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Good Nutrition Can Overcome Bad Genes

August 16, 2007 | 41,578 views
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Scientists in New Zealand are dispelling the common myth that obesity is caused by “bad genes.”

In what is referred to as a breakthrough discovery, scientists from Auckland University’s Liggins Institute have discovered that genetic pre-disposition to obesity can be reversed through good nutrition in early childhood.

Their research shows that when a mother is undernourished, her child’s body is pre-set to cope with a life of scarcity; therefore, the energy-dense, fast-food diet of the Western world results in children who are likely to become fat.

In laboratory tests, newborn offspring from both well-fed and undernourished rats were given leptin, a hormone that signals to the body when it has eaten enough. When they became adults, the long-term effects were measured by looking at genes that regulate metabolism in the liver. Rats from well-fed mothers reacted to leptin in the opposite way to those from undernourished mothers.

The researchers urge mothers to eat a more balanced diet (with the right amounts of protein and vitamins) during pregnancy. However, if the fetus is under-nourished in the womb, the long-term effects can still be corrected through good nutrition.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences July 23, 2007

The New Zealand Herald July 25, 2007

What Are GMOs?

From April 19th through April 25th we launch GMO Awareness Week. We set aside an entire week dedicated to providing you with information on GMOs and labeling initiatives.

GMOs are a product of genetic engineering, meaning their genetic makeup has been altered to induce a variety of “unique” traits to crops, such as making them drought-resistant or giving them “more nutrients.” GMO proponents claim that genetic engineering is “safe and beneficial,” and that it advances the agricultural industry. They also say that GMOs help ensure the global food supply and sustainability. But is there any truth to these claims? I believe not. For years, I've stated the belief that GMOs pose one of the greatest threats to life on the planet. Genetic engineering is NOT the safe and beneficial technology that it is touted to be.

Help Support GMO Labeling

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)—Monsanto’s Evil Twin—is pulling out all the stops to keep you in the dark about what’s in your food. For nearly two decades, Monsanto and corporate agribusiness have exercised near-dictatorial control over American agriculture. For example, Monsanto has made many claims that glyphosate in Roundup is harmless to animals and humans. However, recently the World Health Organization (WHO) had their research team test glyphosate and have labeled it a probable carcinogen.

Public opinion around the biotech industry's contamination of our food supply and destruction of our environment has reached the tipping point. We're fighting back. That's why I was the first to push for GMO labeling. I donated a significant sum to the first ballot initiative in California in 2012, which inspired others to donate to the campaign as well. We technically "lost the vote, but we are winning the war, as these labeling initiatives have raised a considerable amount of public awareness.

The insanity has gone far enough, which is why I encourage you to boycott every single product owned by members of the GMA, including natural and organic brands. More than 80 percent of our support comes from individual consumers like you, who understand that real change comes from the grassroots.

Thankfully, we have organizations like the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) to fight back against these junk food manufacturers, pesticide producers, and corporate giants.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

Together, Let's Help OCA Get The Funding They Deserve

Let’s Help OCA get the funding it deserves. I have found very few organizations who are as effective and efficient as OCA. It’s a public interest organization dedicated to promoting health justice and sustainability. A central focus of the OCA is building a healthy, equitable, and sustainable system of food production and consumption. That's why I'm proud to announce I will be matching donations up to $250,000 this week.

Please make a donation to help OCA fight for GMO labeling.


Donate Today!

What Are GMOs?

From April 19th through April 25th we launch GMO Awareness Week. We set aside an entire week dedicated to providing you with information on GMOs and labeling initiatives.

GMOs are a product of genetic engineering, meaning their genetic makeup has been altered to induce a variety of “unique” traits to crops, such as making them drought-resistant or giving them “more nutrients.” GMO proponents claim that genetic engineering is “safe and beneficial,” and that it advances the agricultural industry. They also say that GMOs help ensure the global food supply and sustainability. But is there any truth to these claims? I believe not. For years, I've stated the belief that GMOs pose one of the greatest threats to life on the planet. Genetic engineering is NOT the safe and beneficial technology that it is touted to be.

