Monday, April 29, 2013

Vaccines to Fight Obesity and the Effects of Obesity

A search for effective ways to fight obesity is an ongoing endeavor. Diet, exercise, lifestyle changes, and bariatric surgery are the methods usually employed. However, some researchers are looking at vaccines, as a possible tool in the obesity fight. And the researchers are not just looking at vaccines as a way to help the obese person lose weight, but they are also investigating vaccines as a way to reduce the unhealthy effects of obesity.

We've all heard people say that they can't lose weight because of a slow metabolism. While that assertion may or may not be true, raising the metabolic rate can cause a person to burn more calories than normal. And some experts believe that a vaccine might be used to raise that rate.

Last year, researchers at  Braasch Biotech LLC  indicated that they have developed a vaccine, they call "flab jab," that raises the metabolic rate in mice by attacking "a hormone that promotes slow metabolism and weight gain." According to the researchers, injection of the vaccine caused the test mice to lose ten percent of their weight. While more research is needed, the vaccine does show promise.

Treating obesity related comorbidities with a vaccine is also being looked at by researchers. Fat cells secrete proteins that cause inflammation that can be harmful. This inflammation is associated with insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and other ailments.

A group at the Methodist Diabetes and Metabolism Institute believes that the comorbidities related to obesity, such as type 2 diabetes, heart attack, and other illnesses, may be reduced with a vaccine. According to the scientists,  "People who got the vaccine would still be overweight, but the strain on their organs and organ systems would be greatly diminished, allowing doctors to better treat the obesity itself." While the scientists performing the research realize that a healthy diet and exercise may be the best way to fight obesity, they also believe that an effective vaccine that reduces obesity-related inflammation would reduce the worst consequences of the disease.

The above mentioned vaccines may eventually prove to be useful tools in the obesity fight. Hence, medical weight loss professionals should keep tabs on this type of research.
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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

More Proof That Exercise is Important in Weight Management and for Good Health

Since overweight and obesity continue to be worldwide problems, methods to deal with the problems continue to gain attention. Whatever the methods employed, the overweight or obese person is usually told to modify his or her lifestyle with the inclusion of a low calorie diet and increased physical activity. Indeed, the importance of exercise for weight management and for overall health has been highlighted by recent studies.

Fat cells secrete a number of proteins. Not all of the proteins necessarily benefit the body. However, adiponectin, a protein secreted by the fat cells, appears to have mostly healthy effects on the body. Adiponectin is associated with lower inflammation and the protein is an insulin enhancer. And one study indicates that "exercise improved adiponectin levels irrespective of weight gain or loss" in Korean women who were obese.

Another study shows that “Exercise in groups followed by counseling or vice versa had beneficial effects on waist circumference, weight, and VO(2max), [maximum aerobic capacity], in women with PCOS [polycystic ovary syndrome]. ” So a counseling approach which puts an appropriate focus on exercise could be effective in weight management, and for overall health. The 5A counseling model is viewed as a way to improve counseling effectiveness.

Using the 5A process to emphasize diet and exercise, weight loss workers could help their overweight clients change their lifestyle. Working through the 5A process, a weight loss worker would Assess the risks associated with the overweight individual’s behavior, Advise the individual to change behaviors that will likely lead to weight loss and better health, Agree to and help the overweight person put goals in place, Assist the overweight person in overcoming barriers that hinder weight management changes, and Arrange for ongoing follow-up activities.

We know that a healthy diet is important in weight loss, weight control, and for general health. And while exercise is not as effective for weight loss as diet, exercise is important in weight management and general health. Since the 5A counseling approach is believed to be effective, employment of the method, with a focus on diet and exercise, could greatly benefit the overweight or obese patient.

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