Friday, May 25, 2012

Obesity Factors

The New Scientist published an article about losing weight that has some relatively new factors that contribute to obesity. Eight lazy ways to lose weight points to infection, circadian rhythm, cold exposure, and a host of other things.Actually, I think almost all of these factors work through inflammatory processes and tend to support the model in The New Evolution Diet and in my Evolutionary Fitness lectures.
Air pollution and bacterial infections induce inflammation. Poor sleep is probably more a covariate with weight than a cause of weight gain. The things that stress people and promote weight gain do so through an inflammatory mechanism and the same factors cause poor sleep. Sleep apnea, a condition often suffered by diabetics, results in fatigue and confusion and induces brain inflammation by elevating the free oxygen in the brain. Naturally, this depletes glutathione and inflammation becomes poorly controlled.
Diabetes is a systemic inflammatory condition. So is obesity. Obesity induces inflammation, as though the fat is a foreign body being attacked by the immune system. The inflammation reduces insulin sensitivity, which, in turn promotes diabetes and further inflammation. At some point, the immune system, which is chronically "turned on", becomes the primary vector of disease and the loss of function and health.
As to the reference in the article to food intake, the article refers only to packaging and the toxic chemicals they contain. We EFers don't eat much of that stuff and so are taking fewer inflammatory substances in our diets and consuming a lot more plant-based antioxidants. Some of us also take Guardian to tame down the inflammatory substances and stresses of modern life. Most flavor "enhancers" and emulsifiers are highly inflammatory; glutamate, a primary ingredient is toxic to brain and other nerve cells.
The part on cold exposure reminds me of my theme "Cold is Exercise" and of Jack Kruse's work on deep aspects of cold exposure and circadian rhythms.
Personally, I never worry about sleep. I do not strive to get a certain amount of it. Animals and more primal living humans do not have the luxury of choosing their optimal level of sleep. Nor do they worry about getting enough of it. Primal humans do so much day time sleeping it is almost embarrassing. I think lack of sleep is caused by stress and obesity and sleep apnea. Causality seems not to flow the other way from lack of sleep to obesity and inflammation.
Since I consider obesity to be an inflammatory condition or process my model would be one where inflammation is the central nexus of virtually all chronic diseases.

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