The concept of a healthy balanced
diet may be rewritten. Mixed meals of proteins, fats and
carbohydrates may be associated with obesity, suggests a new study;a high protein
only or high carbohydrate
only diet is more beneficial. The researchers also found that the
liver enzyme alanine transaminase (ALT) may be used to predict one's body
weight. ALT can be a useful weapon in the global war against the obesity
Excessive weight, once thought to be a marker of affluence,
is now perceived as a harbinger of bad health and premature death. Obesity is
now known to carry the burden of diabetes
cancer, discrimination, and prejudice. The obesity epidemic has
ignited a red alarm throughout the world and a multitude of brains are
constantly burning out to find a solution. Majority of researches focus on the
caloric imbalance. Almost all the studies reached a logical conclusion which
may be referred to as the central dogma of obesity- 'if the energy input
outstrips energy expenditure, increased weight ensues'. Excess energy is
thought to be converted into triglycerides and shuttled into adipose tissue.
The view was very simple and won international acceptance;
everyone shouted in unison, 'it's all about the lifestyle'. However if this is
true, why doesn't caloric restriction and physical exertion help everyone
reverse weight gain? Interestingly most of contemporary methods of weight loss
prove ultimately unsuccessful. So there are multiple driving factors in the
development of obesity, heredity being one of them.
Recent years saw the advent of several alternative
with a virus called adenovirus-36
residing in the human gut that alter the absorption of nutrients
None of the theories are universal. Factors vary from
individual to individual. Recent evidences suggest that variation in body frame
may play an integral role in the development of obesity. One with a lean trunk
volume may have a thick layer of adipose tissue.
Body Mass Index
The body mass index
(BMI)is a determinant of the body weight status. Accordingly, the
following classification is used based on the calculated BMI of an individual:
• BMI ranging between
18-24.99 kg/m2- Healthy
• 25.00- 29.99 kg/m2
category - Overweight
• Exceeding 30 kg/m2-
Now comes the question- how to predict one's body weight?
Is there a particular test that can predict if an individual has a tendency to develop
obesity? Blood cholesterol, blood pressure and random blood glucose levels,
have all been used employed as predictors of good health. Well, a recent research concludes that the
liver enzyme alanine transaminase (ALT) is more closely associated with
bodyweight than the traditional markers.
ALT, a part of the liver function test, has been considered
as a marker of liver
often associated with a condition called non-alcoholic
fatty liver disease. ALT is a central figure in the body's protein metabolism.
This enzyme is known to convert alanine, an amino acid, to another compound
called pyruvate. Pyruvate is then converted to acetyl CoA, an important
biochemical molecule for cellular respiration. Alternatively, there is also a
provision for acetyl CoA to enter a pathway that is involved in the production
of fat. The route taken by the acetyl CoA depends on the energy requirements.
Based on this knowledge, it can very well be deduced that
in individuals with a high level of the enzyme ALT, the body metabolism is
routed in the direction of gluconeogenesis and fat deposition. So naturally,
weight gain will ensue.
The Modern Diet
A mixed meal of protein, carbohydrate and fats may lead to
the accumulation of body fat stores and thus obesity. This is because,
carbohydrates and fats are burned faster to satisfy the body's energy needs,
while the slower digested protein is converted to a compound called malonyl Co
A and stored as fat.
results of the study was based on the findings from 46,684 subjects that
included 19-20 years old Swiss male conscripts and published data on 1000
Eskimos, 518 Toronto residents and 97,000 North American Adventists.
be we are not far from a time when technology permits ways to manipulate the
levels of ALT and thereby empowering medical therapy to produce weight loss or
prevent weight gain. Future diets may be ones that separate proteins and
carbohydrates. Man may have to alternate his dieting between herbivorous and
carnivorous meals, making omnivorous diets infrequent. In a sense, this means
we will return to the very original dietary habits of our ancestors!
Modern diet and metabolic variance - a recipe for disaster?
2. Nutrition Journal 2014