Tag Archives: health

Inflammation and Body Weight

Inflammation plays a critical role in determining how we digest food, and it’s only now starting to reveal itself.

it is becoming clear that some people’s guts are simply more efficient than others’ at extracting calories from food. When two people eat the same 3,000-calorie pizza, for example, their bodies absorb different amounts of energy. And those calorie-converting abilities can change over a person’s lifetime with age and other variables.

The question is, why? And is it possible to make changes, if a person wanted to?

If so, the solution will involve the trillions of microbes in our intestines and how they work in concert with another variable that’s just beginning to get attention. The immune system determines levels of inflammation in the gut that are constantly shaping the way we digest food—how many calories get absorbed, and how many nutrients simply pass through.

The relationship between microbes and weight gain has long been overlooked in humans, but people have known about similar effects in animals for decades.

. . .

In 2006, Jeffrey Gordon, a biologist at Washington University in St. Louis, reported that the microbiomes of obese mice had something in common: Compared with their lean counterparts, the heavier mice had fewer Bacteroides and more Firmicutes species in their guts. What’s more, biochemical analyses showed that this ratio made the microbes better at “energy harvest”—essentially, extracting calories from food and passing it into the body. That is, even when mice ate the same amount and type of food, the bacterial populations meant that some developed metabolic problems, while others didn’t. Similar bacterial patterns have since been confirmed in obese humans.

What’s more, Gordon found, the microbiome associated with obesity is transferable. In 2013, his lab took gut bacteria from pairs of human twins in which only one twin was obese, then fed the samples to mice. The mice given bacteria from the obese humans quickly gained weight. The others did not.

The Fundamental Link Between Body Weight and the Immune System


Lora Hooper (UT Southwestern) 1: Mammalian gut microbiota: Mammals and their symbiotic gut microbes


Subsidiarity and Healthcare

It is certainly the case that aspects of ObamaCare represent a tyrannical attack on religious freedom. Its legal requirement for Christian employers to violate their consciences and commit a grave sin in paying for the provision of abortifacient drugs for their employees was an egregious example of Big Government metamorphosing into Orwell’s Big Brother. On the other hand, Christians, mindful of Christ’s great commandment that we love our neighbor, are not at liberty to leave the weakest and poorest members of society without adequate care. We cannot take what might be called the Scrooge option, leaving the weak to die “and decrease the surplus population.” This apparent dichotomy between the rights of the individual, on the one hand, and the responsibility of caring for the weak and the sick, on the other, is the palpable tension at the core of all good political philosophy.

In the political philosophy of the Catholic Church, more commonly called its social teaching or social doctrine, the rights of the individual or family are enshrined in the principle of subsidiarity, whereas the responsibility of the individual towards the care of the weak and the sick, or towards the common good, is enshrined in the principle of solidarity.

A Healthcare Solution: Solidarity, Not Socialism

Samaritan Ministries, health care sharing

Protein, Fat and Carbs

Protein trumps carbohydrate and fat as the regulated parameter driving human food consumption:
. . .
You can either decrease fat, decrease carbs, or decrease both together in a low calorie approach, as long as you keep protein constant. Protecting the lean tissues of the body enables weight loss to proceed more easily. When low fat diets work, when low carb diets work, when low calorie diets work, it is because they maintain or raise the protein quantity in the diet. Simpson and Raubenheimer consider those diets to be special cases of the general rule of protein leverage.

The Protein Leverage Hypothesis