Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Anti-Obesity Baby Formula?

Here's one of the scarier pieces I've read in a while.

Prof. Mike Cawthorne, a UK scientist is formulating a baby formula designed to prevent future obesity via its inclusion of the hormone leptin.

Leptin is a fairly well understood hunger/satiety hormone. It was discovered in the 90s out of studies of an obese mouse model and it's produced by our bodies' fat cells. Leptin's job is to help let the brain know we're full and binding of leptin to the satiety centre of our brains (the hypothalamus) is one of the body's satiety signals.

Folks with two defective leptin receptors are morbidly obese and providing them with leptin injections confers massive weight loss.

Before you get too excited about the potential for leptin to benefit folks with weight management issues you should know that to date there have only been a few dozen folks worldwide who have been shown to have two defective leptin receptors and that obesity researchers got far too excited about leptin's role in treatment and to date virtually every study ever done on leptin replacement as a weight management tool has been a major disappointment unless you're one of those few dozen individuals with the exceedingly rare combination of two defective leptin genes.

In folks with significant amounts of weight, one of the proposed mechanisms or contributors is in fact leptin resistance whereas their bodies actually produce more leptin (remember it's produced in the fat cells themselves), it's just that their bodies don't seem to respond to it.

Back to the baby formula. Professor Cawthorne is basing his idea off of a couple of rat studies: In the first study suckling rats were given 4 times the amount of leptin normally ingested from their mothers and later in life were found to be lighter and eat fewer Calories. The second study, administered leptin to pregnant rats and found that their offspring were leaner and lighter. Putting these studies together Professor Cawthorne is designing an infant formula that has leptin added to it.

What's fascinating to me is the fact that to an extent, these studies have already been conducted in humans and their results have proven to be woefully disappointing.

You see, we know that folks with significant amounts of weight produce a great deal more leptin than lean folks, and that therefore obese pregnant women's babies are exposed to a great deal more in-utero leptin and more breast milk leptin. Yet we know that having a parent with a significant amount of weight vastly increases the risk of that child being an obese adult. If you were like Dr. Cawthorne and wanted to make an overly simplistic leap, you might even want to paradoxically blame the leptin.

I don't think that would be wise either.

For me obesity is not a single cause issue. At the end of the day there are an incredible myriad of factors that influence how much we eat and how much we burn. When I read stuff like Mike Cawthorne's formula plans the cynic in me wonders how much the fact that there's a 50-100 billion dollar industry out there where folks buy hope in the form of miracle pills, tablets and cures, influences the plans of such formulations.

Scary stuff jumping from bench to bedside in one fell swoop. Who knows what kind of other longterm implications might occur with such a plan, including the possibility of a worsening of future weight, or unforeseen and unrelated after effects.

Me, I'll stick to educating, motivating and supporting.

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  1. I read once when hypothetically asked what genes they would manipulate in their unborn the number 1 answer was weight control.

    The crazy scary things that we can do to our children.

  2. Mike Torchia3:44 am

    Michael Torchia, Health Advocate embarks on a Global Initiative to build alliances with various organizations in 69 Cities around the World to alleviate the epidemic of Obesity

    Los Angeles (April 24, 2007) – Michael Torchia, Health and Wellness Expert says, "Our country’s efforts to combat the epidemic of obesity is failing and we are raising a generation of kids that will live to be half the age of their parents.”

    After doing extensive research on various organizations that say their mission is to eliminate childhood obesity, Torchia discovered most of them have no strategic plan, proper structuring or qualified team of experts to accomplish the outrageous claims of achievement in such a short time frame.

    After years of raising hundreds of millions of dollars, what have these organizations really done with their donations? Most of these organizations have only been handing out promotional newsletters with unsubstantiated claims of their achievements. What seems even stranger is the majority of the donations come from companies who also have contracts providing public schools across the country with food products with toxic ingredients that can endanger the health of our nation. Unfortunately, this gives many of these questionable companies a halo effect, protecting and preventing them from reengineering their food products.

    “It is indefensible that anyone would consider endorsements from these companies. These endorsements make as much sense as having the Columbian Medellin Cartel sponsoring America's war on drugs. Unless, of course, you consider the use of artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, genetically modified ingredients, hydrogenated oils and refined sugars to be essential nutrients for the health of our children. Since the aforementioned food additives are embraced to varying degrees by sponsors of these Health Initiatives, they are actively engaging in CREATING the many health complications, identified under the medical term Syndrome-X (obesity, diabetes, etc) that many of these organizations claim to be fighting against, says Torchia.”

    Food products containing toxic ingredients cannot be consumed in moderation unless you want "moderate" hypoglycemia and diabetes to result. This is according to clinical studies from major universities. There is nothing moderate about ingesting substances that result in chronic, degradation diseases. This is the delusion that somehow allows mass food processors to convince nutritionally ignorant people that they are promoting good health.

    Also, after thoroughly reviewing various organizations established to fight the epidemic of childhood obesity, Torchia discovered they have websites that invite visitors and companies with direct links for donating funds for their organization. In addition, none of them provided any information to how they plan to solve this epidemic and did not have substantiated prove of any results of their initiatives.

    Torchia is planning to combine forces with renowned health experts, legitimate organizations as well as powerful politicians and utilize the Star power of his elite clientele to help make a significant turnaround of the obesity around the World. The goal of Torchia’s Global Initiative is to set new standards for organizations throughout the United States and the World!

    "The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children."

    Deitrich Bonhoeffer

    Contact: Michael Torchia

    800.933.8633 (Within U.S)

    310.650.5595 (International)

    Website: www.operationfitness.com