We traditionally think of bacteria as dirty, something we want to keep outside of our bodies. Intestinal bacteria are very important for digestion; they break complex fiber polysaccharides (sugar molecules connected to each other), into simple absorbable sugars by a process called fermentation, converting nutrients into calories. The large intestine houses over 1400 species of bacteria, numbering over 100 trillion. Reality is that the human body contains ten times more microbial cells than human cells, and the human body is dependent upon the genetic information encoded in these bacterial cells for specific metabolic pathways.
Our microbial partners have coevolved with us, in a beneficial (symbiotic) relationships, involving nutrient sharing. The ability to store energy would be a beneficial attribute for ancient humans, who had variable access to food, and when nutrient dense food supply was available, consuming it and storing it would benefit both the human and its bacterial symbiotes later when food supplies were diminished. However, in modern, developed societies, where there is ready access to large-portion, high-calorie diets, this “benefit” becomes a detriment, and we develop a previously rare condition (historically seen in the wealthy) called over nutrition, over storage, or obesity
Obese individuals have a different mix of bacteria in their guts than thin people. The ratio of Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes (called the F/B ratio) is higher in obese people than in lean people, and it drops as those people lose weight. Both Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes bacteria are involved in complex polysaccharide breakdown, but Firmicutes are much more efficient than Bacteroidetes bacteria, and having more Firmicutes bacteria in our gut makes more energy available, leading to increased caloric intake and eventually obesity. Firmicutes overload is also associated slowed intestinal motility [chronic constipation].
In studies of genetically identical twins, bacterial populations have been found to differ, depending on whether the twin is lean or obese, with much higher level of Firmicutes in the obese twins. In obese patients undergoing gastric bypass surgery, colonic bacteria change to become more like those of normal-weight individuals after the operation, reducing their Firmicutes levels.
Antibiotic over utilization may also indiscriminately eradicate the beneficial bacteria in your gut along with the bad ones. Conventional farmed meats are doped with antibiotics, with nearly 50-70% of all antibiotics produced in the United States used on healthy livestock to promote growth and weight gain in the animal feed. Consuming these antibiotic-laden meats may be a significant factor enhancing growth and weight in the human population [obesity] as well. This further stresses the importance of eating grass-fed and organically raised meats of all kinds.
The amazing thing to keep in mind is that you can rapidly change your gut bacteria within 72 hours, to a healthy ratio, simply by immediately eliminating refined carbohydrates and increasing your fiber intake. Supplements of “get thin bacteria” will soon be available as well.
Obesity is among the most important medical problems in the United States today. Currently, 1 in 4 children and 1 in 2 adults are overweight, and prevalence rates that have increased by 50% since the 1960s. The Federal government and various official medical agencies, at the behest of grain producers, have advocated decreasing intake of total fat, while increasing consumption of “complex carbohydrate.” Consumption of carbohydrates has increased over the years, and the nation’s levels of obesity, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease have dramatically risen. Americans, on average, eat 250 to 300 grams of carbs a day, accounting for about 55% of their caloric intake.
All carbohydrates (a category including sugars) convert to sugar in the blood, and the more refined the carbs are, the quicker the conversion. When you eat a glazed doughnut or a serving of mashed potatoes, it turns into blood sugar very quickly. To manage the blood sugar, the pancreas produces insulin, which pushes glucose from the blood stream into cell to be used for energy conversion or storage.
When cells become more resistant to those insulin instructions, the pancreas needs to make more insulin to push the same amount of glucose into cells. As people become insulin resistant, carbs become a bigger challenge for the body. When the pancreas gets exhausted and can’t produce enough insulin to keep up with the glucose in the blood, diabetes develops
The first sign of insulin resistance is a condition called metabolic syndrome — a red flag for impending diabetes and heart disease. Metabolic syndrome (found in nearly 1/4 of adults) is diagnosed when people have three or more of the following:
high blood triglycerides (more than 150 mg)
high blood pressure (over 135/85)
central obesity (a waist circumference in men of more than 40 inches and in women, more than 35 inches)
low HDL cholesterol (under 40 in men, under 50 in women)
elevated fasting glucose.
