Sep 25 2010

Too much good no good?

Published by at 8:16 am
Under Environmental Genomics


atching Bill Clinton discuss his recent weight loss on CNN, I was struck by just how sallow and unhealthy he appeared. Clinton is apparently following a extremely low fat, plant based diet in hopes of reversing some of the atherosclerosis he has developed that may be complicating his shunt.

While Clinton’s 20+ pound weight loss is certainly a move in the right direction, evidence suggests that simple, extreme and rapid weight loss may only address part of the problem, and may indeed leave certain individuals open to entirely new susceptibilities.

A recent  article in the International Journal of Obesity would appear to indicate that the toxins that accumulate in the fat tissue of overweight people persist after weight loss even though their body fat concentration is lower.

Bill Clinton at the recent wedding of his daughter Chelsea.

Does this explain why so many folks who rapidly lose weight often look worse than before?

Clinton, who is apparently following the precepts of Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr appears to be on a rather draconian diet: No oil (including olive oil or peanut butter); no dairy products, poultry or meats whatsoever. Perhaps typical of most (but not all) exponents of this type of eating, there can be a rather unnerving element of evangelism to their message, which can be counter-productive in many individuals and circumstances.

Although there is considerable evidence that plant-based diets can be therapeutic in many individuals, to consider them to be any sort of broad panacea would be an over-extrapolation, to say the least. In in some cases, such as a widely hyped ballyhooed China Study, one might want to slow down a bit and take a closer look at the data.

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