Insulite Laboratories
Systems That Restore Health
July 2007

Dr. Sari Cohen

Dr. Sari Cohen
of Our Medical
& Advisory Team

Welcome to the 40th edition of Viewpoints, our monthly e-newsletter. Click on In This Issue headlines to read individual articles.


 Person taking pizza.
As it grows to epidemic proportions in the U.S. and throughout the West, obesity has been blamed on everything from weak willpower and over-eating to genetics and lack of exercise. But more and more scientists think there is an additional important contributor: food addiction.

"We believe that there's sufficient science to suggest there is something to this", said Kelly Brownell, director of Yale University's Rudd Center for Food Policy, which hosted a food addiction discussion attended by top scientists and doctors.

"We are bringing the leading authorities together to decide whether food addiction is real and what the underlying psychology and biology might be. It's surprising that our field has overlooked this concept for so long. Society blames obesity only on the people who have it and has been close-minded to other explanations," he added.

Support for the idea of food addiction comes from animal and human studies, including brain imaging research on humans, says Dr. Mark Gold, chief of addiction medicine at the McKnight Brain Institute at the University of Florida.

"We evaluated people who were too heavy to leave their reclining chairs and too big to walk out the doorway," he said. "They do not eat to survive. They love eating and spent the day planning their new takeout choices."

Some studies focus on dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain associated with pleasure and reward. For some compulsive eaters, the drive to eat is so intense that it overshadows the motivation to engage in other rewarding activities and it becomes difficult to exercise self-control. This is similar to the compulsion that an addict feels to take drugs.

Some doctors point out that there are many differences between addiction to drugs and the intense compulsion for food, which is necessary for survival. They say eating is a complex behavior involving many different hormones and systems in the body, not just the pleasure/reward system.

But, while there is no official definition of food addiction, Dr. Gold defines it in much the same way as other forms of substance dependence.

"Eating too much despite consequences, even dire consequences to health; being preoccupied with food, food preparation and meals; trying and failing to cut back on food intake; feeling guilty about eating and overeating," said Dr. Gold.

He believes some foods are more addictive than others.

"It may be that doughnuts with high fat and high sugar cause more brain reward than soup."

 Man paying bills.
Scientists are close to pinning down the actual process by which stress in the workplace causes serious illness.

Stress has long been associated with ill-health. But a study in the British Medical Journal offers a clearer focus on the biological inter-action which can result in cardiovascular disease and Diabetes.

The study of 10,000 British civil servants found a strong link between stress and Metabolic Syndrome (Syndrome X), the cluster of increased risk factors for a heart attack, stroke or Diabetes. These factors include obesity and high blood pressure.

Stress levels reported by participants were recorded four times over the 14-year duration of the study. The researchers also measured the presence of different aspects of Metabolic Syndrome like high cholesterol levels, as well as factors such as smoking, high alcohol consumption and lack of regular exercise.

The researchers discovered that the more stress someone experienced, the more likely they were to suffer Metabolic Syndrome symptoms.

Lead researcher Tarani Chandola said: "Employees with chronic work stress have more than double the odds of Metabolic Syndrome than those without work stress, after other risk factors are taken into account.

"The study provides evidence for the biological plausibility of stress mechanisms linking stressors from everyday life with heart disease."

Researchers said one possible explanation for the result may be that prolonged exposure to work stress damages the nervous system, leading to the development of Metabolic Syndrome. They also suggested that chronic stress may reduce biological resilience to disease, thus disturbing the body's physiological balance.

The study also found that both men and women from lower employment grades were more likely to have Metabolic Syndrome, confirming previous reports that social status is linked to the risk of developing the condition in a work context. A major source of stress is having little or no control over work, as well as putting in long hours at every level of employment.

The good news, however, is that many of the features of Metabolic Syndrome can be reversed by lifestyle changes such as adopting a balanced, nutritious diet and regular exercise to lose weight.
 Dr. Mary Shackelton
Insulin Resistance is of particular concern to women with weight worries because it disrupts fat metabolism, especially during menopause. When the cells won't absorb the extra glucose in the bloodstream because of Insulin Resistance, the liver has to convert it into fat.

Ironically, while the Insulin-Resistant woman is gaining weight, her cells are actually "starved" for glucose, so she feels exhausted and tends to eat carbohydrate-heavy foods in search of energy.

A woman's health can deteriorate rapidly during menopause with the decrease of estrogen stores in the body. And digestive issues that were once merely a hassle become an affliction when the body's natural defenses against inflammation (estrogen being one) are depleted.

In addition, women approaching menopause are particularly prone to becoming Insulin Resistant due to metabolic changes related to fluctuations in adrenal and thyroid secretions. In fact, the decrease of certain hormones, like estradiol, may trigger a sensitivity to insulin in patients who never experienced it before.

