Obesity-Related Cardiovascular Damage, Interventions That Work - The Third One is a Surprise!


Obesity has been the target of researchers who have found that knocking out one gene that is a factor in insulin resistance can prevent damage to the cardiovascular system. This is usually associated with obesity, the number one health threat of which is cardiovascular disease.

Alert: As for the latest National Obesity Trends, more than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7%) are obese. About 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese.

Trends by State 1985–2010

There has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States during the past 20 years and they stay high. In 2010, all states had a prevalence of obesity of 20% or more. In fact, statistics showed 36 states had a prevalence of 25% or more and 12 states had a prevalence of 30% or more. Let’s turn these statistics around and make them go down. We have the power to do it!

Before developing diabetes, obese people have a blood glucose reading that is a bit off the normal reading. By this time, this is already harming the circulation of the body. So said Dr. David Stepp who is the co-director of the MCG's Diabetes and Obesity Discovery Institute. This is when the intervention should be done.

The researchers at the Medical College of Georgia are attempting to understand how knocking out the PTP1B (protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B) in fat diabetic mice will help. If this is true then using drug to target the PTP1B in obese non-diabetic people whose blood sugar control is a bit off, will get help.

The principal investigator of this, Dr. Stepp is working on a five-year, $2.5 million grant from the National Institute of Health. He hopes to find the answer to this although they have already found that the cardiovascular function has improved when knocking out the gene.

Dr. David Stepp, who is also the vascular biologist of the MCG Vascular Biology Center said that the problem may be the resistance but that this time it is to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is the dilator of the blood vessels. As one overeats, the body increases the production of insulin in order to meet the demand.

The body learns to misjudge the amount of insulin needed and loses control. Thus begins the erratic high and low blood sugar levels swing. The blood vessels then stop dilating, and the walls become thick and inflamed leading to the formation of clots.

While waiting for research findings to be free of bugs, another solution is to know what to have in the diet. At this point though it is good to recognize that although many type 2 diabetics belong to the obesity group, there are some who are not. This goes to show that calorie reduction is not enough to manage diabetes.

The quality of the food is as important as the amount consumed. Dr. Marie Savard recommendation as to what to eat to prevent obesity and manage diabetes is like the Mediterranean style diet which includes plenty of fruits and vegetables as well as high in fiber.

The first of three macronutrients to consider are carbohydrates which are actually good for the diabetics. The healthy carbohydrates that help promote weight loss, lower risk for heart disease and manage diabetes are vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and legumes that contain fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. They contain little or no fat.

Fats are next in line and are needed to regulate blood pressure, maintain the structure of cell membranes and boost the immune system. The healthiest fats are the monounsaturated ones found in olive and canola oils. They help lower the resistance to insulin as well as improve the blood flow.

The most valuable fats are the polyunsaturated ones that come as omega-3 fatty acids found in shellfish, fish, canola oil, wheat germ, soybeans, walnuts and flaxseed. They are known to help protect one from heart attack, hypertension, and some forms of cancer.

What to avoid in this group are the trans fatty acids found in cookies, margarine and pastries. Read the labels in foods you buy and avoid the ones that say partially hydrogenated oils. Even those that say 0 trans fats may still have hydrogenated oils. They are bad especially if eaten in large serving sizes.

Proteins help repair damage to the cells, develop muscles, make blood cells and hormones, build a strong immune system and keep us generally healthy. They are found in meat, eggs, poultry, whole grains, nuts, beans and dairy products. The best ones are those that contain no or little saturated fat.

Now that said, there is a new treatment for losing weight and reversing diabetes and this is a surprise. It is a new 15-minute treatment for weight loss without surgery, a non surgical procedure which after a few weeks, they claim the patients lose weight and are diabetes-free. I have to watch this carefully for it will revolutionize the solution to our problem about obesity.

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