Help Support GMO Labeling

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)—Monsanto’s Evil Twin—is pulling out all the stops to keep you in the dark about what’s in your food. For nearly two decades, Monsanto and corporate agribusiness have exercised near-dictatorial control over American agriculture. For example, Monsanto has made many claims that glyphosate in Roundup is harmless to animals and humans. However, recently the World Health Organization (WHO) had their research team test glyphosate and have labeled it a probable carcinogen.

Public opinion around the biotech industry's contamination of our food supply and destruction of our environment has reached the tipping point. We're fighting back.  That's why I was the first to push for GMO labeling. I donated a significant sum to the first ballot initiative in California in 2012, which inspired others to donate to the campaign as well. We technically "lost the vote, but we are winning the war, as these labeling initiatives have raised a considerable amount of public awareness.

The insanity has gone far enough, which is why I encourage you to boycott every single product owned by members of the GMA, including natural and organic brands. More than 80 percent of our support comes from individual consumers like you, who understand that real change comes from the grassroots.

Thankfully, we have organizations like the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) to fight back against these junk food manufacturers, pesticide producers, and corporate giants.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

Together, Let's Help OCA Get The Funding They Deserve

Let’s Help OCA get the funding it deserves. I have found very few organizations who are as effective and efficient as OCA. It’s a public interest organization dedicated to promoting health justice and sustainability. A central focus of the OCA is building a healthy, equitable, and sustainable system of food production and consumption. That's why I'm proud to announce I will be matching donations up to $250,000 this week.

Please make a donation to help OCA fight for GMO labeling.


Donate Today!

 

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Exactly why this is referred to as a “breakthrough discovery” is unclear to me, as we’ve been reporting on the links between leptin resistance and obesity for about five years.

Dr. Ron Rosdale is an expert on this topic and has written guest commentaries on this site several times. Some of them are included in the Related Articles section below.

I hope this research will become common knowledge soon. Nothing bothers me more than folks who refuse to believe they have the power to be healthy because of “bad genes.” It’s a cop-out. Good health eventually always comes back to the basics of good nutrition!

What’s Leptin Got to Do With It?

Many have trouble swallowing the concept that eating fat does not make you fat. Rather, it’s really your inability to burn and store fat properly that will make you pack on the pounds, and eventually lead to chronic diseases, including:

Hormones, especially leptin, regulate your body’s ability to burn fat. Leptin is released when sugar is metabolized in fat cells, and if you eat a diet that causes excessive surges in leptin, you will create disease. The standard American diet (SAD) is a perfect example of the type of diet that will cause you to become leptin-resistant, meaning your brain can no longer “hear” the signals telling it to stop eating and storing fat.

Leptin Resistance Creates a Vicious Cycle

Leptin is a hormone that communicates with your brain, letting it know how much energy your body has stored, and whether or not it’s full. Once full, one of leptin’s functions is to reduce your appetite and induce fat burning. Low leptin levels (leptin resistance) in the brain, however, will signal your body to keep eating and storing more fat.

As your appetite control centers in your hypothalamus become more and more resistant to hearing the messages from leptin, it believes you don’t have enough fat stores to live. Also lost is your ability to figure out where to store fat. Most of it ends up being stored in your abdomen, including your internal organs, such as your liver. This further disrupts your liver’s ability to hear other signals, such as those from insulin.

Your liver, therefore, begins to manufacture too much sugar from protein, contributing to the onset of diabetes, and a vicious cycle is set in full motion.

What’s the Solution?

If your mother ate lots of sugar and starches while pregnant, you may have been pre-disposed to leptin resistance -- essentially, your body is set up to cope with a life of scarcity. An elevated leptin level in a fasting blood sample is an indication of leptin resistance. Fortunately, this is a completely reversible situation.

Eating a balanced diet, custom made for your specific metabolism, can reverse leptin resistance or ensure you never get to that stage in the first place. My new book, Take Control of Your Health, will give you the tools you need to create and maintain a high level of health, regardless of what your genes may be telling you.


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