Dieting is now a trendy matter. But don’t take as lightly as you think. Within 2050, 50% of the adult population of developed countries will be obese.

Do you know in 2007 The UK spent £4.2 billion for treating overweight and obesity, and related morbidity?

Don’t diet, because it is trendy, please diet for your health.

 

There are many types of weight loss supplements found in markets.

Some over the counter drugs are also using for weight loss. Weight loss supplements still have some myth. Some people think they can eat anything if they are taking weight loss supplements. Some thinks these supplements don’t even work.

 

A weight loss supplements are usually ingested to reduce weight. All products contain some chemical food compound either singly or in combination.

 

A weight loss supplement helps to reduce weight by main three mechanisms-

  1. By decreasing appetite
  2. By decreasing digestion and absorption of fat and food in gastro-intestinal tract
  3. By increasing calorie expenditure by increasing metabolic activity of body

 

Weight loss supplements that found in markets usually contain following compounds-

 

  1. Dietary fibers:

Dietary fibers, such as bran or psyllium, help you by

  • Feeling of satiety by slowing the stomach emptying
  • Reducing your total food or calorie intake
  • It has other medical importance such as reduce blotting, abdominal disturbance etc.

Take dietary fiber with plenty of water to prevent constipation. It has minimum side effects like gastrointestinal upset.

It founds in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes etc. and now in a container as a weight loss supplement.

 

  1. Green tea extracts:

Green tea is a commonly used weight reduction supplement. But the truth is there is no recognized study on it. Some experts say that some components of green tea like Catechins, Caffeine and Theanine has effect on weight loss by-

  • Exciting all the cells of body
  • Increasing molecular activity ang calirie consumption
  • But caffeine extracted green tea, found in market, is less effective

It has minimum side effects. But taking in high amount may cause liver injury. (http://livertox.nlm.nih.gov/GreenTea.htm )

It is manufactured by different companies worldwide.

 

  1. Meal replacements:

Many meal replacements are found as a bar or snacks. It is one of the best way to reduce weight. You can measure your calorie requirement and calorie intake. Most of the meal replacement supplements contain all types of food ingredients you need.

 

  1. Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA):

Conjugated linoleic acid, a fatty acid, which is found in small amount in dairy products and red meat, reduces weight by-

  • Decreasing food intake by reducing appetite
  • Increasing energy expenditure
  • Decreasing pre-fat cell development, blocking of fat cell proliferation and increased fat burning.

But it increases cholesterol level and may cause cardiac problems. It also found as individually or with combined preparation.

 

  1. Bitter orange ingredient containing supplements:

Bitter orange contains synephrine which is similar to ephidrine (the primary active ingredient in ephedra; which was banned by FDA). But synephidrine also causes arrhythmia and rise blood pressure. So, synephidrine containing suplement should be avoided.

 

  1. African herb Hoodia:

Some companies branding African herb hoodia is a weight loss supplements but has no human study. Researchers found that its chemical compound P57 may inhibit hunger centre. So can give a try but should not be used by a pregnant or lactating mother.

 

  1. Over the counter drugs-

“Orlistat”

Orlistat is a very effective drug to weight loss. It helps you to boost your efforts, like exercise or weight reducing diet plan, for weight loss. It acts by-

-reducing intestinal fat absorption by inhibiting pancreatic lipase.

It has few side effects as- Loose stools, oily spotting, frequent or hard-to-control bowel movements, rare risk of liver injury etc.

But is FDA approved it as a safe wet loss over the counter drug.

 

  1. Some other drugs such as Medtgormin, Lorcaserin, Sibutramine, Rimonabant, Exenatide are used to reduce weight. But has some side effects and you should not use them without a prescription of your doctor.

 

  1. Some other supplements such as- Chitosan, Chromium, Guar gum etc also found in market in different branding and compositions. But they are probably ineffective. (http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/weight-loss/in-depth/weight-loss/art-20046409 )

 

So, what should you do?