Certain blood pressure medications can mask symptoms without treating the problem. Frequently, women unwittingly make their symptoms worse by fighting weight gain with low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets.
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 Runner stretching.
Safety first is a good motto to bear in mind in order to enjoy the best health benefits of working out. And it's particularly relevant to your routine before and after exercise.

Because working out is part of a process of strengthening various areas of your body, it's vital to avoid problems that can stem from tight muscles, soreness and pain. All of these can be brought on either by trying to do too much, too soon or employing poor exercise technique or continual overtraining. Knowing how to warm up and then cool down afterwards is a great way to avoid trouble.

A golden rule: the longer the workout, the longer the warm-up and cool-down should be. Following this rule allows you to achieve a gradual elevation and decrease in your heart rate and provides adequate blood flow to the working muscles.

Gentle stretching before and after exercise loosens you up and reduces the risk of mucles tears that often accompany tightness.

Warm-ups should be performed for a minimum of 5-7 minutes before aerobic exercise, with the purpose of keeping muscles supple, increasing range of motion of joints and enhancing flexibility, as well as improving coordination, increasing body temperature and heart rate, increasing blood flow to muscles and preventing injuries.

The right way to stretch is slow and relaxed. DO NOT BOUNCE. This can actually cause you to pull the muscle you are trying to stretch.

You should stretch to the point of "MILD TENSION". If you overstretch, you will also cause damage. Back off if the stretch feels painful.

Hold each stretch for a minimum of 15 seconds. Breathe slowly and naturally. Do not hold your breathe while stretching. Relax the stretch. Then try to stretch a little further with each stretch. Again, only to the point of mild tension.

Cool-downs, consisting of slow walking and stretching, should be performed after aerobic exercise for a duration of 5-7 minutes.The purpose of cool-downs is to gradually return your heart rate and blood pressure to resting or pre-exercise levels.

Here are some simple stretching suggestions:

Stretches for the side of neck:
  1. Sit or stand with arms hanging loosely at sides
  2. Turn head to one side, then the other
  3. Hold for 5 seconds, each side
  4. Repeat 1 to 3 times

  1. Sit or stand with arms hanging loosely at sides
  2. Tilt head sideways, first one side then the other
  3. Hold for 5 seconds
  4. Repeat 1-3 times
Stretches for the back of neck

  1. Sit or stand with arms hanging loosely at sides
  2. Gently tilt head forward to stretch back of neck
  3. Hold 5 seconds
  4. Repeat 1-3 times
Stretches side of shoulder and back of upper arm

  1. Stand or sit and place right hand on left shoulder
  2. With left hand, pull right elbow across chest toward left shoulder and hold 10 to 15 seconds
  3. Repeat on other side
Stretches shoulder, middle back, arms, hands, fingers, wrist

  1. Interlace fingers and turn palms out
  2. Extend arms in front at shoulder height
  3. Hold 10 to 20 seconds, relax, and repeat
Stretches triceps, top of shoulders, waist

  1. Keep knees slightly flexed
  2. Stand or sit with arms overhead
  3. Hold elbow with hand of opposite arm
  4. Pull elbow behind head gently as you slowly lean to side until mild stretch is felt
  5. Hold 10 to 15 sec
  6. Repeat on other side
Stretches middle back

  1. Stand with hands on hips
  2. Gently twist torso at waist until stretch is felt
  3. Hold 10 to 15 sec
  4. Repeat on other side
  5. Keep knees slightly flexed
Next month's edition of Viewpoints will include more stretching tips for other parts of the body
Insulite Laboratories Systems
We at Insulite Laboratories well understand how difficult it is for some people to battle obesity.

So it came as no surprise to read of a recent survey which reported that many Americans don't accept they are obese, even when they are.

A Harris Interactive survey showed that, of those people whose Body Mass Index (BMI) readings revealed them as obese, some 82% considered themselves merely overweight.

Facing up to obesity is a vital first step. Once you take that step, Insulite Laboratories is committed to helping you along the path to permanent weight loss and better health.

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Daniella McKnight
Have You Been Diagnosed with PCOS?

If You Have, We're Here to Help You Restore Your Health

Insulite Laboratories is committed to giving you a better understanding of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and a common underlying cause of the condition, namely Insulin Resistance-linked excess weight or obesity.

So we are very pleased to offer the Insulite PCOS System, which has been scientifically-formulated to help reverse Insulin Resistance, an imbalance of blood glucose and insulin.

PCOS is a major cause of female infertility, as well as irregular periods and excessive bleeding, obesity, skin conditions like acne and brown patches, excess body hair, female baldness and reduced sex drive.

The Insulite PCOS System includes a scientifically-designed combination of nutrients which are primarily designed to increase the number of insulin receptors on the surface of each cell.

As a result, cells can absorb blood glucose through the receptor sites more efficiently for conversion to energy, thereby reducing levels of circulating glucose. A decrease in elevated blood glucose lowers the secretion of insulin, which are both major underlying causes of excess weight gain and obesity.

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