Glycemic Index measures the “effect of food on blood glucose levels.” It is a ranking of foods based on the how quickly the blood sugar levels will increase after ingestion. A low glycemic food gives a slow increase in blood sugar levels. A high glycemic index food gives a more rapid rise in blood sugar levels.
GI is specifically defined as the measurable glucose response curve after consumption of 50 g carbohydrate from a test food, divided by the response after consumption of 50 g glucose.
The GI for glucose would be defined as 100.
High GIs are above 50
Intermediate GIs range between 35 and 50
Low GIs are below or equal to 35
[learn_more caption=”High Glycemic Index Foods (GI>50)”]
In general, refined grain products and potato have a high GI, exceeding that of table sugar by up to 50%, whereas most vegetables, fruits and legumes have a low GI. Other factors including carbohydrate type, fiber, protein, fat, food form and method of preparation, determine the GI of a particular food.
According to data from the Department of Agriculture, >80% of the carbohydrate currently consumed by children ages 2–18 has a GI equal to or greater than that of table sugar. Moreover, carbohydrate absorption rate (and therefore GI) is increased after a low fat meal because fat acts to delay gastric emptying.
The rapid absorption of glucose from the high GI meal results in a high insulin secretion; which promotes uptake of glucose in muscle, liver and fat tissue and inhibits fat breakdown (lipolysis). In the post absorptive period, a transient hypoglycemia ensues, with blood sugars falling below normal due to high insulin, resulting in hunger and agitation. In some individuals, this may cause tremendous anxiety, which may create a feedback loop of carbohydrate addiction. Experimental evidence also suggests that elevated insulin levels, even just for 48–72-h period (in the presence of normal or reduced blood sugar levels) decreases insulin sensitivity in healthy subjects creating a diabetic effect of insulin resistance.
Without a doubt, high GI foods elicit (calorie for calorie) higher insulin levels than low GI foods. In humans, high acute insulin secretion after intravenous glucose tolerance tests predicts weight gain. High insulin levels also reduce Growth Hormone levels, which may reduce metabolic rate. Hormonal responses to a high GI diet stimulate hunger and favor storage of fat, which promotes excessive weight gain.
The LiveHealthProtocol dietary recommendation is designed to lower the insulin response to ingested carbohydrate (low GI), which improves access to stored metabolic fuels, decreases hunger, and promotes weight loss. The LiveHealthProtocol recommends abundant quantities of vegetables, and fruits, moderate amounts of protein and healthful fats, and decreased intake of refined grain products, potato and concentrated sugars.
Milk products (whey protein) have a GI which is low, but have paradoxic high insulinemic index (release high amounts of insulin). Milk products appear insulinotropic as judged from 3-fold to 6-fold higher insulinemic indexes than expected from the corresponding glycemic indexes. So even if you are consuming a low GI milk product, from the insulin standpoint it is a very high load.
Starchy fruits increase their Glycemic Index depending on ripeness. Green bananas have low GI of 40 but when they are ripen it will raise to 65.
Glycemic Load [GL] relates the GI to the amount of carbohydrate eaten in a normal serving or in 100 grams. It measures the total amount of carbohydrate, and is decreased by fiber consumption.
Serotonin release in the brain controls functions such as sleep onset, pain sensitivity, blood pressure regulation, and control of mood. Serotonin-releasing neurons are unique in that the amount of neurotransmitter they release is normally controlled by food intake: Carbohydrate consumption–acting via insulin secretion and the “plasma tryptophan ratio”–increases serotonin release dramatically (by enhancing the brain uptake of its precursor, tryptophan). Elevated serotonin causes significant mood enhancement and a generalized sense of contentedness. Patients learn to overeat carbohydrates (particularly snack foods and drinks, like soda, potato chips or pastries, which are rich in carbohydrates) to make themselves feel better.