You can use a weight loss supplement. Because some of them are beneficiary. But use them by-

- Choosing right one. If you are confused please consult with a doctor or nutrition specialist

- Taking it in proper amount

- Never discontinue your exercise and balanced diet habit. Without this, supplements have very minimum value to reduce your weight.

 

At last, choose quality products. Because majority of weight loss supplements are sold as diet supplements which are not regulated by the FDA.

 

Dr. Hasan Ebna Amin

Working on losing your weight? Have a good diet plan? Taking some exercises?

These are the basics. You have to maintain a proportion between your calorie intake and your energy expenditure.

Roughly there is a calculation that if you intake 500K.calorie less than your daily requirement you will lose 0.5kg per week. So make a good diet plane proportionate to your energy expenditure.

And don’t believe in myths about your diet. It may ruin your goal.

Here are 10 myths about diet regarding your weight loss.

‘Fat should be strictly avoided’

What are you thinking about your weight losing diet plan? You don’t consider a small amount of fat in your meal?

It is wrong. A healthy adult daily required around 1-1.5gm/Kg body weight of fat. Fat is an energy source and helps to maintain different metabolic pathways in our body.

Without a fat containing diet plan all of vitamins you are taken specially fat soluble vitamin A, D, E and K will not absorb from your gastrointestinal tract and you may suffer from different vitamin deficiency diseases.

So, appropriate amount of fat should be included in your diet plan.

 

‘Carbs are making you obese’

It’s true that carbohydrate containing foods are responsible for central obesity and excess accumulation of fat in out body. Carbohydrate metabolized and produces energy and some of them transform to fat as well as complex carbohydrate compound like glycogen and stored in our body.

But the correcting should be made. Carbohydrate is not responsible. ‘Excess amount’ of carbohydrate is responsible for your obesity. Without carbohydrate your body cannot maintain any activity. It is the main source of energy. Otherwise, Carbs containing foods are usually vegetables and fruits. So if you want to avoid carbs you have to avoid the main source of vitamins and minarets too.

 

‘Has to avoid red meat which contains protein and high amount of fat’

Red meat contains fat but it also contains heart healthy unsaturated fat. It also contains oleic acid which also a heart healthy fat. Red meat contains several types of vitamins and minerals which are required for young women and deficiency of them may cause anemia.

 

‘Dairy products are more fat containing food’

Dairy product contains different types of vitamins, protein and fat. But, not as much as we think. Milk, cheese and yoghurt are commonly used dairy products which also contain essential nutrients like zinc, some B vitamins and calcium. Calcium helps to build strong and  healthy bones  and prevents  osteoporosis in later life.

These dairy products contain low fat and will not effect on your weight loss plan.

 

‘Single food in a meal is good’

If you think carbohydrate and protein containing foods may clash during absorption and you will not get the proper amount of protein and carbohydrate you are wrong.

Every food components divided into smallest chemical compound that can be absorbed independently. But some vitamins need fat to be absorbed. So, the single food meal is a wrong idea. And there are no or very few foods you will find containing purely carbohydrates, protein or fat.

 

‘Only fruits containing breakfast is good for weight loss’

What will be your body’s internal need after fasting a whole night? It needs energy.

A rich breakfast is more important than a lunch. Otherwise your blood sugar will fall and your brain may be hanged after a long fasting.

So, with fruit, it’s better to take some cereal foods like bread for maintaining appropriate blood sugar level with your breakfast.

 

‘Skip meal, a way to lose some pounds’

Are you skipping a meal? What about your next meal?

Taking a regular amount of food or you have to eat some extra for controlling your hunger.

Skipping meal is not a good idea to lose some weight. At most of the time it causes double intake of food in the next meal and weight gain may occur.

 

‘Be a vegetarian; you will be skinny’

Don’t think that vegetarians take fewer calories than you. But their diet pattern is healthy for the cardio vascular system and it lowers blood pressure.

The important negative thing about being vegetarian is essential amino acids found less in amount in vegetables and plant sources and they have to take much and verities types of food to meet their daily body requirement.

