‘Balloon In A Pill’ May Aid Weight Loss

What if swallowing a pill was an easy weight loss option? New research suggest that taking a pill packed with a gastric balloon inside may help you lose weight by suppressing your appetite. With diet and exercise combined, this could be an effective weight loss tool in my opinion.

Elipse Weight Loss Device

A new gastric balloon pill may aid weight loss, according to the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery Photo by LeadDoc

When the pill is taken it dissolves in the stomach where the balloon is pumped with distilled water through a small catheter. The catheter is then removed through the mouth. This seems like a simple and harmless procedure that any adult can handle compared to other high risk procedures.

If the procedure goes well, the 19 ounce ball of water fills the stomach and greatly reduces the amount of food a person can eat before feeling full. The balloon is automatically deflated after approximately four months and the small shell is naturally expelled.

This Allurion device, known as Elipse, has not been tested in America for U.S. Drug and Food Administration approval and may not be available for another few years, researchers say. On the other hand, research including 34 people in Greece and Czech Republic suggests that this minor procedure seems effective and safe.

Researchers reported that patients lost an average of 22 pounds within four months. However, experts noted that this device is not a cure for weight loss but rather an aid. I believe letting your doctor help you find a diet plan that fits your lifestyle along with this gastric balloon is very effective for weight loss. You will be able to control your portions and eat less because your appetite will be suppressed.

“Because patients get used to feeling full so much quicker with the device, they learn portion and get used to eating less,” said study author Dr. Ram Chuttani, director of interventional gastroenterology and endoscopy at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. “We anticipate that the improved eating habits patients develop will mean that a significant amount of the weight will stay off, even when the balloon is no longer in place.” I like that fact that the weight loss benefits still continue even after the balloon is gone.

Previous tracking of traditional gastric balloon patients suggests there are long-term benefits. For instance, Chuttani said that after twelve months patients usually keep off about half the weight lost while the balloon was implanted. That number drops to nearly 30 percent five years after the procedure, he said.

Side effects among Elipse patients include nausea and vomiting just as with traditional gastric balloons.

To say the least, this gastric balloon pill can be effective and safe for overweight individuals with a BMI of at least 27, who is struggling to lose weight. BMI is a measurement of body fat based on height and weight. Although this is a small study that has not yet been FDA approved, I still think it is a promising weight loss tool to help fight obesity.

Leeman Taylor
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Source: Ram Chuttani, M.D., director, endoscopy, and chief, interventional gastroenterology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston; John Morton, M.D., president, American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, and chief, bariatric and minimally invasive surgery, Stanford University; Nov. 5, 2015, presentation, Obesity Week, Los Angeles

Low-Fat Diets Are No Better for Weight Loss

Low-fat diets have been known as a great way to lose weight, but a recent study reveals that they are no more effective than other types of diets. A low-carb diet was found to be better than low-fat diets for weight loss in a recent study published in Cell Metabolism, but results in this study show otherwise.

Low-Fat Diets

Low-fat diets are no better than any other diet plan, according to new study. Photo by NewsX

“We found that low-fat diets were not more effective than higher-fat diets for long-term weight loss,” said study leader Deirdre Tobias, an associate epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

The key to success seems to have more to do with adherence than a specific weight-loss plan, Tobias said. “Being able to stick to a diet in the long term will probably predict whether or not a diet is successful for weight loss,” she said. Finding a diet to follow that’s created just for you seems to be more effective for long-term weight loss.

Tobias advised that anyone wanting to lose weight find a sound weight-loss program that fits their preferences and cultural needs. Your doctor or physician should be able to develop a diet plan that matches your body type and lifestyle.

The study published in The Lancet: Diabetes & Endocrinology, reviewed 53 clinical trials including more than 68,000 adults and found that low-fat diets do not help individuals lose weight and maintain that weight loss for more than a year along with diets that have higher amounts of fat. On average, those who followed a low-carb diet lost about 8.5 pounds, while those on the low-fat diet lost 6 pounds at the end of the year, researchers found.

Some experts debate that there should be no limit on fat consumption in our diets but in a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, scientists argue that all fats are not created the same. Foods with healthy fats such as fish, nuts and olive oil can shield us from heart diseases, while fat free and low-fat foods can be worse for our health compared to full-fat choices. Tobias recommends that people minimize the amount of trans-fats and saturated fats they consume.

