Tag Archives: Conjugated linoleic acid

Abdominal fat or belly fat

As people go through their middle years, their proportion of fat to body weight tends to increase. Extra pounds tend to park themselves around the midsection. At one time, we might have accepted this as an inevitable fact of aging. But we’ve now been put on notice that as our waistlines grow, so do our health risks. Abdominal, or visceral fat is of particular concern because it’s a key player in a variety of health problems. The good news is that visceral fat yields fairly easily to exercise and diet, with benefits ranging from lower blood pressure to more favorable cholesterol levels.

Though the term  abdominal fat  or belly fat might sound dated, “middle-age spread” is a greater concern than ever. As people go through their middle years, their proportion of fat to body weight tends to increase — more so in women than men. Extra pounds tend to park themselves around the midsection.
CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES: 

At one time, we might have accepted these changes as an inevitable fact of aging. But we’ve now been put on notice that as our waistlines grow, so do our health risks. Abdominal, or visceral fat is of particular concern because it’s a key player in a variety of health problems — much more so than subcutaneous fat, the kind you can grasp with your hand. Visceral fat, on the other hand, lies out of reach, deep within the abdominal cavity, where it pads the spaces between our abdominal organs.

Visceral fat has been linked to metabolic disturbances and increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. In women, it is also associated with breast cancer and the need for gallbladder surgery.

Are you pear-shaped or apple-shaped?…….CLICK & SEE….

Fat accumulated in the lower body (the pear shape) is subcutaneous, while fat in the abdominal area (the apple shape) is largely visceral. Where fat ends up is influenced by several factors, including heredity and hormones. As the evidence against abdominal fat mounts, researchers and clinicians are trying to measure it, correlate it with health risks, and monitor changes that occur with age and overall weight gain or loss. .

The good news is that visceral fat yields fairly easily to exercise and diet, with benefits ranging from lower blood pressure to more favorable cholesterol levels. Subcutaneous fat located at the waist — the pinchable stuff — can be frustratingly difficult to budge, but in normal-weight people, it’s generally not considered as much of a health threat as visceral fat is.

Research suggests that fat cells — particularly abdominal fat cells — are biologically active. It’s appropriate to think of fat as an endocrine organ or gland, producing hormones and other substances that can profoundly affect our health. Although scientists are still deciphering the roles of individual hormones, it’s becoming clear that excess body fat, especially abdominal fat, disrupts the normal balance and functioning of these hormones.

Scientists are also learning that visceral fat pumps out immune system chemicals called cytokines — for example, tumor necrosis factor and interleukin-6 — that can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. These and other biochemicals are thought to have deleterious effects on cells’ sensitivity to insulin, blood pressure, and blood clotting.

One reason excess visceral fat is so harmful could be its location near the portal vein, which carries blood from the intestinal area to the liver. Substances released by visceral fat, including free fatty acids, enter the portal vein and travel to the liver, where they can influence the production of blood lipids. Visceral fat is directly linked with higher total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol, lower HDL (good) cholesterol, and insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance means that your body’s muscle and liver cells don’t respond adequately to normal levels of insulin, the pancreatic hormone that carries glucose into the body’s cells. Glucose levels in the blood rise, heightening the risk for diabetes. Now for the good news.

Exercise and dieting can help you get rid of belly fat:

So what can we do about tubby tummies? A lot, it turns out. The starting point for bringing weight under control, in general, and combating abdominal fat, in particular, is regular moderate-intensity physical activity — at least 30 minutes per day (and perhaps up to 60 minutes per day) to control weight. Strength training (exercising with weights) may also help fight abdominal fat. Spot exercising, such as doing sit-ups, can tighten abdominal muscles, but it won’t get at visceral fat.

Diet is also important. Pay attention to portion size, and emphasize complex carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, and whole grains) and lean protein over simple carbohydrates such as white bread, refined-grain pasta, and sugary drinks. Replacing saturated fats and trans fats with polyunsaturated fats can also help.

Scientists hope to develop drug treatments that target abdominal fat. For example, studies of the weight-loss medication sibutramine (Meridia), have shown that the drug’s greatest effects are on visceral fat.

For now, experts stress that lifestyle, especially exercise, is the very best way to fight visceral fat.
Source: Harvard Health Publication

CLICK TO LEARN MORE

Advertisements

This Vilified Daily Food Slashes Heart Attack Risk in Half…

The Weston A. Price Foundation provides accurate information about nutrition and is dedicated to putting nutrient-dense foods back on American tables.
Members receive a lively and informative quarterly journal and email updates on current issues and events.Visit their website at www.westonaprice.org .
Are you still shunning butter from your diet? You can stop today because butter can be a very healthy part of your diet.

Why Butter is Better:-
•Vitamins …
Butter is a rich source of easily absorbed vitamin A, needed for a wide range of functions, from maintaining good vision to keeping the endocrine system in top shape.
Butter also contains all the other fat-soluble vitamins (D, E and K2), which are often lacking in the modern industrial diet.

