Artificial sweeteners, because they contain no calories, are used in place of sugar to prevent weight gain and diabetes. Unfortunately, they do not provide the benefits attributed to them.
The major artificial sweeteners are Aspartame (Nutrasweet), Sucralose (Splenda), and Saccharin (Sweet “N Low). More than 6000 foods contain these products, and the number is rising. The list includes breads, cereals, sodas, canned products, chewing gum, candy, sauces, soups, jams, jellies, and dried fruits. Twenty percent of the U.S. population, from age 2 on up, consume a diet drink daily.
Nevertheless, weight gain, and resultant diabetes, continue to increase. One third of the population is obese, and 30 million people are diabetic.Continue Reading
Testosterone deficiency is commonplace, and closely related to age. Levels decline 1% yearly after the age of 40. We also see declines in men under stress, either emotional or physical, and in men taking psychoactive agents such as antidepressants, sedatives, as well as alcohol and other drugs, particularly narcotics.
Testosterone is easily measured with a simple blood test. Deficiency is variously defined, but levels under 300 ng/dl are considered low. Treatment with testosterone by transdermal gel, injection or subcutaneous pellet will raise blood levels, and restore energy, libido, muscle mass, bone density, and sense of well-being.
A recent study reveals a further benefit with weight reduction and lower waist circumference. These improvements were progressive over 5 years, not limited to a few months after starting therapy.
The study, reported at the annual Endocrine Society meeting, involved 255 men averaging 61 years of age. All were obese or overweight. Testosterone levels normalized with long-acting intramuscular injections. Mean body weight dropped 16 kg (35 lbs) over 5 years. Waist circumference dropped an average of 8.8 cm (3 ½ inches).
A New England Journal of Medicine study (June 23, 2011, pp 2392-2404) found the following foods most conducive to weight gain:
FOOD, WEIGHT GAIN IN A 4- YEAR PERIOD:
-Potato chips: 1.69 lb
-Potatoes: 1.28 lb
-Sugar-sweetened beverages: 1.00 lb
-Unprocessed red meats: 0.95 lb
-Processed meats: 0.93 lb
These foods led to weight loss:
FOOD, WEIGHT LOSS IN A 4-YEAR PERIOD:
-Yogurt: 0.82 lb
-Nuts: 0.57 lb
-Fruits: 0.49 lb
-Whole grains: 0.37 lb
-Vegetables (not potatoes): 0.22 lb
Other lifestyle factors affected weight, as follows:
Over a 4-year period:
-Exercise- most active 20% versus least active 20%: 1.76 lb weight loss
-Alcohol use, weight gain per drink per day: 0.41 lb weight gain
-Smoking- new quitters: 5.17 lb weight gain
-Television watching – weight gain per hour per day: 0.31 lb weight gain
-Sleep – more weight gain occurs with less than 6 or more than 8 hours daily.
Points of interest:
- A large baked potato contains 278 calories, compared with 500-600 calories in a large serving of French fries.
- In a 33 year period, average dietary intake of calories increased 22% in women and 10% in men.
- Sleep deprivation increases weight by changing the sensation of hunger, increasing desire for calorie-dense, high carbohydrate foods, and altering expression of the hunger and satiety hormones leptin and ghrelin.
- Between 1965 and 2002, U.S. beverage consumption increased from 11.8 to 21% of all calories, 222 more calories per person per day. Sugar-sweetened beverages accounted for 60% and alcohol for 32% of the increase.
My own recommendations: Drink only water and green tea, which contain no calories, and one cup of coffee a day, if you need it, without sugar and without cream. Exercise, of your choice, 30 minutes a day or more, every day.
Allan Sosin MD
Given that two-thirds of American adults are estimated to be overweight or obese, it’s highly likely that we’ve been advised at one time or another by our doctors to lose weight. But a new study published in the American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology says that advice may not be enough to get us down to our ideal weights.
We need exercise, too.
Magnesium, muscles and mortality.
A small segment of the population have genetic mutations that cause them to have very low levels of magnesium, which can cause altered heart beats, seizures, and involuntary muscle contraction.
In addition, it has been estimated that up to 60% of critically ill patients have low levels, and this is associated with increased mortality.
It is very easy to supplement magnesium, which is often given along with calcium in a balanced formula. Natural Calm + Calcium is an excellent powdered calcium and magnesium formula. IPM also carries Magnesium Citrate in 500mg capsules.