Low-fat diets do not work as well as others because ‘sticking to a diet, whether it’s high-fat or low-fat, in the long-term seems to be difficult for people,” Tobias says. Low-fat diets do not seem to be as desirable as diet plans that let you have a little fat, according to Karen Ansel, a registered dietician-nutritionist.

While Tobias says that focusing on fat alone when it comes to fat loss is usually ineffective, she also insists that individuals need to consider more long-term about their eating habits.

“Using total fat as your only guide is misleading and can lead you to make several poor choices,” she says. “We need to turn the message away from fat vs. carbs, low-fat vs. high fat, and instead focus on the foods that are good for us for long-term success.”

I believe that people should focus on finding a diet plan that fits his or her lifestyle for effective long-term weight loss rather than low-carb vs. low-fat diets. I recommend consulting with a doctor or registered dietician-nutritionist to help you develop a diet plan for permanent weight loss.

Leeman Taylor
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Source: Tobias, Deirdre K et al. “Effect of low-fat diet interventions versus other diet interventions on long-term weight change in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis” The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology 29 October 2015

Processed Meat Linked to Cancer Risk

Processed meats such as ham and sausage can lead to colon cancer, but red meat is probably cancer causing also. According to the World Health Organization, foods such as hot dogs, cold cuts and bacon should be avoided if you want to improve your health and prevent cancer.

Processed Meats

Processed and red meats are linked to increased cancer risks, according to the World Health Organization. Photo by Protect America’s Dream

Experts from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), has been looking over studies for decades and has come up with substances that cause cancer and labeled them on a scale. Processed meat is in group 1 which causes cancer and red meat is in group 2A which probably causes cancer. Colorectal and stomach cancers have been related to processed meats in the past so this classification is not all that shocking, but it does shed new light.

The overall increase in risk is small and experts cannot pinpoint exactly how much meat is too much, but they do mention that the more you eat the more your risk increases. Beef producers disagree with the findings by saying the evidence is weak and not all panel members were in absolute agreement.

“Cancer is a complex disease that even the best and brightest minds don’t fully understand,” says Shalene McNeill, PhD, RD, executive director of human nutrition research at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

“Billions of dollars have been spent on studies all over the world, and no single food has ever been proven to cause or cure cancer,” she says in a statement posted on the group’s web site.

McNeill does have a valid point there but eating too much red meat such as beef is still not as healthy for you as white meat.

There was sufficient evidence to label processed meats in the top tier of cancer risks – group 1 – along with asbestos and tobacco smoke. However, eating a hot dog is definitely not equal to smoking a cigarette it just means scientists are sure something causes cancer.

Red meats include pork, veal, goat, horse, lamb or mutton. Processed meats are fermented, salted, smoked, cured or treated to either keep them from spoiling or to enhance their flavor.

Experts still cannot pinpoint exactly how processed and red meats cause cancer. When meats are smoked and cured certain chemicals are created that are recognized to increase cancer risk. Some cooking methods such as frying or grilling that burn meat at high temperatures can develop cancer-causing chemicals in meat. I prefer baking or broiling when I cook to avoid the grease and preserve more nutrients so this is the healthier option for me.

The panel says that each daily 1.8 ounces of processed meat increases the risk of colorectal cancers by 18%. Each daily 3.5 ounces of red meats increases the colorectal cancer risk by 17%.

I believe that since the risk of developing cancer from processed and red meats is so small, no one should panic if he or she eats bacon or a hot dog occasionally. If you are trying to lose weight and improve your health, slowly reducing the amount of red meat and processed meats is a great way to begin.

Leeman Taylor
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer.

Source: World Health Organization “Q&A on the carcinogenicity of the consumption of red meat and processed meatOctober 2015

Dietary Supplements Send Thousands to ER Yearly

Weight loss dietary supplements rush nearly 23,000 individuals to the hospital emergency room annually, says a new study. This is the first time someone has calculated national numbers on this issue.

Dietary Supplents for Weight Loss

Dietary supplements send 23,000 to ER annually, says study. Photo by news@jama

According to a new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, supplements for weight loss and energy were the most threatening, and heart problems were the most common issue with those type of supplements. Seniors, women and preschoolers were at higher risk.

“People may not notice that dietary supplements can cause any adverse events, but each year thousands of Americans are treated in emergency rooms for symptoms related to dietary supplements,” says Andrew Geller, MD, a medical officer at the CDC who led the study. Some supplements may be safe but I always recommend diet and exercise for natural weight loss.

