Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Study: Gene Explains Why Atkins Diet Works For Improving Metabolic Syndrome

Not a lot of people know what the phrase "metabolic syndrome" means, but chances are many people are walking around right now with it and haven't got a clue that they do. The quadruple threat of obesity, insulin resistance, heart disease, and high cholesterol is literally destroying the health of millions of people who could benefit from making some basic changes in their diet.

That's the conclusion of some new research this week that found an impressive new treatment option for people who have metabolic syndrome which even explains why the Atkins diet is so effective. WOW, you gotta read this!

Lead researcher Dr. Sean Oldham, assistant professor at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research, found a single gene discovered in Drosophila fruit flies that helps to regulate vital regulators such as insulin, glucose and fat metabolism in the body.

A mutant form of the gene called TOR, an acronymn for the "target of rapamycin" gene that is present in virtually every plant and animal in the world, was created and bred with the fruit flies so Dr. Oldham and his fellow researchers could follow the gene's pathway to see what impact it would have on them.

What they found was the mutant TOR was directly responsible for reducing the influence of that gene on the body and led to a lowering of blood glucose levels and cholesterol. Additionally, an insulin-signal mediator in the body called FOXO was also blocked to show improvements in the glucose and cholesterol levels.

Interestingly, the fruit flies with the mutated TOR lived longer than the control group of fruit flies.

Before this study, the exact function of the TOR gene was unknown as it relates to insulin-regulation and metabolic syndrome. It certainly provides scientific evidence in support of the Atkins diet for controlling metabolic syndrome.

“This study provides the first direct evidence that reducing TOR function could be clinically beneficial to counter insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and diabetes,” Dr. Oldham explained. “We believe further studies on fruit flies are invaluable to discovering more details about this pathway, and will give us indispensable insight into pathological aspects of aging and senescence.”

The study's findings appear in the August 8, 2006 issue of the scientific journal Cell Metabolism.

What does all of this mean for people who are livin' la vida low-carb? Well, actually, this is NOT new information for us because we already knew the Atkins/low-carb approach was an excellent way to control insulin levels and blood sugar.

Dr. Jeff Volek and Dr. Richard Feinman have already previously "connected the dots" between low-carb and metabolic syndrome and shared their discovery last year. It's nice to know other researchers are finally catching up to this well-known fact!

In my recent interview with diabetes physician Dr. Mary Vernon, she remarked that the cost of the medication needed to treat metabolic syndrome averages around $550 per month!

"How much healthy food (including leafy greens and protein sources) could someone buy for $550.00?" Vernon said in the interview. "Enough to eat well and decrease the need for drugs, as well as to reverse the progress toward diabetes."

When people tell me they can't afford to eat the low-carb way, my response is you can't afford NOT to if you hope to lose weight and ward off diabetes, heart disease, or even death.

Dr. Oldham said his study revealed "unexpected and novel levels" of insulin regulation and well as lend credence to the much-maligned low-carb weight loss plan over the past few years.

"This study provides the first details of how TOR may ... [work in the] coordination of weight reduction effects caused by caloric restriction and, in humans, it may explain the effects of the Atkins diet," Dr. Oldham said.

He added that the lowering the TOR function could very well be the treatment option researchers have been looking for regarding metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance. They will use this information to begin working on new drugs that would reduce TOR levels in the body.

Why oh why would they do this when the study just concluded this can happen NATURALLY in the body by livin' la vida low-carb? It's like I was saying the other day with talk about a new obesity vaccine. How is taking an expensive new drug with whatever side effects it will have supposed to change the bad lifestyle habits of the people stuffing their mouths with sugar and excessive carbohydrates? Do these people who want these drugs think they will have the luxury of eating Twinkies and Ho-Ho's all day as long as they just pop their pill? UGH!

WAKE UP PEOPLE! You don't need a drug to control your obesity or metabolic syndrome. The answer really is as simple as making a lifetime commitment to a new way of eating that has improved the weight and health of millions upon millions of people worldwide. It's livin' la vida low-carb, baby!

Don't get fooled into thinking this was just some passing fad that has no scientific basis for existence. While the "fad" that came with all the so-called "low-carb" foods is now thankfully gone, the science behind low-carb is making a BIG SPLASH in 2006 and beyond. I fully expect even MORE research to come down the pipeline in the coming months and years to come as Dr. Robert C. Atkins is indeed vindicated posthumously for the sound nutritional science he introduced to the world. God rest his soul.

Dr. Oldham's study was supported by a grant from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, and with support from The Fishman Fund.

