Category «Weight Loss»

Growing up ‘big boned’: MC4R gene and obesity

There are several key players in our body’s regulation of hunger, satiety, and energy expenditure. Leptin and ghrelin are two pivotal hormones involved in our desire to eat. Within that leptin pathway, another key regulator of our body weight is MC4R. This explanation is going to get a bit complicated, so for all of you …

Hacking BDNF for weight loss (Patreon only)

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a fascinating growth hormone that does a lot in our brains. So what does BDNF do? Quite a bit! It is involved in supporting neurons and neuronal growth in the brain; it also plays a role in long-term memory and in obesity. Why focus on obesity when everyone knows that …

Leptin Receptors: Genetics and Hunger

Ever wished your body could just naturally know that it has had enough food and turn off the cravings for donuts or Doritos? Your body is actually supposed to work that way. Leptin, a hormone produced mainly by fat cells, signals to the hypothalamus in the brain that you have enough stored energy. Leptin is …

Metabolism, obesity, inflammation… hacking your endocannabinoid system for weight loss (Patrons only)

Cannabis and marijuana may be the first thing that comes to mind when learning about the body’s cannabinoid receptors.  And yes, cannabis acts upon the receptors, activating them and causing the pleasant effects on mood as well as the increase in appetite. But there is a lot more to this system’s role in our body than …

Weight Loss: Optimizing your diet based on your genes

Diet gurus, talking heads on TV, government food pyramids, and your friend who lost 20 pounds… What do they all have in common?  They all know the perfect diet that will whip you into shape and make you feel good. If that diet doesn’t work for you?  Well, you must have been cheating. You didn’t …

Circadian Rhythms: Genes at the Core of Our Internal Clocks

Circadian rhythms are the natural biological rhythms that shape our biology.  Most people know about the master clock in our brain that keeps us on a wake-sleep cycle over 24 hours.  This is driven by our master “clock’ genes. It turns out that we also have circadian cycles (peripheral clocks) in most organs such as …

Detoxifying Phthalates:  Genes and Diet

There have been several recent studies about phthalates that have piqued my interest lately.  I decided that it was time to look into the science behind the stories and see if there really is anything to the scare-tactic type headlines about phthalates.  Below are my notes with links to studies.  I encourage you to check …

How our genes shape our gut microbiome and our weight

Several studies have come out recently showing that those who are overweight have a different gut microbiome composition than those who are lean.  There have also been interesting mouse studies showing that transplanting feces from obese mice into lean mice causes the lean mice to become obese.  A 2010 study that found that supplementation with the probiotic Lactobacillus …

Microbiome + genetics + emulsifiers = obesity

Recently, I listened to an interview (from 2015) of a scientist who did a study on emulsifiers and found that they can lead to low-grade inflammation in the gut, especially in mice with certain immune system genes knocked out. I find the interaction between our genes and our microbiome to be fascinating. Last summer I did …

Adiponectin levels, food choices, and genetics

Adiponectin, a hormone discovered in the 1990’s, is secreted by adipose (fat) tissue.  It is an anti-inflammatory protein, protective against the effects of low-grade inflammation that are associated with obesity. Although it is made in adipose tissue, those who have more fat tissue usually have lower adiponectin levels.  It is thought that the lower adiponectin levels (and …