Metabolism, Hormones, Thyroid And Weight Issues, Oh, My!
(Written by, Kevin Guest Blogger, Founder (GlycoNutrients)
The human body is ridiculously hard to understand. In fact, science knows very little about it. As pointed out to me by Liz Schau, metabolism and weight control are of extreme interest to those who suffer from thyroid problems. This is because hormones secreted by the thyroid control the basal metabolic rate (BMR), which determines the amount of oxygen used up by the body over a specified amount of time. A low level of thyroid hormone is associated with a low BMR, just as an overproduction of thyroid hormone is associated with a high BMR.
But it is impossible to focus on a single gland and its hormones, especially when dealing with complex topics like metabolism and weight management. There are many factors beyond thyroid hormones that help determine your metabolism and, ultimately, the success you will have in losing weight and keeping it off. Take a second to visualize your car. Now answer this question: How does it move forward? Most drivers’ answers would be, “press the gas pedal” Mechanics will say that fuel is injected into carburetor and go into a little more detail as to how the motor works. Ask this same question to a physicist and his answer will surely include chemical reactions that take place in the engine, volume and pressure displacement in the gas tank, torque on wheels, etc. Metabolism is even more complex and you are sure to get a different explanation depending on who you ask. That being said, I will do my best to touch on important points regarding metabolism. But what I wan you to get out of this is that there are many variables that you need to be aware of and weight loss/maintenance goes well beyond caloric intake (which I am adamantly opposed to) and thyroid issues.
Hormones and Metabolism
We have already established that hormones secreted by the thyroid play an important role in metabolism. But so do other hormones such as insulin, epinephrine, glucagon, and more. Hormonal balance is essential to maintaining a proper metabolism. I understand there is little that can be done to find balance of hormones secreted by a gland (like the thyroid) that has been removed. But it is important that you take ALL glands and their hormones into considerations when attempting to improve your metabolism for effective weight loss. Learn about triggers for weight gain like how the presence of insulin blocks fat consumption and promotes fat and glycogen accumulation. In other words, look beyond the thyroid and know that even after being diagnosed with a thyroid problem, you are still not out of the fight.
Many hormones are regulated by the brain/nervous systema as responses to the environment. Epinephrine (adrenaline), for example, is a fight or flight response hormone. It would promote fat and glycogen breakdown for immediate energy if, as you are reading this, a lion were to jump through your nearest window. It would allow you to break the world’s record in the quarter mile run, no matter how out of shape you might be. That may be an exaggeration, but not by much. Other hormones are regulated by our diet, like insulin. It’s production is directly related to the amount of blood glucose levels. By maintaining a proper balance of as many hormones as you can, you are sure to increase your chances of weight loss.
Food with a high glycemic index will spike blood glucose levels. Short-term it’s bad because as alluded to earlier, when your body has a lot of blood glucose it says “stop burning fat; we have plenty of glucose in the blood that we can useÃ¢â‚¬. But because there is a spike and most likely an excess of glucose, the body then says “well, we have extra so let’s store it for when we can’t find foodÃ¢â‚¬. Long-term, it could lead to insulin resistance. See, your body believes it is still a hunter gatherer and doesn’t know you sit around all day in front of a computer and you have available to you, in one soda, more sugar than you should be able to come across in the next couple of days (please note it’s an example, I did not do math for sugar content/requirements). Aim for consumption of foods with a low glycemic index and a high soluble fiber content to help reduce the absorption rate from intestine to blood, reducing the amount of insulin (and other hormones that promote fat storage) in the blood.
The point that what we eat influences mechanisms that regulate metabolism has been made. It is much more complicated than how I have paraphrased it and there is certainly a lot more that needs to be told. But you effectively understand that:
diet hormonal product metabolism and that hormonal imbalances metabolic problems
Whey Protein vs. Whey Peptides
Recent studies suggest that certain peptides, which can be derived from whey protein, can be an effective tool to promote fat utilization.
Whey protein is taken from milk and commonly used by bodybuilders to build mass. It is a big complex and is usually ineffective at anything other than increasing muscle volume. Which could translate into fat burn because a larger muscle consumes more fat than a smaller one, but there is a lot of weight lifting involved and frankly most of us don’t have the time (or money for personal trainers) that is required for this to be effective.
Whey peptides on the other hand are smaller subunits that are removed from whey protein by specific enzymes. The difference between a peptide and a protein is the length in its amino acid chain (under 100 it is considered a peptide; 100 or more is considered a protein). In essence, most of the whey is disposed and only key components that are known to play an important part in inhibiting fat accumulation and promoting fat consumption are kept. These peptides are rich in leucine, isoleucine, and valine amino acids. Recently (February 18th of this year) Medline Plus reported that “Researchers suggest that isoleucine could effective in treating obesity…
There are four main mechanisms in which our whey peptides work to accelerate fat loss:
- Protein synthesis – provides three branched amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) essential for your body to make protein
- Inhibition ACE – angiotensin-converting enzyme promotes storage/accumulation of fat. By inhibiting it, it loses it’s ability to store fat, thereby preventing the formation of new fat cells.
- Promotes production of CCK (only if taken 20 mins before a meal) – cholecystokinin is secreted by gland after you have consumed some food (some fats or proteins) and send signal to the brain telling it that you are satisfied and to stop making you fell hungry
- Calcitrophic Hormone Regulation – regulates whether you will burn the fat or not.
We refer to a blend of these whey peptides as an advanced peptide technology.
Keep in mind, you body is extremely intricate and just as complex. Although some may see an immediate improvement by taking a whey peptide supplement, it is important to remember that activity, stress, diet, mood, and other factors will contribute to hormonal secretion, recognition, and ultimately absorption into target cells and users are encouraged to become more active, improve/modify their diets (most notably to a low glycemic diet), and commit to a few other lifestyle changes.
As a final note… Your body will stop burning fat if it is intoxicated. Everything described above will be null once your blood gets to a certain level of intoxication after burning fat. The body uses stored fat to protect itself from toxins by storing toxins in adipose (fat) tissue. As fat is burned, toxins are released. The more fat you have, the more toxins you’ve accumulated. If you are not eating a diet VERY HIGH in antioxidants (overweight people are strongly encouraged to take a good antioxidant supplement) your body has a tougher time getting rid of these toxins. Water is also good for toxin disposal and is probably one of the main reasons water consumption should be increased in all people (especially those attempting to lose weight). Weigh yourself in pounds, divide by two. The number you get is the number of ounces of water you should drink per day, as it is very close to the amount of water your body uses on a daily basis (most exists your body as urine, sweat may not notice it because it evaporates, and every time you exhale).
What questions do you have for Kevin? What are your thoughts about metabolism, hormone regulation, glycemic index and Whey Protein vs. Whey Peptides? Do you eat foods rich in antioxidants? Do you take supplements? What is working about your nutritional program and what isn’t working?
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