Tag Archive for: water

Obesity – too much salt not enough water?

Two surprising reasons behind the obesity epidemic: Too much salt, not enough water

Salty french fries may taste good, but they just contribute to dehydration and obesity.
William Voon/EyeEm via Getty Images

Richard Johnson, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Scientific studies and media coverage are rife with warnings on how sugar, carbohydrates, saturated fat and lack of exercise contribute to obesity. And tens of millions of Americans are still overweight or obese in large part because of the classic Western diet and lifestyle.

As an educator, researcher and professor of medicine, I have spent more than 20 years investigating the causes of obesity, as well as related conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and chronic kidney disease.

Throughout my many years of studying obesity and related health conditions, I’ve observed that relatively little is said about two significant pieces of this very complex puzzle: lack of hydration and excessive salt intake. Both are known to contribute to obesity.

Lessons learned from a desert sand rat

Nature provides a clue to the role these factors play with the desert sand rat Psammomys obesus, a half-pound rodent with a high-pitched squeak that lives in the salty marshes and deserts of Northern Africa. It survives, barely, by eating the stems of Salicornia – the glasswort – a plant that looks a bit like asparagus.

Although low in nutrients, the glasswort’s fleshy, succulent sap is filled with water that’s rich in salt, at concentrations as high as what’s found in seawater.

Recent studies have provided new insights into why the desert sand rat might crave the salty sap of glasswort. Although this has not yet been proven specifically in the sand rat, it is likely that a high-salt diet helps the sand rat convert the relatively low amount of carbohydrates it’s ingesting into fructose, a type of sugar that occurs naturally in fruits, honey and some vegetables.

This helps the animal survive when food and fresh water are sparse. This is because fructose activates a “survival switch” that stimulates foraging, food intake and the storage of fat and carbohydrates that protect the animal from starvation.

However, when the rat is brought into captivity and given the common rodent diet of about 50% carbohydrates, it rapidly develops obesity and diabetes. But if given fresh vegetables low in starchy carbohydrates, the rodent remains lean.

A desert sand rat, with prominent whiskers and a brown and white coat, takes a look outside its burrow.
The desert sand rat, also known as the fat sand rat, is actually a gerbil. It’s found in Asia as well as Africa.
Kristian Bell/Moment via Getty Images

My research, and the research of many other scientists over the decades, shows that many Americans unwittingly behave much like a captive desert sand rat, although few are in settings where food and water are limited. They are constantly activating the survival switch.

Fructose and our diets

As mentioned, fructose, a simple sugar, appears to have a key role in activating this survival switch that leads to fat production.

Small amounts of fructose, like that found in an individual fruit, are not the problem – rather it is excessive amounts of fructose that are problematic for human health. Most of us get our fructose from table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. Intake of these two sugars totals approximately 15% of calories in the average American diet.

These sugars encourage people to eat more, which can lead to weight gain, fat accumulation and prediabetes.

Our bodies also make fructose on their own – and experimental studies suggest it may be enough to trigger the development of obesity.

A spoonful of sugar, surrounded by sugar cubes, on a wooden table.
Table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup are two of the culprits that can cause weight gain and obesity.
ATU Images/The Image Bank via Getty Images

Since fructose is made from glucose, production of fructose increases when blood glucose levels are high. This process happens when we eat a lot of rice, cereal, potatoes and white bread; those are carbs that rapidly release glucose into the blood rapidly.

And notably, fructose production can also be stimulated by dehydration, which drives fat production.

Fat provides water

Fat has two major functions. The first one, which is well known, is to store calories for a later time when food is unavailable.

The other major but lesser-known function of fat is to provide water.

To be clear, fat does not contain water. But when fat breaks down, it generates water in the body. The amount produced is substantial, and roughly equivalent to the amount of fat burned. It’s so significant that some animals rely on fat to provide water during times when it’s not available.

Whales are but one example. While they drink some seawater, they get most of their water from the foods they eat. And when they go for extended periods without food, they get their water primarily by metabolizing fat.

Hold the fries

The role of dehydration as a contributor to obesity should not be underestimated. It commonly occurs after eating salty foods. Both dehydration and salt consumption lead to the production of fructose and fat.

This is why salty french fries are especially fattening. The salt causes a dehydration-like state that encourages the conversion of the starch in the french fry to fructose.

What’s more, studies show most people who are overweight or obese don’t drink enough water. They are far more likely to be dehydrated than those who are lean. Their salt intake is also very high compared with lean people’s.

Research shows that people with obesity frequently have high levels of vasopressin, a hormone that helps the kidneys hold water to regulate urine volume.

But recent studies suggest vasopressin has another purpose, which is to stimulate fat production.

For someone at risk of dehydration or starvation, vasopressin may have a real survival benefit. But for those not at risk, vasopressin could drive most of the metabolic effects of excess fructose, like weight gain, fat accumulation, fatty liver and prediabetes.