Many vegetarians suffer from anemia due to protein deficiency.

If you are non vegetarian you don’t need to change your diet plan. Just take the appropriate amount of different types of foods.

 

‘All Fast foods are forbidden’

Fast food contains high amount of fat but not all them. Your home made food also may contain rich amount of fat. So, it’s important to choose a proper food which is less fatty and less calorie containing.

 

‘Without weight loss supplement you can’t lose your weight’

Weight loss supplements help to reduce your weight by decreasing appetite, decreasing absorption of food from your gastrointestinal tract and increasing energy expenditure by stimulating your cells.

 

So, a quality weight loss supplement works. But without diet controlling and appropriate calorie consuming you can’t control your obesity.

Weight loss supplements are additives to your diet plan, but not a compulsory thing.

At last, you are taking proper diet and leading a lazy life may destroy your plan. So, take proper diet, be active and reach your goal.

 

Dr. Hasan Ebna Amin

There are many food products are manufactured and marketed worldwide and we are eating them to reduce our efforts for food and saving times or just eat because we enjoy it.

But are they safe? Food manufacturer have to add many chemicals or additives to make the food presentable to the people with attractive color, flavor and nutrients or calorie. But the truth is they have to preserve the food for a long period and add preservatives.

 

Let’s try to evaluate some common food products and additives which are damaging our body silently-

  1. Soft drinks and other beverages:

 Soft drinks and other beverages contain coloring agents, high sugar and soda.

All of these are injurious to our health. High sugar produces high calorie and you will gain weight. By drinking 1 cane soft drinks you could gain up to 5 pounds of weight in a year. (http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-drinks/sugary-drinks/ )

Soft drink contains soda which causes osteoporosis and may fracture your bone.

  1. Bleached flour:

Bleaching agents are used in flour to make it whitish in color. Fleshly milled flour is yellowish. Bleaching agents also used to oxidize the surfaces of the flour grains and help with developing of gluten. The main contributor of ‘food and drug act’, Dr. Harvey Washington Wiley charged a case against using bleaching agent as food additives. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pure_Food_and_Drug_Act )The Supreme Court passed judgment to stop using bleaching agents to food. But many manufacturers are avoiding these rules and we have to take white bleached flour.

  1. Monosodium glutamate (MSG):

It is the sodium salt of glutamic acid a widely used food additive and using for last 100 years. It is used to create different tests and smell in food. It is a CNS (central nervous system stimulant). It is relatively safe but if we eat about every meal containing MSG may cause health hazards like obesity and it may damage our hypothalamus.

  1. Sodium Benzoate:

Sodium benzoate is a food additive used as a preservative in varieties of processed food. If sodium benzoate used with other artificial food color or vitamin C may cause cancer.

It's suspected that sodium benzoate, in addition to artificial food color, may increase hyperactivity in some children. Sodium benzoate in soft drinks may also react with added vitamin C to make benzene, a cancer-causing substance. In 2006 and 2007, the FDA tested a sample of almost 200 beverages from stores in different states that contained sodium benzoate and vitamin C. Four of the beverages had high levels of benzene. (http://www.fda.gov/food/foodborneillnesscontaminants/chemicalcontaminants/ucm055815.htm ). And it may cause cancer.

  1. Saccharin:

It is an artificial sweetener and its chemical composition is formed by benzoic sulfilimine. It has no food energy and is much sweeter than sucrose. It is used to sweeten products such as drinks, candies, cookies, medicines, and toothpaste. By prolong and high use it act as a carcinogen (a substance responsible for developing cancer).