Self-medication with carbohydrate rich foods as though they were drugs is a frequent cause of weight gain, and is often seen:
In patients who become fat when exposed to stress
In women with premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
In patients with “winter depression” (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
In people who are attempting to give up smoking. (Nicotine increases brain serotonin secretion; nicotine withdrawal has the opposite effect causing cravings.)
As a consequence of chronic patterned carbohydrate consumption causing hardwired changes in neurons, such that there are cravings and feelings of withdrawal when carbohydrates are withheld
Carbohydrate load is so closely linked to addiction, that the Glycemic Index (GI) of specific carbohydrates correlates closely with their relative addictive strength and activates addiction neural pathways.
The take home message, carbohydrates are an addiction. Carbohydrate consumption promotes neurochemical changes, which reinforce additional carbohydrate consumption. There is now evidence that carbohydrate binging is akin to heroin addiction, with the cravings for carbohydrates reduced by opiates and more interestingly, carbohydrate cravings dramatically increased during opiate withdrawal. Unfortunately, carbohydrate addiction will definitely make you fat.
There are three types of fat commonly seen observed in the abdomen
Subcutaneous Fat, which is fat immediately below the skin but outside the abdominal cavity.
Retroperitoneal or Structural Fat separating organ and providing cushioning during movement.
Visceral abdominal fat (found inside the abdominal cavity). Most of that fat is found on the greater omentum—a large apron-like sheet that drapes over all the organs. Some people are prone to storing their body fat in their abdomen as part of this greater omentum. As a result, large, globule clumps of fat attach to the omentum, where they release toxic materials into the venous drainage and onto the bloodstream, ultimately causing adverse effects. This kind of fat releases adipokines, harmful chemicals that can cause Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and increased risk of cancer.
Reports have demonstrated that being overweight or obese (particular with a centralized distribution of adiposity) puts you in a higher-risk category for chronic conditions, from insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, heart attack, congestive heart failure, gallstones, gout, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea and a liver disease called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
It is interesting to note that the middle-age bulge increase your chances of having
Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia in your senior years by nearly three times, even though it’s not your brain that stores the fat. This may be related to:
Toxic metabolites produced by the visceral abdominal fat, such as xenoestrogens which suppress testosterone formation, leading to poor blood vessel elasticity and high blood pressure
Storage of fat soluble toxins, such as food borne pesticides and herbicides, acquired from the environment which then slowly leach out.
Toxic belly fat is thought to promote amyloid accumulation by increasing chronic inflammation. Amyloid is an abnormal protein, which deposits in the body’s tissues or in more organ-specific areas, such as in the pancreas (type 2 diabetes) or central nervous system (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington disease).
Visceral abdominal fat (belly fat) is the last reservoir people get rid of when they’re losing body fat—and it’s the first place they store it when they gain back body fat.
To date, there are no ways to specifically target that fat, but there are things you can do to work your way down to healthier body fat levels (16% for men, under 22% for women).
A low-glycemic nutrition eating plan with specific nutritional supplementation can help you optimize your health potential and reduce belly fat. Consistent high intensity interval exercise can increase metabolic rates, lower heart disease risk and improve body composition, muscle endurance, flexibility, cardiovascular endurance, core strength/stability and posture. These effects are not purely related to the energy burned due to exercise, but also due to the significant endocrine [hormonal changes] induced by resistance exercise leading to increased Growth Hormone, Thyroid Hormone, and Testosterone production.
More specifically, resistance training helps you lose abdominal fat and overall body fat while lowering cholesterol: Weight training is the best way to burn fat; it’s more effective for losing weight than aerobic activity because it burns calories while you’re exercising and later at rest due to the hormonal changes and muscular regeneration.
If you are truly interested in losing abdominal fat, check out our mdHCG protocol for a guaranteed solution.