Tag Archives: fitness facts

Appetite Hormones 101: Peptide YY

“I’ve been treating eating disorders (ED’s) and obesity for nearly 25 years and have always had good outcomes.  My rate of success improved dramatically, however, when I discovered the critical role that processed food plays in causing as well as in preventing recovery from Anorexia, Bulimia, Bulimarexia, (a combination of the two) Binge Eating Disorder (BED,) Emotional Eating and Obesity. To this end, I find it of great importance to provide both my patients and readers with relevant nutrition information to aid in their recovery. You can view all my Nutrition, Fitness, and Health articles here.

In this third and final installment of the series, “Appetite Hormones 101”, we will discuss Peptide YY (PYY). The purpose of this series is to explain the role of hormones on both appetite and body weight goals, as it relates to both weight loss and weight restoration. If you’re a new reader, be sure to check out “Appetite Hormones 101: Leptin” and “Appetite Hormones 101: Ghrelin“.

Peptide YY (PYY)

PYY is a hormone that suppresses appetite. It was discovered to play a role in digestion in 1985. PYY regulates food intake, and is believed to improve leptin sensitivity. The amount of PYY released by our bodies is influenced by the number of calories we ingest; the more calories we ingest, the more PYY is released. The diagram below shows how our PYY levels, ghrelin and leptin levels typically fluctuate before and after meals:

PYY levels are highest in individuals battling anorexia, followed by those individuals that are lean,which explains why both groups have less hunger and also may have more difficulty eating. PYY levels are lowest among obese and morbidly obese individuals. Individuals with bulimia also experience low levels of PYY, which helps to explain why all three groups feel more hunger. Research shows that the obese individual can decrease their PYY levels by 30% by reducing their body weight by 5.4%. PYY levels are not believed to be effected by weight restoration during recovery from anorexia. It is also important to note that high levels of PYY in anorexic individuals is associated with decreased bone mineral density (BMD).

Our mood also effects our PYY levels. Recent studies show that PYY levels are higher in those suffering from major depression. This explains why many people with major depression have a decreased appetite and experience weight loss.

PYY levels can be regulated through both diet and exercise. Diets high in quality protein tend to raise PYY levels highest, followed by diets high in healthy fats. High carbohydrate diets tend to raise PYY levels the least. Aerobic exercise has also been proven to raise PYY levels, whereas strength-training has no effect on PYY levels (although strength-training does lower ghrelin levels).

In conclusion, PYY regulates our appetite. The higher our PYY levels are, the more satiated we will feel. You can ensure your PYY levels are highest by eating a high protein diet and including aerobic exercise in our workout routine.

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.
Please credit ‘© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com)’.

Sources
J Clin Endocrinal Metab. 2009 Nov; 94(11): 4463-71 Epub 2009 Oct 9
http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2006/09/06-02.html
http://jcem.endojournals.org/content/91/3/1027
http://www2.massgeneral.org/harriscenter/about_bn.asp
http://www.eatingdisordersreview.com/nl/nl_edr_18_1_5.html
http://www.thebonejournal.com/article/S8756-3282(08)00162-2/abstract
http://ajpregu.physiology.org/content/296/1/R29.full
J Endocrinal Invest. 2011 Dec 15 [Epub ahead of print]

Dairy Aisle Confusion

Choosing Healthy Dairy Products

“Making informed nutrition and fitness-related decisions can be somewhat overwhelming for those in therapy for eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, binge eating disorder) and obesity. To this end, I’ve compiled a set of handouts to provide handy reference guides to both my readers and clients. You can view all my Nutrition and Fitness Handouts here. Be sure to check back frequently, as I am always adding new handouts to my list!”

With all the varieties of milk available in grocery stores today, it is very difficult to know which type of milk is the healthiest. In this post, I hope to provide both my patients and readers with some insight to make the decision-making process less stressful.

Today’s milk is much different from the milk our grandparents and great-grandparents drank. Much of the milk in stores today:

  • comes from cows that produce A1 beta-casein
  • comes from grain-fed cows
  • is pasteurized (and in some cases ultra-pasteurized) and homogenized
  • contains synthetic vitamins, antibiotics and growth hormones
  • has dry milk added to improve consistency

We can avoid some of these unhealthy aspects of today’s milk by consuming milk from grass-fed cows when possible. Milk from grass-fed cows has many health benefits, including but not limited to:

  • it contains five times more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
  • it contains the perfect ratio of essential fatty acids. This can reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, autoimmune disorders, allergies, obesity, diabetes, dementia, and mental health disorders
  • it contains more beta-carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin D than grain-fed milk

So, what kind of milk should you buy? I’ve created a handy, quick-reference guide to use when making your decision.

*Raw milk is only legal for purchase in my area through cow-share programs. To find out the laws in your area, check here

The Cornucopia Institute recently did an in-depth investigation of over 100 organic dairy farms throughout the United States. They ranked each dairy based on organic farming practices and ethics. I’ve summarized some of the findings for some of the organic dairy farms that sell milk in the Cincinnati area (for readers outside of the Cincinnati area, you can find more dairy farm ratings here)

Traders Point (milk and yogurt) was the only dairy farm in my area that was rated ‘Outstanding’ (5 out of 5 cow rating) (Snowville Creamery was not included in the report)

-Dairy farms that were rated ‘Excellent’ (4 out of 5 cow rating) include:

Ben and Jerry’s Organic Ice Cream was the only locally available ice cream that was rated ‘Very Good’ (2 out of 5 cow rating)

-Dairy farms that were rated ‘some or all factory-farm milk or unknown source, but better than conventional’ (1 out of 5 cow rating)*

-Dairy farms that were rated ‘Ethically Deficient’ (0 out of 5 cow rating)* include:

  •  Horizon Organic Milk
  •  Aurora Organic Milk
  •  Back to Nature Cheese

*There were no ‘1 cow rated farms’ or ‘0 cow rated farms’ that agreed to participate in the investigation, so score was based on information that was publicly available

Although milk has changed over time, we can still make healthy decisions by becoming informed consumers. Thanks to institutes like Cornucopia, we can gain much knowledge about where our food is coming from.