  1. Artificial food coloring:

These are chemical dyes used to color food and drinks. Many types of processed foods, beverages contain artificial coloring substances. Some of coloring dye like dye Yellow No. 5 has been thought to worsens asthma symptoms. In the 1970s, the FDA famously banned. Red Dye No. 2 after some studies found that large doses could cause cancer in rats. Red 40 and Yellow 6 also have negative effects on our body. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2957945/ )

  1. Trans fat:

Trans fats are artificially created when manufacturers add hydrogen to vegetable oil. Although small amounts of Trans fats are present naturally in animal fat. Trans fats increases the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The American Heart Association recommends getting less than 1% of your daily calories from Trans fats. (http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/FatsAndOils/Fats101/Trans-Fats_UCM_301120_Article.jsp ) But we are taking much more by eating vegetables oil which is used to cook and by eating large amount of animal meat.

There are many other additives used in processed food. We have to be careful to take them and try to use minimum in our daily life.

 

Dr. Hasan Ebna Amin

“I am dieting for few months but don’t gain any success. “

“I used different types of diet plan to reduce weight, but still it is a dream.”

“I am now hopeless. Diet and weight loss, just like a story to me.”

Yes, these are true comments about their diet plan. We all want to be healthy. You try your highest to reduce your weight and be a good looking person. You work on a strong diet plan. Most of the days of a week, you follow it strictly. But after certain measures you are still gaining some pounds every month.

Some says, it’s genetic, some criticize about your diet plan, and some laughs at you. So, you are frustrated and get bored about your fruitless hard work.

Do you know the truth? You are ruining your diet by some stupid ways that can be avoided easily.

Let’s see how you are ruining your diet.

1. You follow your diet daily but some days you have to skip it:

Yes, some social occasions may ruin your diet. Some awesome favorite food on your dining table may cause dribbling. Every day you are taking appropriate calorie for maintaining a good health. One or two days of a week you take 10 times of your daily requirement. At the end of a month, what should you aspect then?

So, don’t loose your aim for a moment. Control yourself. Try to be strict on your diet plan.

2. Common low calorie(!) food intake:

It’s too hot. Why don’t you take a fruit juice?!

Just take and ruin your diet. Don’t think beverages as well fruit juices are light calorie containing foods.  Do you know the amount of sugar remain in your so called nutritious fruit juices?

A Coca Cola cane contains 140 kilocalories and 40 grams of sugar (10 teaspoons).

An apple juice cane contains- 165 kilocalories and 39 grams of sugar (9.8 teaspoons). Even some contains more than 20 tea spoons. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10746588/Fruit-juices-and-smoothies-contain-horrifying-sugar-levels.html )

So, If you take only 2 coke or 2 juice in a day, you are taking about 300 kilocalorie extra energy.You like to take coffee or tea minimum 4-5 times in a day. You have a huge pressure on your brain. So, it refreshes you.But it also helps you to gain some weight. But avoiding milk and sugar in a coffee or tea will not cause your weight gain.

Confused about taking crackers? What you think, they are better then cookies? Don’t be confused some of these crackers contain certain amount of fat and energy. Energy count is 100kcal to 300kcal per serving. So don’t take them during gossiping with your friend.

3. Diet without exercise!

Is it true? Are you trying to be fit by just dieting? It is very difficult to reach your goal then.

Light to moderate exercises are needed to metabolize and consume extra food energy. Strict diet may stop your weight gain but you will not lose some. Theoretically it is possible, If you live with starving diet plan.

Exercise not only helps to reduce your weight it also helps in hundreds of ways to be healthy and fit. So, take a minimum 30 minute session for taking some exercise and don’t discontinue it. Without punctuality and regularity you will not gain almost any good things.

4. Surrounded with too many well wishers or advisers?

Avoid surrounding dietitians. There are many advisors around you to advice you after hearing you are on diet. They will describe carbohydrates, super food, diet supplements, diet fiber bla bla bla... They will confuse you in many ways.

Some other well wisher will try to flatter you about your acceptable good figure with negative attitude to your diet plan. Even some food lover may insist you to take huge amount of food.

Your family members not on a diet plan may tease you. So what about them? May be they are not avoidable but they are easily refuse able with a sweet smile! So, be strong and strict on your diet plan.

5. Do you believe some myths?

Do you think carbohydrates are only for your weight gain? Fat is strictly prohibited to you?

