestive problems such as reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, and ulcers, anxiety, depression, headaches, hypoglycemia, allergies, irritability, and dizziness.

Free radicals are produced in mitochondria as by-product of energy metabolism. Antioxidants signal genes to enhance metabolism through PPAR and NF-KB receptors. Antioxidants also protect against inflammation, diabetes, and help to prevent weight gain.

Natural Antioxidants

  • Superoxide dismutase
  • Catalase
  • Glutathione peroxidase

Ways to Eliminate Oxidation

  • Avoid over-eating charbroiled foods since they contain polycyclic hydrocarbons which generate free radicals (also one of the main causes of pancreatic cancer)
  • Avoid excess sugar/refined carbohydrates
  • Avoid excess alcohol
  • Reduce exposure to toxins, petrochemicals, pesticides, heavy metals
  • Minimize exposure to ionizing radiation through television, microwaves, and cell phone use
  • Reduce exposure to tobacco smoke
  • Reduce air and water pollutants
  • Avoid insufficient or excessive exercise
  • Treat chronic infections
  • Reduce internal causes of oxidative stress from gut bacteria, parasites and fungi
  • Improve liver and gut detoxification
  • Reduce exposure to fungal toxins like mold
  • Reduce stress since cortisol increases inflammation
  • Improve breathing and oxygenation

Herbs that reduce oxidation include ginkgo, ginger, green tea due to catechins, pycnogenol, or grape seen extract, milk thistle, rosemary, turmeric, or curcumin, glutathione, or N-Acetyl-Cysteine, alacid, CoQ 10, and vitamin 6.

Tests can be done to find oxidation. Ask a doctor for specific information. About 5% of the oxygen we breathe results in the production of free radicals. A single cell has from 200-2,000 mitochondria, with heart, liver and muscle cells containing the most.

The only way to sustain weight loss by way of increasing mitochondria numbers is through exercise. Physical activity increases muscle mass, which in turn, increases mitochondria. Doing aerobic exercise, especially interval training, increases mitochondria in the cells as well.

Damage to Mitochondria

  • Developing insulin-resistance
  • Thyroid hormone insufficiency
  • Chronic infections
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Certain medications, especially Statins, deplete CoQ10

Exercise Methods

  • Aerobic exercise: 30-60 minutes 5 times per week
  • 70-80% (15-20 minutes) of physical activity at max heart rate
  • 220-age multiplied by 0.7-0.8
  • Increase growth hormone levels

Cardiovascular Stress Test

  • Measure VO2 maximum (looks at power of mitochondria)
  • Organic acid tests (looks at mitochondrial biochemical efficiency)
  • Thyroid gland
  • Very important when dealing with metabolism:

    • T4 - 93% (inactive)
    • T3 - 7% (active)
    • T4 is converted in liver to T3. T3 acts on PPAR family of receptors. In subclinical hypothyroid - c-reactive protein elevated, and insulin levels activated.

Causes of Thyroid Dysfunction

  • Soy foods (in excessive quantities)
  • Broccoli family
  • Gluten (test for food allergies)
  • Mercury/fluoride/chlorine/bromide
  • Pesticides
  • Stress (higher levels of cortisol)

Conditions That Prevent Thyroid Dysfunction

  • Saunas (especially infra-red)
  • Fatty acids
  • Iodine
  • Selenium
  • Foods: seaweed, sardines, salmon, dandelion greens, smelt, herring, scallops, brazil nuts
  • Minerals: selenium, iodine, zinc, vitamins A and D, omega-3

Toxic Chemicals that Lead to Thyroid Dysfunction

  • Dioxin
  • Styrene
  • 1, 4-dichlorobenzene
  • Xylene
  • Ethylphenol
  • Benzene
  • Toluene
  • Ethylbenzene
  • DDE (from DDT)
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls

    Sources: pesticides, industrial chemicals, household goods, gas stations mercury-amalgam fillings (hair analysis does not detect this accurately; only mercury from fish, tuna, swordfish, river fish, bass, and tilefish).

The heavy metals that cause the most ill-health are lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, nickel, and aluminum.

Chemical Culprits of Thyroid Dysfunction

  • Volatile organic compounds ( VOCS )
  • Solvents 9 (formaldehyde, toluene, and benzene)
  • Alcohol
  • Pesticides
  • Herbicides
  • Food additives
  • Drugs (MAO): inhibitors, lithium, valproate, remeron, clozaril, zyprexa, serotonin-receptor inhibitors like prozac, zoloft, and paxil (all promote weight gain)
  • Internal toxins
  • Microbial compounds from bacteria, fungi and parasites
  • Urea
  • Ammonia

People with a higher body mass store more toxins. Toxins compete with thyroid hormones, and damage mitochondria.

