THE FAT SWITCH BOOK
In his new book, The Fat Switch, Dr. Richard J. Johnson, presents news-breaking , science-based studies that will reverse current thinking on both the cause and. The classic teaching is that too much food intake plus too little exercise equals fat . However, this book makes the strong case that obesity does not result from. The Fat Switch book. Read 11 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. If you've ever struggled with losing weight and keeping it off, I do.
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The Fat Switch is a most interest- ing and curious book, and one I heartily commend to you. It may well be not at all the sort of book you have read before. The Fat Switch book by Dr. Richard Johnson helps you understand facts about weight gain and gives you tips in achieving optimal weight control. The Fat Switch by MD Richard J. Johnson, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide.
Social, political and scientific reasons are explored and given weight.
The short answer is that we are not living the life w One third of americans are overweight. The short answer is that we are not living the life we were designed to live by millions of years of evolution. If you don't believe in the validity of evolution you need another book. The rate of change in what we eat and how we live over the last 10, years has outpaced our ability to adapt physically.
This change has only accelerated in the last 50 years. Some other tidbits without giving away the whole book: It's not simple algebra: calories in calories out. In other words all calories are not created equal. Sugar is not your friend. This led to a genetic mutation that resulted in a greater uric acid response to fructose. Today, one can drink huge amounts in one supergulp soft drink.
And we have become super-effective at converting the fructose to fat. And the more uric acid, the more metabolism of fructose that occurs. But over time, it looks like you lose [the energy-producing mitochondria] and can't recover them.
It seems you reset yourself to a higher weight. Coronary artery disease, strokes, aortic aneurysms and congestive heart failure are just some of the complications linked to sugar-fueled obesity. If this all seems bleak and hopeless, take heart. Johnson suggests in The Fat Switch that keeping the switch off -- which is essential for good health -- depends on following a few general principles. Of course, reducing your intake of added sugars is key. Johnson recommends no more than four to five teaspoons per day.
However, natural fruits are OK as they have a lot of good ingredients like vitamin C and antioxidants that block the effects of sugar. This allows the body to burn fat for much of the day. Johnson recommends limiting purine-rich beer because it increases uric acid production. We would probably do better to reduce the amount we eat for dinner.
I think that breakfast is okay, but you just want to exercise before breakfast. DM: Okay, just a little refinement.
But there are some other aspects of your discovery of the fat switch that have some benefits. Some of them are still in process. What can people do or what does the research suggest that we can benefit from knowing how the fat switch works? RJ: Well, one of the key things is, obviously, it looks like fructose is one of the main ways we turn on the switch. The first rule, if you want to not gain weight or to reduce the risk for obesity, is just cut back on the sugars.
I think you can get The Sugar Fix, which actually details all the amounts of the fructose in different foods. Or you can just kind of take the simple approach of reading the labels and trying to avoid the foods that have lots of sugar and fructose in it. First thing is try to reduce your sugar intake, high-fructose corn syrup intake, by half to a third. The second thing is — and this paper again is not yet published, so stay tuned. But we discovered that under certain circumstances, the body can make its own fructose.
I hate to say this. Fructose can be made from carbs.
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They ate a lot of glucose. And they actually take in a lot of glucose. What we discovered is that under certain circumstances — and this is one of them — the animals start to make fructose from the glucose. But if you put glucose in the water, they started getting fatty liver and insulin resistance and all the features of metabolic syndrome. It puzzled us until we discovered that they were converting the glucose to fructose in their liver.
The way I interpret this now, based upon the data we have, is that if you want to not gain weight, the most important thing is to reduce sugar, fructose intake from the diet.
It will also reduce carbs that may be playing a role, under certain circumstances, in making fructose in the body. DM: Interesting. That is fascinating. RJ: Right, exactly. The way I recommend is if you want to not gain weight, just reduce the sugar and fructose content. If you are overweight and you want to lose weight, you may have to restrict all carbs until we get better ways to do this.
RJ: The other thing to mention is that our work identified other foods that could cause obesity. The big one was beer.
Because beer also, when it metabolizes, it generates a lot of uric acid in the cell. As I mentioned, that seems to play a role in this switch. Well, beer belly is actually [Laughs] a form of visceral obesity. Many of these people who drink beer also get high-blood pressure. They get elevated triglycerides. In some, they basically develop a type of metabolic syndrome. I believe that the overwhelming factor driving the obesity epidemic is sugar, but that there are individuals who are getting obese other ways.
One of them is through beer and perhaps some other ways, too. But this will be the two main culprits. DM: I want to expand on that uric acid component for a moment. You had mentioned previously and your newer research suggests that fruits are beneficial and healthy in moderation. DM: But you want to avoid fruit juices and dried fruits. You know, serum uric acid has recently emerged as a major predictor for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and fatty liver. There are others that show that it increases the risk for fatty liver.
There are others that show that it increases the risk for diabetes.
The Fat Switch
We actually believe that elevated uric acid turns on the enzyme that helps convert the carbs to fructose. Most people who are obese and insulin-resistant have a high uric acid.
I was just really fascinated with your writing style and ability to present a very compelling story about something that many of us know a lot about. But it was just so interesting, because you really used the process of your own discovery, or wrote it as you were discovering it yourself — almost.
It was very compelling. RJ: I get such a mixed response. There are different factions that may be very much wed to their own hypotheses or longstanding dogma, so that it can be a very difficult time. When there are lots of questions, it takes a lot longer to get a paper published, because they want you to prove it nine different ways.
As I mentioned, people are eating more and exercising too little. But one of the striking and amazing discoveries with fructose is that even if you control the intake, so that an animal is not eating so much extra food, they still develop features of metabolic syndrome. The metabolic syndrome is really a form of pre-diabetes. You become insulin- resistant.