Forget them. Carbohydrate containing foods are main source of different vitamins and mineral. So without proper amount of carbohydrate you will not gain energy and may suffer from multiple vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Do you know some types of fat are essential for your body? Without them body structures and metabolic process can be stopped. Without regular fat in your diet certain vitamins such as- Vitamin A, D, E, K will not be absorbed from your gastro intestinal tract. So, forget myths. Stay on your aim.

We try damn hard. But still it is so impossible to reduce weight by proper diet.Be aware about these five things which are ruining your diet. Hope you will get a healthy fit body.

 

Dr. Hasan Ebna Amin 

Obesity 

is now one of the major health risks in the developed countries. An obese person is at the risk of different disease and losing his or her productivity. Quality and quantity of activities of an obese person always remain far below than an average weight person. Recent statistics shows the current prevalence of obesity in UK1 is 24% of adult female and 25% of adult male and in USA2 is 34.9% of adults. And globally the prevalence is 35% of adult is overweight and 11% of adult is obese3.

Obesity is one of the major risk factors for developing Ischemic Heart Disease, Hypertension, Cerebro-vascular disease like stroke, Hypertension, colon or breast cancer, osteoarthritis, diabetes etc. A statistic of 2007 shows that the total cost for treating overweight and obesity, and related morbidity in the UK was £4.2 billion4. This report also indicates that, if obesity increase in this rate, within 2050 about 50% of the total population of the UK will be obese.

Obesity is not affecting only government funds it also impairing personal and social strategies regarding financial and medical aspects. Mental depression and social acceptance also act as additive factors for poor health status and developing other health problems.

Obesity not only causing non communicable diseases, like IHD or hypertension or stroke, it also affecting our reproductive health, which is always being overlooked. There are few studies have done regarding obesity and its effects on our reproductive system. In 2010 an exclusive research work was published by Brewer CJ & Balen AH5 showing relationship between infertility and obesity. The research also established that, weight loss through lifestyle modification or Bariatric surgery improves regularity of the menstrual cycle and ovulation as well as improves the possibility of conception.

Here we will try to focus and review about obesity and its effects on human reproductive system with current knowledge of pathophysiology.

1.Obesity:

WHO defines obesity as,

Obesity is the accumulation of abnormal and excessive fat that may impair health.

According to WHO statistics in 2008 over 200 million adult males and over 300 million adult females were obese3. It is an alarming issue. If obesity increases in this rate, the different health hazard cost will climb up so high rapidly.

Obesity is usually measured by body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference. But BMI is well accepted technique. 

Causes of obesity:

There are many causes in the modern age to develop obesity. Lifestyle and inactivity are the main cause. Dependency to the invention of modern science is another factor. Life becomes more comfortable day by day. Here is some important cause of obesity.

Poor Dietary habit:

Inappropriate diet habit is the main cause of developing obesity in developed countries. Oily and high fat containing fast food intake, frequent sugary beverage drinking and unawareness about calorie requirement and intake are the main reason of getting fatty health.

Some so called high energy containing food supplements are also responsible. Though dieting is now a trendy matter in our society, but following an inappropriate diet plan causing the failure to reaching the goal.

Other habits, like alcoholism, also cause obesity and predispose other morbid conditions.

Physical inactivity:

With the blessings of modern science, life becomes more comfortable and easy. We are getting lazy in every aspect of our life.

We start with brushing teeth with an electronic brush and don’t walk 100 meters to reach our office or work place. Everything is now run by computer programs; even we don’t need to go another desk to transfer a file to a colleague. Increased use of transportation and busy schedule is responsible for avoiding walking and cycling.

Video games and uncountable hours with a computer and internet using also affecting our child and teenagers and they are gradually losing interest in outdoor games. Inactive lazy life style also affecting their health and they are getting obese gradually.