With over 150 million Americans taking dietary supplements, the number of people who go to the emergency room seems small to supplement manufacturers. “If you look at the projected number of emergency room visits and do the math, we’re looking at far less than one-tenth of one percent of supplement users will visit the ER,” says Duffy Mackay, ND, senior vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs for the Council for Responsible Nutrition, a trade organization.

I still believe that 23,000 visits to the emergency room for a weight loss or dietary supplement is too many. Experts who did not take part in the study agree that these figure are too high. “The number is alarming,” says Pieter Cohen, MD, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School who studies the safety of dietary supplements.

The results were found by researchers at the Center for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration who went through medical records maintained by at least 60 hospitals around the United States. They studied a 10-year time frame, from 2004 to 2013 and searched for occurrences that physicians had specially noted had been caused by some type of supplement.

Adults between the ages of 20 and 34, and women, were most at danger. Energy and weight loss products were the blame for this age group and women were more affected than men overall. Heart issues such as racing pulse, chest pain and irregular heart beat were the most common reason individuals requested help. Adults over the age of 65 had issues with swallowing their supplement so this group was the most likely to be hospitalized. Preschoolers made up for 1 in 5 visits to the ER because many of them had taken a pill when the parent or guardian was not watching. I suggest that anyone who has dietary supplements to keep them out of sight and reach of children. Seniors can ask their physicians about other forms of taking the supplements or split the pill in half to prevent choking.

I do not believe all weight loss dietary supplements are bad but agencies need to step in and make sure that are at least safe. I would like to see those 23,000 emergency room visits decline greatly in the future and hope that people find a safe weight loss supplement to take when trying to lose weight.

Leeman Taylor
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Source: Andrew I. Geller, Nadine Shehab, Nina J. Weidle, et al “Emergency Department Visits for Adverse Events Related to Dietary Supplements” The New England Journal of Medicine 15 October 2015

Weight Loss Surgery Will Fight Type 2 Diabetes

Research has showed that weight loss surgery may eliminate type-2 diabetes in patients, and a new study discovers that the surgery may be long term. According to the bariatric surgery, bariatric surgery is more effective than standard treatment for the short-term control of type-2 diabetes.

Gastric Bypass Weight Loss Surgery

Weight loss surgery is better than medications for fighting type-2 diabetes, according to study. Photo by Healthy Hippie

“This is a very important study because it’s the first randomized trial comparing diabetes to medical treatment of diabetes with five years of follow-up,” said Dr. Philip Schauer, who directs the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute at the Cleveland Clinic.

The study led by Dr. Francesco Rubino of King’s College London tracked 5-year outcomes of 60 obese patients who had type 2 diabetes. The patients were chosen at random to undergo either one of two weight loss surgery, or continue with traditional drug therapy to help manage their diabetes.

The results discovered that 50% of the 38 weight-loss surgery patients kept diabetes from reoccurring, compared to none of the 15 patients who were in the drug treatment group. It seems that bariatric surgery is a much better choice for fat loss and disease control than treatment programs in this case.

The researchers added that patients who had surgery also had lower blood sugar levels than those treated with drugs, despite of whether their diabetes went into full remission. “What really is causing the remission of diabetes after surgery remains unknown,” Dr. Rubino said. What is known, he added, is that the intestines produce a host of hormones involved in regulating metabolism. Reconstructing the gastrointestinal tract so that food bypasses the stomach and small intestine may help restore normal metabolic control, he explained.

Gastric bypass or biliopancreatic diversion was the only methods of weight loss surgery that was used during the trial and they both had their weaknesses. Patients who got gastric bypass had lesser nutritional side effects with a better quality of life overall while more people witnessed their diabetes go into remission with biliopancreatic diversion. With that being said, gastric bypass is probably the better choice for fighting type-2 diabetes.

Although this was a small trial, it seems that surgery is quite stable in the long run, at least for five years. The procedure seems to be safe with fairly low complication rates. The downside is that any weight loss surgery can be expensive and comes with risks. Insurance companies do not seem to favor covering costs for weight loss surgery and rather save money with medications. With this study, I believe insurance companies may reconsider and pay for more patients to have weight loss surgery to fight type-2 diabetes.

Leeman Taylor
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Source: Mingrone, Geltrude et al.” Bariatric–metabolic surgery versus conventional medical treatment in obese patients with type 2 diabetes: 5 year follow-up of an open-label, single-centre, randomised controlled trial” The Lancet, Volume 386 , Issue 9997 , 964 – 973 August 2015

Drink More Water to Lose Weight

Drinking water not only keeps your body hydrated but it is good for weight loss as well. According to a study published in the journal Obesity, drinking 16 ounces of water before you eat can help you lose weight.

