July 20, 2012

Stanford U. & Craig Venter Institute software emulates the life cycle of a bacterium, all 525 genes. Stanford, CA.

Why is this huge? This is the first step to developing software that can cure disease in a fraction of the time it takes humans to do it currently.


June 29, 2012

Lorcaserin, brand name Belviq, a drug designed for high body mass index people who have medical conditions because of their weight, has been approved by the FDA to to be taken in conjunction with diet and exercise. The drug produced loss of 5% body weight in some patients so far.

Warning: The FDA’s hesitance comes because this drug offers a very small amount of support and has side effects. It will be available solely to a narrow group of people.


reported June 1, 2012, occurred January, 2012

A January, 2012, study at University of Copenhagen confirms that using Glucagon-Like Peptide-1, a naturally occurring hormone that suppresses appetite, has beneficial effect on overweight diabetics.

This positive information suggests that GLP-1 therapy can be used for non-dabetic weight loss. More testing is needed.


June 1, 2012

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, of New York, has proposed limiting sugary drinks for public sale in places like restaurants and movie theaters by size.

Mission: to remove what is unhealthy for the body.

Should this proposal go through as soon as next March, any sugared drinks larger than 16 ounces will be banned from sale.

FDA’S ADVISORY BOARD FAVORS APPROVAL OF NEW OBESITY DRUG: Side Effects Of Increased Heart Rate And Birth Defects Put Aside

February 23, 2012

Vivas’ drug, Qnexa, a combination of the stimulant, phentermine, and the migraine/epilepsy drug, topirimate (branded as Topamax) wasendorsed by the FDA’s advisory company, even though it  rejected the same drug in 2010.

Obesity Action Coalition’s president, Nadglowski, mentioned that members have been frustrated because of the limited choice of obesity options. An assistant professor, Morrato at University of Colorado, Denver, noted the need for “better pharmacologic options for individual patients” This sentiment plus the fact that obesity, itself, causes health problems, may have contributed to the 11 to 2 vote in favor of this endorsement.

The FDA often listens to their outside advisory team and will make a decision as to the status of the drug’s application by April 17, 2012.


Publisher’s Note: 

According to some figures, 80% of people who lose weight gain it back within two years. A University of California-LA study found that two-thirds of the dieters in their study gained back more than they lost in four or five years.

According to drug company data, the same is true of weight gained back when a weight loss drug is stopped. There is much evidence that the use of stimulants as weight loss technique, even in conjunction with exercise,  do not allow the patient’s body and mind to adapt to a new way of thinking and eating. This seems to be the biggest reason for weight gain after weight loss. Of course, there are situations where temporary loss of weight is essential and drugs can assist in this effort.

Even though we need options for weight issues, it’s important to consider the benefits of gradual, drug-free strategies that increase our knowledge; develop our understanding of our bodies and how they interact with food and benefit our metabolism and our lifestyle so that we can maintain good weight and not gain it back when we eliminate a drug. Although it’s very tempting to try a newly approved drug which might be better than our current sitation, we must look at the data and be discerning, even if the FDA chooses to approve Qnexa.

POSSIBLE CLUE TO WEIGHT GAIN AFTER WEIGHT LOSS: Does Losing Weight Signal Our Body That We Are Now Entitled To Eat?

January 4, 2012

Originally reported in February, 2010, this is fascinating research by Michael Rosenbaum, MD, and Joy Hirsch, neuroscientist, at Columbia University Medical Center. They devised a weight loss program for volunteers and had them lose 10% of their body weight. While the volunteers were on a maintenance diet, they used functional MRI (MRI technology that measures vascular blood flow from neural activity) to track responses of the brain to images of food.

The volunteers had an increase in their emotional response to food and a decrease in the areas associated with control or restriction. This would suggest that the body’s hormones shift following weight loss and that this changes the way we respond to food.  It seems we are less concerned with self-control and more concerned with how good the food would be. This seeming loss of control could point to one reason weight maintenance is so difficult.

This research team is also looking at the ability of the hormone, leptin, (made in our fat and released into the bloodstream) to help with weight maintenance. It seems that its level decreases after weight loss. The team is studying adding it to the body for weight maintenance.


I have been researching loss of control as it pertains to drugs. The loss of control following weight loss is shockingly similar to the emotional trigger mechanisms that signal the urge for drugs.


December 26, 2011

A study, whose authors were Sarah Anderson et al at Ohio State University, College of Public Health, concludes that toddlers with poor quality maternal-child bonds were associated with higher incidence of obesity in their teens. The study measured data 15, 24 and 36-month old children and the same children at 15 years old. Data studied were security level of the child at the young age and the sensitivity level of the mother.

The study came out in the latest issue (January, 2012) of the Journal of American Association of Pediatrics citing that lack of maternal sensitivity had a greater effect than how secure a child felt. The children (997 kids born in 1991) whose data were studied were almost twice as likely to become obese at teen age (13% was average; 24% was the high figure).

The study’s finding correlate to my personal knowledge of how nurturing in teaching, learning, coaching, communication gets better results than coarse interpersonal interaction. The study also support a previous OSU study showing that kids with poor mother-child relationships had an increased chance of becoming obese by age 4 1/2.

So, now, what do we do?

Sarah Anderson, study leader, said, “It is possible that childhood obesity could be influenced by interventions that try to improve the emotional bonds between mothers and children rather than focusing only on children’s food intake and activity.” She also says, “Society-wise, we need to think about how we can support better-quality maternal-child relationships because that could have an impact on child health.

Comments to this article emphasized how we should avoid the trap of assigning blame to mothers and, as Anderson said, come up with new support systems.