Drinking more water

So does this mean drinking more water can help us lose weight? The medical community has often scoffed at the assertion. However, our research team found that giving mice more water slowed weight gain and the development of prediabetes, even when the mice had diets rich in sugar and fat.

There is also increasing evidence that most people drink too little water in general, and increasing water intake may help people who are obese lose weight.

That’s why I encourage drinking eight tall glasses of water a day. And eight is likely enough; don’t assume more is better. There have been cases of people drinking so much that “water intoxication” occurs. This is particularly a problem with people who have heart, kidney or liver conditions, as well as those who have had recent surgery or are long-distance runners. It’s always good to first check with your doctor about water intake.

For the desert sand rat, and for our ancestors who scavenged for food, a high-salt and limited-water diet made sense. But human beings no longer live that way. These simple measures – drinking more water and reducing salt intake – offer cheap, easy and healthy strategies that may prevent or treat obesity.The Conversation

Richard Johnson, Professor of Medicine, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Read another blog post – on food sensitivity testing, here: https://kinesiologyzone.com/how-to-test-foods-with-kinesiology/

Are you drinking clean water?

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Are you drinking clean water? Most of us don’t think about the water we drink. We turn on a tap, fill a glass, and drink.

But with more studies being done on bottled water and tap water we need to be more aware of what we are drinking. It is so important not to be afraid to drink water, we see dehydration now as a chronic symptom with clients. Unfortunately more people out there are confused about where they should get there water …

Do you drink bottled water but environmentally this is not good ? Do you worry about the chemicals in the tap water ?…. these concerns are real.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to find wholesome pure water. In a desperate attempt to find a way around the scandalous levels of poisons and impurities now found in domestic water supplies people are resorting to filtered and bottled water.

First we use look at the benefit from using A Water Filter Pitcher….

If you are looking for a low-cost water filtration for your home or office, a pitcher- style water filter is a great option. They can remove a number of contaminants from drinking water and significantly improve taste and odour. And a number of these kinds of pitchers also can make water more alkaline, a great benefit for overall health.home_garden_paywall_water_filters

When considering filtration options, it’s always a good idea to have your water tested and then choose the best filtration option for you and your situation. If you need to remove lead or other heavy metals, you may need to investigate reverse osmosisor other filtration systems                                                                   .

Water pitcher filters may remove some, or all, of the following, although efficacy will vary by unit and how often the filters are changed:* Chlorine* Zinc* Nominal Particulates* Hydrogen Sulfide* Asbestos* Lead* Mercury* Cadmium* Copper* Mercury* Trace pharmaceuticals.

Many models of water pitcher filters now not only filter out chlorine and other contaminants, but also change the pH of the water itself. By making water more alkaline, proponents say that the water is healthier.

Although scientists are just now beginning to research the effects of alkaline water, some studies suggest that there may be benefits from drinking water with a high pH. One study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests that alkaline water with a pH of 8.8 may help people suffering from acid reflux disease. In another study by the Shanghai Journal of Preventive Medicine, alkaline water may benefit patients suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes and elevated blood lipids.

A word of caution, doctors recommend limiting the quantities of alkaline water we consume, especially water in the higher pH range (over 8). Our bodies were not made to process such alkaline water on a regular basis, and doing so may harm organs and possibly interfere with our bodies’ ability to produce stomach acid, a requirement for properly digesting food.

Should I  drink from a plastic water bottle?  

It not ideal economically or environmentally to constantly buy bottled water only to throw the bottle away each time. And even if you end up reusing those bottles, they could still potentially be harmful due to the leaching of chemicals into the water.

Many bottled waters contain toxins, even if they’ve mixed BPABottled water companies increasingly use BPA-free plastic,but laced into plastic bottles are other chemicals that can seep out if bottles are exposed to heat or sit around for a long time. Some of these chemicals are possible endocrine disruptors. No one knows for sure what the health outcomes are

Those convenient plastic water bottles you buy at the petrol station or your local grocery shop aren’t intended to be used more than once. After multiple uses, the plastic will be begin to wear and the possibility of chemicals leaking into yourbottles-774466_1920 water increases. A recent study found:

Drinking out of a plastic water bottle that has continuously been refilled can be many times worse than licking your dog’s toy” when it comes to bacteria exposure, new research has found.” This is shocking information and we think if you’re going to go the reusable route, better to opt for a stainless steel or glass bottle.

Top Tips for drinking clean water

  • Invest in a filter.
  • Learn about where your water comes from and work with your local and state government to ensure its protection.
  • The researchers suggested investing in a water bottle that can be placed in the dish washer every evening, and to keep an eye out for stainless steel options.

What we do know for sure is we need to drink pure water on a regular basis. We know nowadays if we want to drink safe water we need to take precautions. It is no longer safe to assume that the water we that is produced is a clean product.