Obesity linked to a gut bacteria

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by gturner, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. GalaxyX

    GalaxyX Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Rama, I remember my family doctor giving me a physical, at at the time I was maybe around 20% bodyfat, I can't remember actual percentage. I may have had a bit of a belly, but hardly anything. I was 205lbs.

    He put me on the scale and freaked out that I was severely overweight. I remember asking why he thought that, and he said that my BMI was way beyond what I should be. So I asked him what my ideal weight was, and he said it should be 155lbs lol.

    I literally started laughing at him. The most lean I have ever been was 173lbs, and I was fucking ripped, 7% bodyfat, and I would get stares like crazy. I wasn't even huge, my arms were like 17" at the time, but I couldn't shake the girls off lol.

    The problem is for my type it was extremely hard to keep that level of bodyfat. I'm 18% right now, and I'll be happy if I can get down to 12%.

    Most obese people would be overjoyed if they could get to 25%, which is totally doable for 99% of them IMO.
     
  2. farmkid

    farmkid Commodore Commodore

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    There is wide range of body types out there. According to the BMI, I'm obese, with a BMI of 31.8, yet the last time I had my body fat percentage calculated (last week, by a professional with calipers) it came in at 13.2%. In order to reach the "normal" range, I would have to lose every ounce of fat I have, plus an additional 25 pounds, and even then I would be just at the border of normal and overweight. It's not going to happen.

    My point is that there's no "one size fits all" for body shape and health. I'm not a runner, but people I know who are routinely talk about seeing overweight and even obese people running marathons and passing up the skinny people. I'm becoming more and more convinced that weight by itself isn't a good predictor of health, but it is often associated with other things that are, and it just happens to be more visible.

    I agree that fads are a bad idea. In fact, I think the whole concept of a "diet" is a bad idea because it implies that it's a temporary change until the weight is lost. If any lost weight is going to stay off, it can't be because of a "diet", it must be because of a permanent lifestyle change because as soon as the change stops, the weight is coming back.

    I read something recently about why it's hard to keep weight off. Statistically, almost no one keeps it off long term. Here's an article I came across a while ago that summarizes some of the most recent research on the subject. I haven't read it in a while, and don't have time to reread it now, but here's what I remember from it. It explains, in plain English, what science has learned about why people who lose weight can't keep the weight off. Basically, what it comes down to is that people who were once obese but have lost weight are metabolically very different from someone else of the same weight who was never obese. Hunger and satiety hormone levels are such that the formerly-obese person (FOP) is driven to eat. MRIs show an enhanced response to food in the brain of the (FOP). The cellular metabolism slows down such that the FOP needs a few hundred less calories per day. Calories are more easily stored as fat and exercise is less effective. And, these results aren't just for a short time after losing weight. It's long term--at least 10 years and probably for life. These metabolic changes kick in once a person has lost about 10% of their weight.

    There's a lot more to it than just eating less and exercising more.
     
  3. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    I think the implication of the bacteria screwing up metabolism and the signaling mechansims for fat storage/fat burning impacts the "simple physics" approach of calories in and calories out.

    If you put $10 worth of gas in your vehicle every day but don't drive much, it starts to fill up with gas and you start towing an extra tank of it around with you. (I'll call that the 'trailer', which is fed from an overflow condition in your truck's normal tank). If you drive more and fill up less your truck's tank will run low, and this will cause it to start drawing fuel from the trailer to bring the level back to normal, but slowly emptying the trailer. It's kind of like having a reversible fuel pump between the truck's tank and the trailer, and that's kind of how fat storage is supposed to work. If you're used to your vehicle working properly, it runs trim and has a tiny little trailer behind it. When you see people hauling around big semi-truck trailers of gas you think they couldn't be driving very much, and when they do it's just between gas station because all they do is fill up.

    But the gut bugs produce a compound that screws up the fuel sensors (probably by evolutionary design), so that the truck's fuel-tank pump always tries to pump fuel into the trailer, whether the truck's tank is really full or not, and won't ever pump fuel from the trailer back to the regular tank. The fuel transfer pump is stuck on, and in one direction, perhaps because the truck's tank level always says "full" and the trailer's sensor always says "empty."

    So whenever the defective truck fills up, it immediately starts pumping gas into the trailer, emptying the regular tank earlier, and if driven around like a normal vehicle it just runs out of gas sooner, and won't feed from the trailer, ending up stuck on the side of the road. Simple physics says it has plenty of gas to drive half-way across the country, but it just doesn't seem to tap into the supply to burn any of it. Instead the truck rolls into the nearest gas station and fills up, because to the sensors, and to the carburator, it's out of gas - even though it's towing an entire semi-trailer of fuel around.

