Friday, July 25, 2014

Some Older Health and Weight Loss Approaches Are Effective

Often, therapies that have been in existence for some time are as effective as, and costs less than, newer therapist. And this is true in the area of obesity treatments that include diet, exercise and obesity drugs.

Diets from Jenny Craig, the commercial weight-loss company that has been in business since 1959, were recently used in a community weight-loss study. Although the study was highly structured, the subjects who followed the program lost 82% of their weight compared to those individuals in the control group who lost 2.5% of their weight.

The "participants in the structured program received diabetes-management education, weight counseling, portioned-controlled food, a planned menu during the first six months, and continued one-on-one counseling for the one-year study." Again, while the program was structured and the program subjects received a lot of attention, usage of Jenny Craig diets, which have been around for some time, indicates that established diet programs can work under the right circumstances.

Indeed, weight-loss healthcare providers appreciate the usefulness of older weight loss treatments. In a survey, respondents were asked to indicate what obesity drugs and diets they prescribed or recommended. The 1000 respondents said that the generic forms of phentermine and orlistat (Xenical or Alli, the OTC version) were prescribed more often than the new obesity drugs Qsymia and Belviq. The respondents also said that they recommend Weight Watchers more than any other diet program. Like Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers was started years ago (1963).

Finally, a venerable tenet may be paraphrased as follows: "we should do most things in moderation to achieve the best outcome." However, when it comes to exercise, a recent "principle" suggests that the more intense the exercise, the more beneficial the exercise. However, moderation may be best here. According to one researcher, referenced in a news article, 'Too much [exercise] can be bad and hurt your heart, it can also hurt your joints...' The researcher went on to say that 'It's important to realize you don't have to push yourself. You don't have to go fast...'

Indeed, established approaches should at least be considered in most endeavors. When it comes to weight loss and weight management, methods that have been in use for some time can be beneficial.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Elevating Bile in the Blood May One Day Be a Treatment for Obesity and Metabolic Diseases

"Bariatric surgery is an important tool in the fight against obesity. Moreover, the surgery is effective. In fact, bariatric or weight loss surgery is considered by many to be the best option for treating severe obesity. While weight loss surgery is a very good  weight loss tool, the surgery, in many cases, may be a reasonable approach to resolving type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The surgery is believed to produce healthy outcomes because it leads to weight loss and because it creates positive metabolic changes in the body. And a number of these changes may be due to how bile is used in the body after the surgery.

As we mentioned before on this blog, a medical procedure called bile diversion (BD), derived from gastric bypass surgery, changes the way bile is used in the body. That research could lead to non-invasive treatments for obesity and harmful conditions associated with obesity. "Scientists at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center used a catheter to re-direct the flow of bile [in rats] from the bile duct into the small intestine, producing the same metabolic and weight-loss benefits as bariatric surgeries such as gastric by-pass.”

Indeed, one set of investigators concluded that bile changes were the main factor causing health improvements following gastric bypass surgery, “Researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy and University of Cincinnati have shown that the health benefits [resulting from the surgery] are not caused by a reduction in the stomach size but by increased levels of bile acids in the blood.”

In another study, entitled "Duodenal-jejunal Bypass Liner Increases Fasting and Postprandial Serum Levels of Bile Acids in Patients with Severe Obesity,"  the investigators showed that an intestinal liner (GiDynamics’s Endobarrier) that mimics gastric bypass surgery caused weight loss and improved metabolic conditions, in part, because of a bile increase in the blood.
Researchers don't fully understand how changes in bile in the blood causes weight loss and improved metabolic conditions. In fact, researchers don't fully understand how bariatric surgery produces the postoperative effects that it does.  More research is needed. But investigators hope that they can develop non-surgical therapies that produce the same results as bariatric surgery, thus reducing complications and costs that can be associated with bariatric surgery. And these non-surgical therapies may include bile therapy.
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