Monday, August 29, 2005

Scottish Researcher To Study The Effect Of Low-Carb On The Brain

Dr. Alex Johnstone will observe the brain activity of people on low-carb

A new research study is set to begin in Scotland by a researcher who wants to take a look at the brain responses of people who are livin' la vida low-carb so she can determine what brings about successful weight loss.

Dr. Alex Johnstone from the Rowett Research Institute is hoping to offer people a healthy way to lose weight and cut down on the unnecessary snacking that usually leads to obesity problems.

She is looking for men in the UK who are age 50 or older to take part in a nine-week residential study. During the study, participants will be placed on a variety of diet plans and will have their brains scanned at the University of Aberdeen to see if there are any differences in brain activity.

To sign up to be a volunteer for this important study, then you will need to fill out this online registration form as soon as possible.

"Many scientists now accept that weight loss on high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets is because people satisfy their hunger after eating less calories than they would normally eat," Johnstone said regarding the reason for her study. "This has stimulated our interest in the mechanisms that control appetite and the feeling of being full. We know that when people eat low-carbohydrate diets, within a relatively short time their body has to switch from using glucose as a fuel to using a by-product of fat metabolism called ketone bodies. Ketone bodies are appetite-suppressing and this may be because they affect the appetite centres in the brain."

I am excited about the prospect of this study's findings. While the notion that low-carbers lose weight only because they cut their calories exists, it is simply unfounded. When I ate a low-fat/low-calorie diet, I restricted myself to about 1200 calories per day. However, since I started livin' la vida low-carb, I probably get 2-3 times that amount of calories every single day. Low-carb has revolutionized the subject of nutrition and health, but too many people are still in denial about what we have learned about this incredible weight-controlling method. I applaud Dr. Johnstone for stepping forward with this kind of research even as the media is trying to turn the public against low-carb.

"The scans we take during this study will show if the appetite centers in the volunteers' brains respond differently depending on the weight-loss diets they are eating," added Dr. Andy Welch who will conduct the brain scans at Aberdeen University. "This in turn will indicate whether the carbohydrate levels in the high-protein diets are important."

We'll be watching for the results of this survey when they become available to the public.

Interestingly, Dr. Johnstone's study is being funded by the Scottish government (Scottish Executive) and their version of the Department of Health (Chief Scientist Office). Can you imagine the outcry in the United States if President George W. Bush authorized the use of tax dollars to help fund research on low-carb? The media would have a field day. Kudos to the Scottish government for recognizing this important need for additional research. Are you lawmakers up on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. paying attention to this?


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