You can e-mail Dr. Sean Oldham at


Blogger The Happy Low Carb Taco said...

Can't afford to eat low carb? Nonsense! If people believe that then they really aren't trying to work it into their budget.(Or it could just be that people just don't want to try low-or-no carbing, so they use the "I can't afford it" excuse?)

I am *proof* one can eat low-carb on the cheap. (I am in a very low-income bracket.)

Cheap low to no carb foods-

-frozen vegetables
-cheese (when on sale, which is often, at least in my area)
-ground beef

(When things get tight, I can live off of a $40-per-month food budget. Really, its not hard.)

I can buy a hell of a lot of ribeyes for 500 bucks. A whole month of ribeye steaks, for breakfast, lunch and dinner?


Wow, I really went off on a tangent there. Sorry. :)

8/09/2006 11:26 AM  
Blogger Science4u1959 said...

Excellent post, Jimmy! Great information! Let's see what the low-fatties say about these newest facts (I know, probably nothing, they'll try to ignore it, but one can always hope)

8/09/2006 2:05 PM  
Blogger teapotsgalore said...

First-time poster, but long-time low-carber. I love your blog and find it very inspirational! However, this caught my eye in your post today: Do these people who want these drugs think they will have the luxury of eating Twinkies and Ho-Ho's all day as long as they just pop their pill? Well, in a word... yes!

While I love low-carbing and love my thin self after losing 50+ lbs, I will freely admit that I still miss "bad" food. Honestly? If I could take a pill to stay thin and then eat whatever I want, I'd be back on donuts in a flash. There's a reason so many people eat so badly -- it tastes good. Donuts, chocolate, cinnamon rolls, potato chips... pick your "poison" but they all taste good, and if I could still eat them, I would. So yeah, I expect there are lots of people out there hoping for the magic pill or vaccination against fat and weight gain, then they won't have to change their WOE and give up all those things.

But since there is no magic pill yet, I will continue to embrace low-carb and walk on past the donuts in the store :)

8/09/2006 4:54 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

THANKS for sharing your sentiment and for breaking your "lurking" mode, Teapotsgalore. But perhaps I didn't explain what I meant clearly enough by that comment.

Some people will erroneously think that taking a pill for their obesity or metabolic syndrome will give them an open license to eat, eat, eat all that junk. Junk is junk and it does NOT belong in your body. PERIOD!

Just because medicine MAY reduce the effects of that junk on the body, that doesn't mean we need it.

If you are experiencing cravings for certain foods, then you may want to just plan ONE meal every couple of months where you can indulge in that thing you miss so much. It will make livin' la vida low-carb that much more pleasurable for you.

Here are some links to my posts about this concept:

- "Who Says You Can't Splurge On Low-Carb?"

- "Controversial 'Planned Splurge' Strategy Needs Clarification"

- Controlled-Cheating While Low-Carb Living"

THANKS for reading and don't be a stranger. Post more often! :D

8/09/2006 5:03 PM  
Blogger aj said...

In response to teapotsgalore, who said how much they missed the junk food, I, too, thought I missed it. I have been low carbing for over 3 years now, lost the excess weight, and stay on a low carb lifestyle to keep it off. I'm also diabetic, and low carb keeps me in control.
Whenever I have allowed myself a 'treat' day or meal, and tried the sugary stuff of yore, I find that it is just TOO sweet and really tastes bad to me now! Not only are my taste buds readjusted, my whole bady reacts badly to a sweet treat, not to mention my mind, thinking what it's doing to me, since I've been educated on tne nutrition of such things.
There are so many good things to treat myself with, good fruit, sugar free jello & pudding, real whipped cream, sugar free chocolate, cream cheese treats made with Splenda, etc. The list is endless. Look a little harder and discover what good things there are instead of harmful junk. I'm sure lots of people would be happy to share their healthy treats ideas with you, and maybe you won't miss the old stuff as much. I know I never feel deprived. I couldn't stay with this lifestyle if I did. I don't suffer well!

8/10/2006 3:13 PM  
Blogger Tanja said...

You can eat low carb products and still get fast results with the Atkins.

More infu under

8/12/2006 7:32 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

What is with these IDIOTS like Tanja who come on my blog thinking they can get a FREE ad for their web site. GO AWAY, WE'RE NOT INTERESTED! If you wanted a link to your web site, then all you had to do was e-mail me. The way you did it instead makes me want to recommend all my readers AVOID your site instead.

8/12/2006 7:52 PM  

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