Drinking Water to Lose Weight

A study says drinking 16 ounces of water before each meal can help you lose weight. Photo by Charming Style

Researchers gathered 84 adults with obesity for a 12 week study in which they received general weight loss advice. They were split into two groups with one group drinking 16 ounces of water 30 minutes before they ate. The other group was told just to imagine they were full before they ate. I bet it was very difficult just thinking about being full when they were probably starving!

Everyone’s weight was observed throughout the study and urine was monitored as well to make sure the first group was definitely drinking more water. Their physical activity was observed also but it did not change.

The group that drank more water lost nearly three more pounds than the group that did not increase their water consumption. The results got better as they drank more water; the ones who drank 16 ounces before each meal lost 9 pounds over the course of the study. Dr. Amanda Daley, study author of the University of Birmingham in the U.K., says that it is equivalent to what you get from Weight Watchers. I guess that a half a pound to 2 pounds weekly is a great start for weight loss.

The reason water is so effective may be because “it fills you up” and helps you feel full, Daley mentions. I know each time I am hungry and have a glass of water, I usually do not have much of an appetite and I find myself eating less. Daley says that drinking a couple of glasses of water thirty minutes before you eat gives you time to feel fuller, which can help influence decisions on what you consume.

Drinking more water along with diet and exercise is a good fat loss strategy in my opinion. I understand this is just the beginning and more research is necessary before scientists can fully understand it. I believe drinking water is one of the best things you can do for your body and if it helps weight loss, we should drink more.

Leeman Taylor
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Source: Parretti, H. M., Aveyard, P., Blannin, A., Clifford, S. J., Coleman, S. J., Roalfe, A. and Daley, A. J. (2015), “Efficacy of water preloading before main meals as a strategy for weight loss in primary care patients with obesity”: RCT. Obesity, 23: 1785–1791. doi: 10.1002/oby.21167

Doctor’s Support Helps Weight Loss, Says Study

Doctor’s play a major role in helping patients with weight loss, says study.

Doctor With Obese Patient

Doctor’s support can help patients boost weight loss, says study. Photo by 123RF

Fat loss was double on average for people overweight who believed they had the most support from their physicians, compared to those who believed their physicians were not as helpful, researchers said. My parents always follow the advice from their doctors and I believe that is why they were so successful with weight loss. Cutting out the fried foods, processed foods and going on daily walks is what really improved their health.

According to the study, about 350 people participated in a U.S. government funded clinical trial on fat loss. Participants filled out two surveys at the end of the study which included questions about their relationships with their primary physicians.

Patients lost an average of 11 pounds that gave their doctors the highest ratings on helpfulness. However, the ones who gave their physicians the lowest ratings on helpfulness only lost 5 pounds. This means that doctors really have a big impact on a patient’s success with fat loss and having a close relationship with them is very important.

This study can be found in the Journal of Patient Education and Counseling. I believe these findings can inspire weight loss programs to give primary physicians a big role to ensure the success of obese patients struggling to lose weight. Weight loss programs make billions of dollars each year and over 34 percent of U.S adults are currently overweight, according the National Institutes of Health statistics. For women who are struggling to lose weight, there is a program called the Venus Factor that focuses on the leptin hormone. The leptin hormone sends signals to the brain telling your body when to stop eating and control your appetite. The Venus Factor shows you ways to control it plus it comes with a 12 weeks diet plan to help women lose a few pounds.

“This trial supports other evidence that providers are very important in their patients’ weight-loss efforts,” Dr. Wendy Bennett, an assistant professor of medicine in the School of Medicine, said in a university news release. If patients follow their primary doctor’s advice I am sure they will stay motivated and have a better chance at improving their health. Dr. Bennett agrees by saying, “Incorporating physicians into future programs might lead patients to more successful weight loss.”

Leeman Taylor
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Source: Bennett W, et al. Satisfaction with primary care provider involvement is associated with greater weight loss: Results from the practice-based POWER trial. Patient Education & Counseling. 2015.

Obesity Gene Discovery May Aid Fat Loss

Losing weight without diet or exercise may seem impossible but new genetic research about the causes of obesity makes it possible. According to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers have discovered a genetic “switch” inside fat cells that can increase your metabolism and help you burn fat as heat energy.

