A perfect 10 by Laserscan

16. February 2007

Right on time for the diet season we get word about two new, epoch making approaches for a containment of the adiposity epidemic. A disinfection of the intestines will make even hardcore burger maniacs lithe and lissom again. And if that doesn't help, move on to the anti-fat laser "to go".

From a solely energetic point of view, the physiological reason for overweight is the fact, that overweight people eat more calories than they burn. If any one continues that simple chain of thoughts, he will automatically come to the conclusion, that a person can only loose weight if he or she burns more than he or she eats, i. e. by start moving more, or just simply eat less calories. This approach mentioned last, is popularly known as “don't stuff your face”.

It's the bacteria, stupid!

Scientists at the Washington University are showing now, that “don't stuff your face” is a way to minimalist thought. They demonstrated in experiments with mice, that ingestion is by far not the only determinant for how many calories a body does take in. This realization is according to the perception of many overweight people, that there are people out there that can stuff their faces with as many burgers as they please without gaining a single gram. The results of the US scientists published in the journal PNAS now, might be the culprits of that phenomenon. It's neither the genes nor some metabolic anomaly. It's the intestine bacteria. “The distal intestine of the human being can be considered an anaerobic bioreactor”, says Frederick Bäckheld of the university Center for Genome Sciences . Within this reactor, trillions of micro-organisms are bustling about. They do not only reproduce, but are metabolically active as well. What exactly that could mean for the individual energy metabolism, the US scientists showed in experiments with so-called GF mice. “GF” stand for “germ-free”. “Germ-free” mice are raised with intestines free of germs and micro organisms. If those mice are fed with the typical diet of the Western world which is rich in fat and carbohydrates, nothing happens and they do not gain weight. Their conventionally raised fellows with a regular intestinal population are getting fatter by the minute with this particular diet.

Antibiotics prophylaxis against overweight?

The scientists have spent quite some time and effort to find out, what the biochemical reason fort his difference could be. Obviously there is more than one explanation, seeming to intertwine. The common denominator is: By the metabolic activities of the intestinal bacteria, additional glucosis and short chain fatty acids built in the reservoir fat of the liver in the adipocytes. At the same time, the intestinal bacteria seem to increase the gain of sugar mainly by decomposing vegetable polysaccharides thus making them available for absorption. Those observations are the more interesting, since at least some of the metabolic ways influenced by bacteria working against adiposity with “germ-free” mice seem to have been preserved by evolution being in all organisms including the human being. Time will tell, how much of the US scientists' work will finally show in new therapy approaches. “Vancomycin oral”, a common strategy for intestine decontamination for antibiotic-associated colitis, might not win a majority amongst internists for loosing weight. But there are several other approaches. Laser for example. As generally know, it helps against everything, why not against adiposity? What if we – after a culinary excessive Christmas season – don't just go by the solarium on our why to work, but also by a laser, that gets rid off our waste fat as well? A perfect location for those lasers would be at the entrance to a fashion house, we could just walk in afterwards and buy new clothing. Professor Rox Anderson of Harvard University in Boston Massachusetts has a tool in his program, that might develop in just that direction. At last year's annual meeting of the American Society of Laser Medicine he presented a laser with a light spectrum that makes selected subcutaneous cells go into apoptosis without damaging the upper tissue. Primarily, Anderson wants to help teenagers with their acne problems by removing the seborrheadic glands by laser. But in the long run, the target is clearly the fat-off laser. Anderson: “Our research results show that this could be possible, if we select the right spectrum. What we are thinking about is some sort of a fat-seeking laser – and we are going clearly in that direction”.

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