    For such people, losing weight through the normal mechanisms (which are based on having a working cross-feed system) would be like trying to shrink a tumor by exercising, on the theory that it will eventually burn off.
     
  4. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    These persons make up only a small percentage of the overweight ones.
    Proof is the percentage of the overall population that was overweight in 1900 (or 1950, 60...) by comparison to the percentage of the overall population overweight now.
     
  5. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    How is that "proof" when you're comparing pre-epidemic obesity with post-epidemic obesity, given that the question is whether the spread of a particular bacteria constitutes an actual epidemic? This existence of unsymptomatic, uninfected people prior to the spread of the epidemic doesn't really tell you anything.
     
  6. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    gturner, the quoted study does NOT prove that:
    -bacteria cause obesity in a significant number of cases,
    -that these bacteria didn't exist prior to 10 years - an epidemic, recent too? From where exactly did you come up with this, gturner?

    The study doesn't even prove unequivocally that there's a link between bacteria and obesity (extremely small sample size, lack of independent confirmation, lack of peer review).


    On the other hand, the link between diet, sedentary lifestyle and obesity is uneqivocally proven:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obesity

    So - the percentage of the overall population that was overweight in 1900 (or 1950, 60...) by comparison to the percentage of the overall population overweight now IS proof (corroborated with all the other proof regarding diet and lifestyle) that most cases of obesity are due to diet/sedentarism.
     
  7. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    The CDC had already established that the obesity epidemic actually seems to spread from person to person, exactly like a disease as far as the epidemiology was concerned, but had no explanation as to why it would act this way. Some studies subsequent to that found that many fat people seemed to have different populations of gut bugs than thin people, and that the gut bugs in fat people were more efficient at converting food into digestible calories.

    Another groundbreaking study in Scandinavia found that people's lifetime baseline metabolism was determined in the womb (comparing WW-II era babies that were carried to term during famine with normal babies born before and after the famine years). Other species also seem to do this, an evolutionary method of tuning offspring to their future environment's energy availability. During the Korean War American POWs were literally starving to death while being fed better than their North Korean guards, whose low-metabolic energy requirements were adapted to extremely low calorie intakes.

    So given all that, this study is not that unexpected. We had once proved that ulcers were caused by stress and diet - until it was proved to be caused by a bacteria called Heliobactor pylori, overturning the conventional medical wisdom.

    Back in the 1900's, and the 1950's, and the 1960's, people didn't spend their time jogging and going to the weight room, or paying for personal trainers, or buying rooms full of exercise equipment like stationary bikes and treadmills. They also ate high-fat, high-calorie diets (steak and potatoes, potatoes and steak, bacon and eggs with a side of meatloaf). Even the breeds of meat were high fat, with everyone wanting beef and pork with lots of marbleing. Diet foods, which now fill whole aisles of the supermarket, were virtually unheard of. They still didn't get fat in the numbers we have now.

    What did happen since the 1950's is that everyone in the West, but especially America, started being given high-dose antibiotics for just about everything, even colds and flu. Anti-biotics can severely impact gut-bug populations, drastically shifting the equilibrium, often wiping almost all of them out, making the gut available for re-population by opportunistic strains picked up from friends and family - who, if they are fat, would be much more likely to carry either the fat-inducing gut bugs or the more efficient calorie-scavenging gut bugs.

    And under no currently accepted understandings could gastric bypass surgery cure diabetes in two or three days, yet it seems to be doing so in what, about 80% of cases? One day we may look back on the total diet and exercise view of obesity as being as primitive and silly as blaming epidemics on people's sinful ways and their rejection of God. Future studies will see whether this is, in fact, the case.
     
  8. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Really?
    Then you'll have no problem producing unambiguous evidence for this epidemic - peer reviewed papers, statistics, etc.
    Let's see it.

    I can, of course, produce unambiguous and redundant evidence that diet/lifestyle are the main causes of obesity:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obesity
    Look at the papers quoted there - for starters.
     
  9. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    From the New England Journal of Medicine, a survey of 12,000 patients from the Framingham Heart Study found that if one of your friends becomes obese, your own chances of becoming obese go up by 57%.

    NIH pubmed

    Interesting animated obesity map

    Diet and lifestyle certainly play a large role, but that's no reason to ignore the possibility that other factors that might also be at work, and body fat is regulated by a lot of signaling mechanisms.
     