Optimizing Liver Function:

  • Clean the gut
  • Help digestion
  • Avoid toxins
  • Special foods: broccoli, garlic, dandelion greens, and artichokes
  • Special nutrients: N-Acetyl-Cysteine, alpha-lipoic acid, selenium, and milk thistle (sylmarin)

Weight Control Hormones

  • Estrogen
  • Testosterone
  • Cortisol
  • Leptin
  • Growth hormone
  • Insulin

Fatty Liver

  • Produces more inflammatory molecules and free radicals
  • Damages mitochondria
  • Less efficient at eliminating toxins
  • Reduced T3
  • Eventually leads to cirrhosis

Heat Therapy

  • Helps balance autonomic nervous system
  • Reduces stress
  • Lowers blood sugar
  • Helps burn calories
  • Helps excrete pesticides and heavy metals

Most common food allergies include gluten, dairy products, eggs and especially egg whites. The recommendation is to combine many vitamins and minerals to get the ultimate nutrition. For a very specific list, please consult the doctor.

Drinking plenty of water is also of utmost importance. However, remember these two tips:

  1. Use an appropriate filter.
  2. Drink water out of durable plastic, if glass is not available. Avoid thin, opaque, or compressible plastic since these may release toxic compounds in the forms of phythalates and bisphenol (BPA).

Foods To Forego

  • Hydrogenated/partially hydrogenated fats
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharin, acesulfame, cyclamate, neotame, and sucralose
  • Sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, and maltitol (can cause gas and intestinal upset)
  • Artificial fats such as olestra
  • Artificial colorings
  • Preservatives such as BHA and BHT
  • Brominated vegetable oil
  • Heptyl paraben like the preservative found in some beers)
  • Hydrogenated starch hydrolysate (sweetener)
  • Hydrolysed vegetable protein
  • Propyl gallate found in mayonnaise, shortening, baked goods and dried meats
  • Potassium bromate (flavor-enhancer found in breads which can be carcinogenic)
  • Sodium nitrate/nitrite (preservative in processed meats which can be carcinogenic)
  • Sulfites (sulphur dioxide and sodium bisulfite found in wine, dried fruit, instant potatoes, french fries, and pizza)

Weight Loss and Metabolism

Following a period of significant weight loss, metabolic alterations result in a decline in energy production, and the body gears up to amplify fat production and increase fat storage. These metabolic alterations include:

  • Reduced energy production (fatigue)
  • Increased appetite (stimulates intake of excess calories)
  • Shunting of consumed calories into production of increased fat stores

Losing weight triggers change in level and distribution of the enzyme, lipoprotein lipase (LPL), which controls how fat is stored and metabolized. LPL determines whether circulating triglycerides are metabolized by fat cells, or converted into fat for storage in adipocytes.

Eating a meal increases activity in fat cells and decreases activity in muscle cells, maximizing energy storage. During meals, LPL activity deceases in fat cells and increases in muscle cells to maximize energy output. Modern humans who live a sedentary life with unlimited access to abundant food supply rich in fats and refined carbohydrates have fueled an explosive epidemic of obesity and obesity-related diseases. In a lean, healthy body, LPL is evenly distributed between muscle cells and fat tissues. A diet high in refined carbohydrates changes this ratio, resulting in higher LPL activity in fat cells, yielding a greater quantity of consumed calories converted into fat reserves. The quantity of LPL in muscle cells is greatly reduced; therefore, the result is reduced energy production, increased insulin resistance, and further weight gain.

Either obese patients who have lost weight or athletes that rest after a period of exercise result in tenfold increase in adipose/muscle LPL ratio. The body interprets this as a life-threatening famine, so it further limits energy expenditures and speeds up recovery of available calories into additional fat stores. This explains rapid weight gain after dieting.

Normalizing Metabolic Weight Loss

Two herbs normalize metabolic, chemical and behavioral components involved in unwanted weight gains, especially after excess weight loss.

  1. Cordyceps Sinensis, a fungus in Tibetan Himalayas. This is now far more cheaply cultivated.
    • Reduces serum lipids (total cholesterol), increases HDL, and decreases LDL & VLDL.
    • Inhibits oxidation of low-density lipoprotein, and cholesterol deposits in arterial wall
    • Reverses Insulin-resistance (so fasting blood sugar lowered)
    • Decreases insulin-secretion after meals (high in carbohydrates)
    • Stimulates pancreatic secretion of insulin
  2. Crataegus, Fructus Crataegi, used to promote liver health and blood circulation and is also a rich source of flavonoids
    • Prevents oxidation of LDLs
    • Powerful antioxidant that reduces free radicals and oxidative damage. Free radicals targeted are superoxide, hydroxyl and peroxyl radicals.
    • Prevents uncontrolled weight gain by reversing metabolic alterations that increase storage of fat
    • Lowers LDL, increases HDL, and decreases VLDL and triglycerides
    • Activates PPAR-alpha which is a receptor that increases burning of fat acids in muscles, while preventing storage of fatty acids in new adipocytes. It also causes significant increased activity of LPL in muscle cells through a Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors (PPAR) pathway.

Overall, the metabolism is an extremely complicated matter. Dr. Allibone first gets a complete medical background and runs appropriate tests before he puts together a treatment plan. Our clinic treats each patient on an extremely individualized basis so that optimal health can be reached.

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If we fill our hours with regrets of yesterday and with worries of tomorrow, we have no today in which to enjoy our existence. Seize the day, and take control of your health and life. How you are going to live those tomorrows will depend on how you act and choose today. - George Allibone M.D.