•Minerals …
Butter is rich in important trace minerals, including manganese, chromium, zinc, copper and selenium (a powerful antioxidant). Butter provides more selenium per gram than wheat germ or herring. Butter is also an excellent source of iodine.

•Fatty Acids …
Butter provides appreciable amounts of short- and medium-chain fatty acids, which support immune function, boost metabolism and have anti-microbial properties; that is, they fight against pathogenic microorganisms in the intestinal tract. Butter also provides the perfect balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fats. Arachidonic acid in butter is important for brain function, skin health and prostaglandin balance.

•Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) …
When butter comes from cows eating green grass, it contains high levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a compound that gives excellent protection against cancer and also helps your body build muscle rather than store fat.

•Glycospingolipids …
These are a special category of fatty acids that protect against gastrointestinal infections, especially in the very young and the elderly. Children given reduced-fat milks have higher rates of diarrhea than those who drink whole milk.

•Cholesterol …
Despite all of the misinformation you may have heard, cholesterol is needed to maintain intestinal health and for brain and nervous system development in the young.

•Wulzen Factor …

A hormone-like substance that prevents arthritis and joint stiffness, ensuring that calcium in your body is put into your bones rather than your joints and other tissues. The Wulzen factor is present only in raw butter and cream; it is destroyed by pasteurization.

Butter and Your Health:-
Is butter really healthy? Let us count the ways …

1.Heart Disease
Butter contains many nutrients that protect against heart disease including vitamins A, D, K2, and E, lecithin, iodine and selenium. A Medical Research Council survey showed that men eating butter ran half the risk of developing heart disease as those using margarine (Nutrition Week 3/22/91, 21:12).

2.Cancer
The short- and medium-chain fatty acids in butter have strong anti-tumor effects. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in butter from grass-fed cows also gives excellent protection against cancer.

3.Arthritis

The Wulzen or “anti-stiffness” factor in raw butter and also Vitamin K2 in grasss-fed butter, protect against calcification of the joints as well as hardening of the arteries, cataracts and calcification of the pineal gland. Calves fed pasteurized milk or skim milk develop joint stiffness and do not thrive.

4.Osteoporosis
Vitamins A, D and K2 in butter are essential for the proper absorption of calcium and phosphorus and hence necessary for strong bones and teeth.

5.Thyroid Health
Butter is a good source of iodine, in a highly absorbable form. Butter consumption prevents goiter in mountainous areas where seafood is not available. In addition, vitamin A in butter is essential for proper functioning of the thyroid gland.

6.Digestion
Glycospingolipids in butterfat protect against gastrointestinal infection, especially in the very young and the elderly.

7.Growth & Development
Many factors in the butter ensure optimal growth of children, especially iodine and vitamins A, D and K2. Low-fat diets have been linked to failure to thrive in children — yet low-fat diets are often recommended for youngsters!

8.Asthma
Saturated fats in butter are critical to lung function and protect against asthma.

9.Overweight
CLA and short- and medium-chain fatty acids in butter help control weight gain.

10.Fertility
Many nutrients contained in butter are needed for fertility and normal reproduction.

Why You Should Avoid Margarine, Shortening and Spreads:-
There are a myriad of unhealthy components to margarine and other butter imposters, including:

•Trans fats: These unnatural fats in margarine, shortenings and spreads are formed during the process of hydrogenation, which turns liquid vegetable oils into a solid fat
Trans fats contribute to heart disease, cancer, bone problems, hormonal imbalance and skin disease; infertility, difficulties in pregnancy and problems with lactation; and low birth weight, growth problems and learning disabilities in children.

A U.S. government panel of scientists determined that man-made trans fats are unsafe at any level. (Small amounts of natural trans fats occur in butter and other animal fats, but these are not harmful.)

•Free radicals: Free radicals and other toxic breakdown products are the result of high temperature industrial processing of vegetable oils. They contribute to numerous health problems, including cancer and heart disease.
•Synthetic vitamins: Synthetic vitamin A and other vitamins are added to margarine and spreads. These often have an opposite (and detrimental) effect compared to the natural vitamins in butter.
•Emulsifiers and preservatives: Numerous additives of questionable safety are added to margarines and spreads. Most vegetable shortening is stabilized with preservatives like BHT.
•Hexane and other solvents: Used in the extraction process, these industrial chemicals can have toxic effects.
•Bleach: The natural color of partially hydrogenated vegetable oil is grey so manufacturers bleach it to make it white. Yellow coloring is then added to margarine and spreads.
•Artificial flavors: These help mask the terrible taste and odor of partially hydrogenated oils, and provide a fake butter taste.
•Mono- and di-glycerides: These contain trans fats that manufacturers do not have to list on the label. They are used in high amounts in so-called “low-trans” spreads.


