Understanding causes of obesity
In considering other causes of obesity, let us first of look at the brain and its sources of energy. There two major sources of energy to the brain: The first is from glucose which is gotten from the food that we eat either directly as glucose in the circulation or from those stored as Adenosine Triphosphate ATP.
For urgent needs of the brain, breaking down the glucose stores may be too slow and so there is another source, which is similar to hydroelectric energy from a dam. In the membranes of the cells of the brain there are pumps that pump water into the cells. As these pumps rotate driving in water into the cells they generate energy that is immediately available to the brain for its functions. From this account, we see that the raw materials for the production of energy for the use of the brain cells in carrying out their sophisticated functions are glucose and water.
These two play significant roles in the development of obesity. It is usually easier and faster for the brain to access the ‘hydroelectric’ energy of water for its functions. However, in a state of dehydration and because of the sluggishness of the circulation, oxygen and nutrients no longer get to the cells as fast as they should. The individual becomes both thirsty and hungry and so the brain generates the sensation for thirst and hunger at the same time. In most cases the sensation for hunger may overshadow the sensation for thirst and the individual responds by eating food instead of drinking water to supply the immediate energy needs of the brain.
For some people, the problem is their inability to differentiate between the two sensations and they choose to eat whenever these sensations come. Responding to the sensations of hunger/thirst by eating food only makes the situation worse. More water will be required to process the food being eaten by an already dehydrated individual. The end result would be more dehydration. In such a state of more dehydration, there is increased acid waste generation and accumulation and more fat cells would have to be produced to store the acid and protect the cells of the body from damage. Whenever you are hungry, drink water first. You can never go wrong with water.
Artificial sweeteners as cause of obesity
There are certain beverages, known as diet sodas produced with artificial sweeteners such as aspartame which is 180 times sweeter than sugar but does not contain any appreciable number of calories. Apart from drinking the diet sodas, a lot of people with the weight problem are hooked onto these artificial sweeteners. They believe it is a good replacement for sugar since one of those things they have been asked to avoid is sugar. The thinking is that these sweeteners will maintain sweetness and because they have no calories, it is impossible for them to cause obesity. This is not true, for obesity is sure to occur by this arrangement as we shall see.
Having acquired the taste of sweetness from sugar, it is impossible for them to do without it. Such people use the sweeteners for their beverages, cereals and whatever else that would need to be sweetened.
Now, here is the problem with the sweeteners and how they cause obesity. We have been told that aspartame could be as much as 180 times sweeter than sugar but have no calories in them. When they get to the blood stream, the brain responds to their sweetness by causing the pancreas to release insulin and because they do not contain any calories, there is no glucose to be moved into the muscles and so the hunger sensation is not satisfied.
The brain at this stage causes the release of more insulin which is still ineffective. A condition characterised by hyperinsulinaemia and hypoglycaemia ensues. Simply put, there is too much insulin in the blood and very low glucose as the brain has reversed the processes from breakdown of glucose to storage; but there is no glucose to be stored. The individual will be persistently hungry and fatigued and will naturally attempt to satisfy the persistent hunger by binging! The end result is sustenance of obesity.
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