You get fatty liver. Your blood pressure goes up. You have high triglycerides. And everyone thought that that had to be associated with actual massive weight gain or obesity.
Another group will get the same amount of food — exactly the same amount of food [Laughs], but with a different carbohydrate like glucose.
Suddenly they get fatty liver. They get visceral fat. Their blood pressure goes up. Their triglycerides are high. We even did a study two years ago that was even more [Laughs] remarkable. We took laboratory animals, and we put them on a diet. We gave them 90 percent of what they normally eat.
But one diet had 40 percent sugar. Now remember, some kids are eating 30 percent of their diet as sugar right now. The control rats were eating the same in starch. What was amazing was that the sugar-fed animals developed fatty liver — like massive fatty liver — and even became diabetic. The control animals did not. This led us to try to figure out why. And it was a detective story [Laughs], Dr.
It really was a detective story. Fructose is a sugar. There is an enzyme in the cell. This is the enzyme that metabolizes fructose.
I think that when you metabolize food, you have to use some energy to metabolize food. I mean, in order to make energy, you have to use a little energy in the process. But fructose is distinct in using so much energy to make energy that for a short while the cell becomes energy-depleted. When it loses its energy, it suddenly quits functioning normally. It starts to develop an inflammatory response. There is a process called oxidative stress that occurs in the cell. The way we prove that was we took animals that did not have that fructokinase enzyme.
They metabolized fructose through other ways, and they did not get the metabolic syndrome. Even though they were ingesting fructose, they were safe from its effects.
We could show that it was due to this energy depletion that was occurring in the cell. There have been several additional things that came out. We tried to figure out how the energy depletion actually caused the cell to accumulate fat. The ATP levels fell. The ATP that had been consumed broke down.
Suddenly, we started forming a substance called uric acid. But everyone thought it was elevated in people with obesity, because obese people get gout. This was a big challenge again, because no one really wanted to believe that.
But what we were able to show is that uric acid can actually stimulate fat accumulation in cells through this process of working on the mitochondria where the ATP is made.
DM: Our last interview was about two years ago or a little bit over two years ago. There have been several big discoveries, I think, in the last several years that are in some respects changing the way we think about what causes obesity. If you like, I can kind of go through some of these. DM: Oh sure, yeah, let us. I think everyone would be interested hearing about these updates. It affects just about the large percentage of the population. RJ: The obesity epidemic, of course, is just striking everywhere, you know, all over the world.
Most people have thought that the obesity epidemic is simply due to our culture. In our culture, we have these very large meals given to us. We get seconds.
We get seconds on drinks.
We get larger and larger drinks. People used to have seven- ounce Cokes, and then it was ounce, ounce, ounce — the idea that bigger portions are driving up the increased intake. Likewise with Internet, TV, telephones, escalators, elevators, and people are exercising less.
And this is driven by our culture. We are exercising too little. People who are obese frequently cannot control their appetite. Leptin is a hormone that controls appetite. We also know that people are exercising less not because the TV is so good or because the iPhone [Laughs] is so fun to play with.
They have less energy, and this can be shown by measuring energy in the muscle or the tissues. We can measure the energy as ATP, and that tends to be low in people who are obese. They actually did a study a number of years ago where they took children who are watching TV a lot.
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They were watching almost 20 to 25 hours of TV a week. They randomized half of the children to only watch half the TV they normally watch.
They have little monitors on the TV, so they could really measure this accurately. What they found was that when they reduced the amount of TV by half in the one group — and the other group continued watching their usual 25 hours [Laughs] of TV a week — the kids that reduced their TV in half, the theory was they would increase their physical activity.
Actually [Laughs], their physical activity went down. Animals regulate weight very tightly. You can force-feed it, and it will get real big. But you quit feeding it, it will come right back down to its normal weight.
You can starve an animal, and it will lose weight. One of the things that does that is fructose. When we take an animal and we put fructose in the water and let it drink the fructose, suddenly it no longer regulates its weight tightly. This is one of the things that our group showed, that if you give fructose to an animal, they become leptin-resistant. In fact, we even took the fructose away from them after they were leptin-resistant.
We gave them a high-fat diet.
It turns out that this leptin resistance can persist even when you take the fructose away at least for a while. We also found that when you give fructose to animals, it reduces the energy production in the liver.
DM: Well, thank you for expanding on it and doing this research to help identify these issues. Because it would seem to me that a big portion of the changes that have occurred biochemically and metabolically are related to the massive amount of fructose in the diet, and that seems to be what happened in the mids when it became so cheap it produce.
RJ: Absolutely. Corn is cheap as can be. Then they have it even cheaper to extract this fructose. RJ: You know, we can actually look at this indirectly. You can even go farther back.
There have been studies done in England. Actually in England, sugar was actually pretty expensive for a long time. In the early s, for example, it was still pretty expensive.
There was a tax on sugar that kept people from being able to buy a lot. They kept reducing the sugar tax throughout the s. Then they repealed it completely in Associated with that, sugar intake started going up dramatically. Then it continued to go up dramatically through the early s. In , only [Laughs] three percent of year-old men were obese.
It started increasing to 10 to 15 percent by to The ATP levels fell. It didn't always used to be this way. We do think that some of these foods could have a little bit of an influence. You get really fat. When we take an animal and we put fructose in the water and let it drink the fructose, suddenly it no longer regulates its weight tightly.
The fish come in there, and they eat all the fruits. What if losing weight could be as easy as flipping a switch? They dramatically increase their fat content. Description If you've ever struggled with losing weight and keeping it off, I don't have to tell you it's a challenge.
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