•Soy protein isolate:
This highly processed powder is added to “low-trans” spreads to give them body. It can contribute to thyroid dysfunction, digestive disorders and many other health problems.
•Sterols: Often added to spreads to give them cholesterol-lowering qualities, these estrogen compounds can cause endocrine problems; in animals these sterols contribute to sexual inversion.
How to Purchase Butter:-
The BEST butter is raw butter from grass-fed cows, preferably organic. Next is pasteurized butter from grass-fed cows, followed by regular pasteurized butter from supermarkets. Even the latter two are still a much healthier choice than margarine or spreads.

For sources of raw butter, visit www.realmilk.com.

Source: The Weston A. Price Foundation

Posted by Dr.Mercola on December 07 2010

Enhanced by Zemanta

Junk Foods that are Good for You!

A recent study, proved that certain junk foods contain good amounts of anti-oxidants that can in fact be good for the heart. Whole-wheat crackers can be a healthy evening snacks :-

While it isn’t recommended that one must thrive on these foods but indulging in some of them in limit, of course, may do you a whole lot of good.

Some examples of these junk foods are given below:

Popcorn: It may be the best accompaniment for movies but popcorn also helps curb the evening snack craving. A bowl of home-made popcorn is even better as it is low on calories and high on anti-oxidants.

Dark chocolate brownies: Yes, it is indeed good news especially for people with a sweet tooth. Dark chocolate is proven to be good for the heart and if it is paired with a whole wheat brownie and some nuts, it becomes rich in fibre as well.

Dark chocolate bars: Due to the high amounts of antioxidants in dark chocolate, it has health benefits such as lowering blood pressure as well as decreasing the risk of heart disease if you eat around a 100 grams a day.

Crackers: There are many kinds of whole-wheat crackers available, which can be a good and healthy evening munch without the side-effects that other junk foods bring.

Baked snacks : The latest in the snack category are the baked snacks. They are better than fried chips as they contain no oil. Usually made of whole wheat with a dash of spice entertains the tastebuds and proves to be healthy for your body.

Processed cheese: Conjugated linoleic acid is found in many meat, milk, and cheese products. But a recent study concentrates specifically on processed cheese, revealing that CLA contains anti-carcinogenic properties, as well as a possible effective antioxidant. The study says processed cheese contains more CLA than natural cheese, such as cheddar.

Dry stout beer: Experts say that one pint of this thick and creamy dark beer may be as effective as a low dose of aspirin to improve blood circulation, hence lowering the risk of blood clots and heart attacks. It’s proven to be better than aerated drinks and other types of beer.



Red wine:
Resveratrol, an ingredient in red wine, effectively decreases life-threatening inflammation. The antioxidants in red wine can also help with preventing heart disease and cancer. For non-drinkers grape juice or even red grapes can be as effective.

Source: The Times Of India

 

Two Dietary Oils Gives 2-Sets of Benefit

A study comparing how two common dietary oil supplements — safflower oil and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) — affect body composition suggests that both oils can lower body fat in obese postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes.
click to see
In the study, 16 weeks of supplementation with safflower oil reduced fat in the trunk area, lowered blood sugar and increased muscle tissue in the participants.

Conjugated linoleic acid supplementation for the same length of time, on the other hand, reduced total body fat and lowered the women’s body mass index (BMI), a common health measure of weight relative to height.

All of the women in the study took one oil for 16 weeks, followed by the other oil for an equal amount of time.

Reources:

Eurekalert July 7, 2009
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition June 17, 2009

Enhanced by Zemanta

Bacteria Defends Gut Against Cancer

Diagram of the Human Intestine.

Image via Wikipedia

The presence of bacteria in the human gut could produce substances that protect against colon cancer and provide therapy for inflammatory  bowel disease.

CLICK & SEE

Researchers from the University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health and from the MTT Agrifood Research Institute in Finland report that bacteria in the gut convert linoleic acid, a naturally-occurring fat in the diet, into a form called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which is absorbed by the gut wall.

There are different types of CLA and not all of them have beneficial effects. “The ‘good’ form of CLA is present in dairy foods such as milk and cheese,” said John Wallace of the Rowett Research Institute, “but eating lots of dairy foods won’t necessarily help our gut health as most of the fats are digested in the small intestine before they get to the large intestine, where most of our gut bacteria are found.”

The results of these latest studies showed that several different forms of CLA are produced by gut bacteria. Fortunately, most was of the “good” kind, but Wallace stressed that more extensive studies are needed. One subject produced small amounts of a CLA whose beneficial or otherwise effects are much less clear.

The implications are that, if small quantities of dietary linoleic acid can be delivered to the large intestine, the effects on gut health will be generally beneficial in most people, said an Abereen release.

“The results are of special interest for individuals using anti-obesity treatments that prevent the small intestine from absorbing fats. This means that those fats – including linoleic acid – will pass into the large intestine and the gut bacteria will produce CLA. It has to be the correct CLA, so it is important to understand how individuals produce different CLA. This must depend on which types of bacteria are present,” Wallace said.


Sources
: The Times Of India

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]