Desperation has reached new heights among individuals to lose weight-this might be because of the dramatic side effects endured by obese people that debilitates their quality of life. Without innovative and effective techniques to curb obesity/overweight rates globally we could end up harming ourselves. The good thing here is that people have already started realizing the immediate need for effective intervention strategies to curb weight gain and have even started working towards eliminating this but sadly, most of them don’t take the right approach to attain success. Yes, I am talking about relying on weight gain machines, supplements, powders and pills for weight loss, most of which are not approved by the FDA and even those that are approved don’t guarantee 100% health sustenance throughout life.
Genetics doesn’t mind taking the blame for obesity but it is appreciable when people realize that eating calorie-dense foods that’s full of fats and carbs contribute mostly towards rising obesity rates. Its no big news that health experts, dietitians and nutritionists recommend eating a healthy, well-balanced diet with regular exercise to lose weight but not all of us follow this-for some its lack of time, lack of interest or inclination; for some others its lack of support and for others its lack of access to fresh foods, good workout spaces or knowledge about both. Many individuals also seek the support of drugs and surgeries to lose excess fat and we also have numerous weight-loss drugs that reduce weight by about 10% approved by the FDA in the last few decades. But its also a well-known fact that each of them comes with their own side effects such as diarrhoea, headache, severe liver injury, sleep apnea, pancreatitis and even an inclination to commit suicide.
We have a new study from Harvard’s SEAS that has discovered that an orally administered liquid salt called Choline and Geranate (CAGE) can reduced the absorption of fat from foods with no side effects seen in rats. It can also reduce total body weight by about 12%. The researchers mixed the liquid with an omega-3 fat called DHA and water. On observation they could see that the DHA formed large particles about 3-4 microns in length. This DHA-CAGE mixture was fed to healthy rat intestines. It was seen that compared to intestines that were injected only with DHA the inclusion of CAGE reduced the permeation of DHA into the intestine tissue.
The same research team prepared DHA and CAGE mixtures in capsule form and fed them orally to rats. After 6 hours it was observed that rats fed with the DHA+CAGE mixture absorbed only 50% DHA into blood compared to those rats that were given DHA alone. Feeding CAGE with DHA doubled its concentration in the rat’s stomach and intestine while reducing its presence in the liver-this shows that CAGE prevents DHA from leaving the gastrointestinal tract. The same team also studied the effect of CAGE on fat intake by these rats who were fed a high-fat diet containing 20% more fat than regular diet, for a month. A 10-microliter dose of CAGE caused rats to gain 12% less weight than rats that got a 5-microliter dose or no CAGE. While the untreated rats ate about 10 grams of food daily those rats treated with a 10-microliter dose ate only about 8 grams of food-this shows that CAGE might also increase feelings of fullness.
FDA Issues Safety Alert for Lorcaserin
Lorcaserin is a medication approved by the FDA back in 2012 alongside a reduced-calorie diet and regular exercise to facilitate weight loss in adults who are obese/overweight and have at least one weight-related medical problem such as BP, type 2 diabetes or dyslipidaemia. While headache, dizziness, nausea and fatigue were declared to be common side effects of using the drug the FDA now has come up with a Safety Alert regarding this medication as clinical trials that probed into the safety levels of using the drug showed possible risks of cancer. Though results are not conclusive the FDA wants people to come to a conclusion regarding its use after weighing whether the benefits of taking lorcaserin outweighs potential cancer risk.
The pills that were once approved by the FDA seem to elevate health risk in individuals. Pills might come and go and CAGE is not the first pill to offer hope for fighting obesity. But we cannot be assured of its effects on the human body until long-term use of the pill is monitored. And, lorcaserin is a classic example to stop believing in such pills just because it is approved by the FDA as none of us know about its effects in the long-term. All these reinstate the fact that exercising regularly, eating healthy food, following portion control and leading an active lifestyle is the best way to lose weight and stay healthy. Get in touch with reputed dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com to formulate a healthy diet plan suiting your body requirements. Avoid any pills, powders and supplements that offer easy solutions to weight problems-initially they might sound alluring and supportive but none can predict their long-term effects on health.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.