Obesity Gene & Weight Loss

According to new study, researchers have discovered a genetic “switch” inside fat cells that can speed up your metabolism and burn fat, preventing obesity. Photo by 123R

In the study, mice in the lab lost 50 percent of their body weight when researchers turned that genetic switch on. By examining human fat cells, it has been indicated that this may also work for humans, said senior author Manolis Kellis, a professor of computer science and computational biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass. This sounds like a cool idea, eat as much as you want, then flip on a genetic switch to help you burn calories and lose weight.

The mice were eating the same amount but were not exercising more. The energy burned was in the form of heat so this means that researchers switched their metabolism from energy storage to energy dissipation.

The focus on this research was a gene region known as “FTO,” which has been in the spotlight since its discovery in 2007. Prior research tried to pair the FTO region with brain circuits that control hunger, but researchers now believe the action happens in fat cells and affects how much food is kept, independently of the brain. Hopefully there may be a way to trigger that gene with future medications to turn on that switch and fight obesity.

The researchers also discovered a higher occurrence of two distant genes, IRX3 and IRX5, which meant more fat storage. By changings the pathways of these genes, scientists can reverse the traces of obesity. The scientists specifically looked at “beige fat,” which is closely related to “white fat.” On the other hand, “brown fat” is usually found in newborn babies and burns faster. The mutations in the cells were manipulated so the white fat turned into beige fat. The amounts of early fat cells were increased so that they turned into beige fat instead of white fat.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one-third of U.S. adults are obese, costing about $200 billion dollars each year for medical costs. Obesity is steadily rising and people face serious health conditions such as type-2 diabetes, heart diseases and certain types of cancer. This type of research is very important for finding another method for weight loss and preventing obesity to say the least.

With this new discovery of manipulating fat cells to fight obesity in mice, the next step will be finding out how this works with humans. Although diet and exercise is not required for this obesity gene manipulation, it is still important that you do these things for long term fat loss.

Leeman Taylor
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Source: www.nejm.org Melina Claussnitzer, Simon N. Dankel, Kyoung-Han Kim, et al “FTO Obesity Variant Circuitry and Adipocyte Browning in Humans” The New England Journal of Medicine 19 August 2015

Low-Fat Diets Better than Low-Carb Diets for Fat Loss

There has been much controversy as to which is better for fat loss, low-carb diets or low-fat diets. According to the National Institutes of Health, people lose more weight by reducing their fat intake.

Low Carb vs Low Fat Diets

Low-Fat diets may be better than low-carb diets for fat loss, according to the National Institutes of Health study. Photo by Maik Wiedenbach

Researchers examined 19 obese people and they were allowed 2,700 calories daily. Over a two week period they tried diets that reduced their caloric intake by 30 percent, either by reducing fat or cutting carbohydrates. The findings published in Cell Metabolism found that participants on a low-fat diet lost 463g of body fat on average after six days. This was 80 percent more fat than the participants on the low-carb diet. I believe if it’s easier to stick to a low-carb diet permanently, I would choose just that and Dr. Hall thinks the same.

Dr. Hall told the BBC News website: “If it’s easier to stick to one diet than another, and to ideally do it permanently, then you should choose that diet.

“But if a low-fat diet is better for you, then you are not going to be at a metabolic disadvantage.”

The theory says that lesser carbohydrates lead to lower levels of insulin, which in turn lead to fat burning. I prefer low-carb diets because research shows these type of diets help you lose weight more effectively but this is my first time learning how they compare to low-fat diets.

“All of those things do happen with carb reduction and you do lose body fat, but not as much as when you cut out the fat,” said lead researchers Dr. Kevin Hall, from the US-based National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

The American Cancer Society says that ounce for ounce, fats contain more calories than carbohydrates or proteins, but it’s important to keep in mind that just because something is low in fat doesn’t mean it is low in calories. In this case it seems that you should choose a low-carb diet since fats contain more calories.

A good rule of thumb when you’re reading food labels: For every 100 calories, if the product has 3 grams of fat or less, it’s a low-fat product. This means 30% or less of the calories come from fat.

In reality, any diet that you can stick to is the best for fat loss, regardless if the calories you cut are fats or carbs. This study just shows that you can pick a low-carb or low-fat diet and still lose weight because they require you to reduce calories which is the most important factor for fat loss.

Leeman Taylor
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Source: Hall, Kevin D. et al. “Calorie for Calorie, Dietary Fat Restriction Results in More Body Fat Loss than Carbohydrate Restriction in People with Obesity” Cell Metabolism 13 August 2015