  10. farmkid

    farmkid Commodore Commodore

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    You might think that if the linked article was all there was, but that was just a popular press review of an actual article from a scientific journal. Sure, it was a short communication, rather than a full-length paper, but it was still peer-reviewed and legitimate science.

    link
     
  11. GalaxyX

    GalaxyX Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This is exactly why I said that, while it's probably not realistic for an obese person to be able to get to single digit bodyfat, but they *can* work to get themselves to a more normal range.

    Example, a man who is 300lbs most likely only has around 180lbs worth of other mass, like muscle and bone, etc etc. So that means he is carrying 220lbs of useless fat. That's a lot.

    Bodyfat wise, that guy is 73% bodyfat. To get down to 30% bodyfat, he has to lose about 70lbs, which would get him to 230lbs, and around 30% bf. While not a stellar weight, the difference in look and health will be night and day. The only diseases I know that would make this extremely difficult are problems with the thyroid. If the person has a faulty metabolism, the body won't be able to burn off a salad, but at this stage such a person should be seeking medical help.
     
  12. RobertVA

    RobertVA Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ^ You might want to recheck your math.
     
  13. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    The results would need to be replicated on a larger scale (and on people) before they could be considered revolutionary.
     
  14. Yoda

    Yoda Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    My gut bacteria keep telling me that I really like donuts :(
     
  15. GalaxyX

    GalaxyX Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    :guffaw::guffaw: awesome!!!
     
  16. GalaxyX

    GalaxyX Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I must have been sleeping at the switch or something. Let's try this again.

    300lb man, who likely only have 180lbs of other tissue and bone mass (that's actually quite a bit, it means this guy is pretty thick naturally). So he has 120lbs of adipose tissue on his frame. This seems to be about 40% bodyfat, which is quite high, it's almost half his weight in fat.

    So, let's say that he wanted to get down to 25% bodyfat, he would have to lose 45lbs, to get down to 255lbs.

    I would say the difference in look would be staggering, and this is totally within reach of most people, even if they have minor health problems.
     
  17. Venardhi

    Venardhi Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That example is pretty much my history.

    In highschool I topped out at about 285. At 6'1"-ish and stocky I was about 35-40% bodyfat. When I got down to about 180 at my thinnest, I was working out twice a day, living off of smoothies, sugar free tea, and meal replacement bars. The moment I began reintroducing normal foods (not junk, just recommended daily value sort of stuff) I started gaining back weight. I started going to the gym only 3-4 days a week and I started gaining it back quicker. Compared to my friends I was eating far less, and working out far more, and I was gaining weight. Diet and exercise DOES work, but I was not particularly interested in maintaining a lifestyle that meant denying myself all of my favorite food and spending 10-15 hours a week in the gym. I settled into a weight around 230-240 a few years ago and it appears that is where I will stay unless I pick up that gymrat life again.
     
  18. RAMA

    RAMA Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well its a lifestyle choice (as I said) your lifestyle doesnt include working at being a normal weight. Not a criticism, but almost anyone who says they cant do it decide not to...btw that includes people with thyroid problems...ive known people to overcome that with exercise and radical changes in diet.

    BTW I can eat 6 meals with healthier food (not smoothies)and easily lose weight. It requires some discipline but doesnt necessarily mean changing everything about your life.
     
  19. GalaxyX

    GalaxyX Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think the biggest problem is lack of knowledge.

    People think they have to starve or eat weird combinations of stuff that don't help.

    I'm actually working on getting to single digit BF myself right now, and I've lost about 12lbs so far from about a month and a half ago. My BF tester thing says I'm 18% but I think I'm more, maybe around 22%ish right now?

    This is the leanest I've ever been, at 14%

    [​IMG]

    I should reach this goal hopefully in a couple more months.

    I've been doing my cardio on an empty stomach for 30mins every morning, and eating 4 times a day, 3 Lean Body protein MRP's and 1 "cheat" meal which has usually been a half chicken with a baked potato lol.

    I'm having to take it easy because I'm working around injuries. RAMA, I've love to run some of them by you to see if you have any ideas.

    Anyway the point is that if I can do it, anyone can, you just need the willpower and someone to help you with the details.
     
  20. Venardhi

    Venardhi Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You're not me. Congratulations. What is required for me to maintain a sub-20% bodyfat is different than what is required of you. I lost over 100 lbs at one point, and I know exactly how much time and effort it took and what eating habits I had to develop for it to start working. There is a difference between a willingness to work towards something and a willingness to dedicate 20% of the rest of your waking life to that thing. Telling people they just aren't trying hard enough when you have literally no idea at all what kind of efforts they're putting in makes you look like an enormous asshole. I'm pretty sure you're not, so watch your fucking tone.