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Can't Seem To Make That Weight Loss Work? It May Be Obesagens?

What if we were to tell you that you could reduce your calorie intake, exercise like crazy, and still struggle to lose unwanted weight? Some of you may shake your heads and say, “That’s impossible!” Others may say, “Finally! Someone who understands. That’s been my struggle for years.” As holistic doctors in Phoenix and Scottsdale we make it a priority to keep up with the latest research so we can get to the heart of our patients’ weight struggles, and find solutions that works.

This can mean:

Now we have a new place to look: the environment. Scientists have discovered that certain synthetic chemicals can disrupt the body’s endocrine system and weight control mechanisms. Dr. Oz wrote an article on this phenomenon and identifies that these chemicals can:

  • Alter the Endocrine Systems's natural regulation of fat storage.
  • Cause the liver to be insulin resistant leading to all energy to be stored as fat.
  • Prevents Leptin (a hormone that prevents hunger) from being released from fat cells and leading to more hunger.  

obesagens impacting weight lossThese chemicals are thought to be a link in our global struggle with obesity and scientists have dubbed them "obesagens." Please note: this endocrine disruption is not only linked to weight gain, but also to fertility issues, which is also linked with excess weight.



Obesogens... Making Weight Loss A Struggle

For decades, medical professionals and the public have recognized weight maintenance as a basic equation: less food + more movement = weight loss. However, over the last couple of decades, more nuanced testing procedures and continued scientific research have begun to dig deeper into the causes of obesity. It turns out that weight gain and weight loss is not always that simple. You only have to meet one patient who eats less + moves more and can’t lose weight to know something else is at work. 

The frightening thing is that two of the most common obesogens are prolific in our environment, which makes eliminating them that much harder. The two most suspicious culprits are:

  • Bisphenol A (BPA): This chemical is used predominantly in the production of plastics. Unfortunately, most of our nation’s plastic supply is sourced elsewhere, and history proves that even “BPA-free” labels may not be accurate. The more you can do to remove all plastics in your life, regardless of how inconvenient it is, the better it will be for your family’s health. To do this you can avoid eating or drinking things out of plastic containers. This is especially true when the food or drink is hot. Also, you should never microwave food or drink in plastics no matter how "microwave safe" the plastic is. You can Click Here to read a more comprehensive list of serious health issues linked to BPA exposure.

  • Pesticides and fungicides. It has always made sense to us that any chemical that kills living things might be worth avoiding in our food supply. However, pesticides and fungicides continue to proliferate in our American food chain. While washing fruits and vegetables may help, study after study has shown that non-organic foods test positive for pesticide presence even after washing since these chemicals are often absorbed by the skin and/or taken up by the roots. Make it a priority to eat foods that are 100% pesticide free to minimize your exposure. If that is not possible try to follow these two rules of thumb:

    Avoid consuming the skin of any non-organic fruits and veggies such as apples, blueberries, peaches, etc. 

    Avoid foods that concentrate pesticides and fungicides. These are referred to as the dirty dozen and include: beef, pork, and chicken, cheese and butter, spinach and greens, tomatoes, strawberries, potatoes, apples and pears, nectarines, celery, bell peppers, grapes, and coffee.  

Other sources of obesogens include PCB’s and dioxinsPCBs are banned from being used/manufactured in the U.S. but are dominant in chemical and synthetic production in other countries who import their goods to America. Dioxins are a byproduct of pesticide production (there’s those pesky pesticides again!) as well as the production of paper pulp. They are also released when certain products are burned.

How to Eliminate Obesagens?

The body eliminates these through the liver and kidneys through various detoxification process. Most of these obesagens are stored in our fat cells as they are fat soluble. Because of their fat soluble nature, the liver has to convert them into water soluble molecules so the liver can eliminate them. The liver does this through two key phases known as phase one and phase two. In phase one, the liver uses many different types of cytochrome p450 enzymes which convert the toxins into less harmful substances. The cytochrome p450 enzymes require certain cofactors and vitamins to work properly and can be turned on or off by certain substances. This is where a tailored detoxification program can help to get rid of the toxins quicker.

Some of the toxins will then have to be changed further so that they can be rendered harmless and excreted out of the body. The liver does this in phase two detoxification by conjugating or adding additional molecules (cystine, glycine, sulfur) to the toxin.  There are several different considerations when looking at detoxifying or cleansing your body. It may require more than picking up a kit or following a diet. 

Interested in Holistic Weight Loss Solutions? We can help!

If you are struggling to lose weight no matter what you do, please contact us at Southwest Integrative Medicine. We don’t participate in the latest weight loss fads; we dig deep to find the root cause of your weight gain, and then work from there to create a weight loss plan that is truly sustainable, and has long lasting effects. Come in for a free consult.

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