Lack of exercise:

Another cause of obesity is lack of exercise. Daily 20-30 minute fast walking or jogging is enough for maintaining a good health. But busy working schedule and stressful working environment are decreasing the interest to do daily exercise. Irregular sleep pattern or using our bedroom as an office is also responsible for late rising from bed and unable to schedule an hour for exercise.

Some myths or wrong conception like, “dieting is the only factor to be skinny, weight loss supplements is enough to reduce weight, proper guidance is needed to start exercise, where is the time for exercise?”, are also interrupting different awareness building programs about exercise and healthy living.

Genetic predisposition:

Whatever the dietary habit or lifestyle, some people don’t gain weight and some become obese. Researches show that obesity and weight gain tend to run in families6. These genes may affect our metabolic processes. A body of some people can metabolize and store more calories and more fat than the other.

 The appetite controlling gene may differ from person to person, and genes related to perception like smell and taste may be more responsive than others.

All these are hypothesis. But it is true that genetic predisposition is a key factor to being obese.

Diseases causing obesity:

There are some medical conditions also responsible for being obese-a. Hypothyroidism: It is a disease where the thyroid gland cannot produce the proper amount of thyroid hormone. Regulation of metabolism in cellular level is one of the major functions of thyroid hormone. Low thyroid status may reduce the metabolic process and causes weight gain.

-Cushing’s syndrome:In this disease adrenal gland secrets excess amount of corticosteroid called cortisol. This steroid caused obesity within few months.

-Stress and Depression: Stress and repression cause release of stress hormones like cortisol. These hormones may act as a key factor to develop obesity.

-Some drugs: Prolong use of some common drugs like estrogen containing oral contraceptive pills, steroid therapy for any disease, steroid containing herbal medications etc. will cause obesity too.

 

Complications of obesity:

Obesity is not a morbid disease but it is a strong predisposing factor of different diseases. For example-

  • Cardio vascular diseases-Ischemic heart disease, Heart failure, Hypertension
  • Endocrine diseases-Diabetes mellitus, polycystic ovarian syndrome, birth defects,
  • Neurological diseases-Stroke, meralgia paresthetica, migraines, idiopathic intracranial hypertension, multiple sclerosis etc.
  • Psychiatric diseases-
  • Rheumatic diseases-Gout, osteoarthritis, low back pain etc.
  • And very lightly discussed reproductive system involvement due to obesity-menstrual disorders, infertility, intrauterine fetal death (IUD), complications during pregnancy etc.

 

Obesity affecting on lifestyle:

  1. Sleep disturbance:Maximum obese patients suffer from sleep disturbance due to snoring.
  2. Sleep apnea:Obese patient also feel respiratory distress during sleep. Sleep apnea is a common phenomenon for all obese patients. It sometime may be very dangerous and may cause sudden death.
  3. Lethargic feelings:An obese patient feels tired all the day, because of their impaired sleep at night and sleep apnea.
  4. Reduce activity:An obese person usually less active than his colleagues. Active participation in any work is not seen by him.
  5. Increase expenses:Obesity related diseases increase expenses and put some extra pressure on shoulder for more income. But already an obese person is fighting with current income status.
  6. Social participation:Obese person, especially a female person does not want to participate in social programs. She hesitates to attend any social visit for her physical structure.

So, it has not only health hazards but also it affects on our personal, social and productive life. It causes sleep apnea, lack of interest in work, reduce efficiency, and decrease social acceptance and finally an obese person become depressed. It cost money not only in medical purpose but also reduces income by decreasing productivity.

Dr. Hasan Ebna Amin

References:

  1. Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet: England 2014; Health and Social Care Information Centre Uk.
  2. http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html
  3. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs311/en/
  4. Butland B, Jebb S, Kopelman P, et al. Tackling obesities: future choices – project report (2nd Ed). London: Foresight Programme of the Government Office for Science, 2007
  5. http://www.reproduction-online.org/content/140/3/347
  6. http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/healthyliving/obesityandweight/whatcausesobesity/the-causes-of-obesity-genes-behaviour-and-the-environment

 

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