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com)’.

Sources:
www.foodrenegade.com/healthy-milk-what-to-buy/
www.eatwild.com/articles/superhealthy.html
www.cornucopia.org/dairysurvey/index.html

photo used under creative commons license, flickr user kakie

 

Appetite Hormones 101: Ghrelin

“I’ve been treating eating disorders (ED’s) and obesity for nearly 25 years and have always had good outcomes.  My rate of success improved dramatically, however, when I discovered the critical role that processed food plays in causing as well as in preventing recovery from Anorexia, Bulimia, Bulimarexia, (a combination of the two) Binge Eating Disorder (BED,) Emotional Eating and Obesity. To this end, I find it of great importance to provide both my patients and readers with relevant nutrition information to aid in their recovery. You can view all my Nutrition, Fitness, and Health articles here.

This is the second part of the series, “Appetite Hormones 101”.  This series is designed to explain the role of hormones on both appetite and body weight goals, whether it’s weight loss or weight restoration. “Appetite Hormones 101” will be made up of three articles that describe the major appetite hormones: leptin, ghrelin, and peptide YY.

Ghrelin

Ghrelin, discovered in1999 by scientists, is known as “the hunger hormone”. Produced in the stomach and pancreas, Ghrelin stimulates the appetite with the purpose of increasing the intake of food and promoting the storage of fat.  So when Ghrelin levels are high, we feel  hungry.  After we eat, Ghrelin levels fall and we feel satisfied.

Leptin and Ghrelin have a “teeter-totter” relationship. When leptin levels rise, ghrelin levels fall. Likewise, when ghrelin levels rise, leptin levels fall.

Ghrelin levels are highest right before eating meals and lowest right after eating meals.

Leptin, acts on regulatory centres in the brain to inhibit food intake and increase energy expenditure, acting as a long-term regulator of body weight. Whereas Ghrelin is a fast-acting hormone that operates as a meal-initiation signal for short-term regulation of energy balance.

There are distinct abnormalities in the production of Ghrelin among obese and eating disordered individuals. Those with anorexia tend to have high levels of ghrelin which often normalize with weight restoration.  Among those with bulimia, Ghrelin does not respond as strongly when food is eaten, which could contribute to binge eating as the individual suffering from Bulimia does not “get full” even if they have overeaten. Obese individuals tend to have low levels of Ghrelin, probably because they are Leptin Resistant, since Leptin and Ghrelin are inversely related. Research also shows that Ghrelin levels are higher after an individual loses weight, which may make it more difficult to maintain weight loss.

There are several easy things we can do to help manage ghrelin levels:

  • Eat a diet high in good quality protein (organic, grass-fed, free range etc. when possible)
  • Get an adequate amount of sleep
  • Practice meditation and relaxation techniques to reduce everyday stress
  • Drink plenty of water, since ghrelin levels are affected by thirst
  • Avoid processed fructose (especially high fructose corn syrup)

Although these things can make irregular ghrelin levels tolerable, the best way to normalize ghrelin levels is to address the root cause head on. In most cases, irregular ghrelin levels can be corrected by committing to living a healthier lifestyle through exercise, healthy dietary choices, weight restoration (for the anorexic individual), or weight loss (for the obese individual).

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

Sources:

Medscape News – Sibling hormone to appetite-boosting ghrelin has opposite effects, raising hopes for a new obesity treatment – http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/538867

WiseGEEK – What Is Ghrelin? – http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-ghrelin.htm

Journal of Pediatrics – Ghrelin levels in obesity and anorexia nervosa: effect of weight reduction or recuperation – http://www.jpeds.com/article/S0022-3476(03)00737-6/abstract

Appetite Hormones 101: Leptin

This series is designed to explain the role of hormones on both appetite and body weight goals, whether it’s weight loss or weight restoration. “Appetite Hormones 101” will be made up of three articles that describe the major appetite hormones: leptin, ghrelin, and peptide YY.

Leptin

Leptin, discovered by scientists in 1994, is also known as the “starvation hormone”. According to leptin expert, Dr Robert Lustig, leptin sends a signal to our brains that fat cells have enough stored energy to engage in normal metabolic processes. Every individual has an optimal level of leptin, which is thought to be determined genetically. When leptin levels are below optimal levels, the brain receives a message to conserve energy because the body is in a state of deprivation. When this occurs, the brain sends a message to the body that it is hungry (in an attempt to get the individual to eat) so that leptin levels can be restored to an optimal level.

Leptin levels are typically high in obese individuals and low in severely underweight/malnourished individuals. When leptin levels are too high, the individual experiences leptin resistance.

When an individual becomes leptin resistant, the body prevents leptin from passing through the blood brain barrier, which also prevents the brain from receiving the signal that leptin levels are at an optimal level. Instead, the brain senses that the body is in a state of starvation, and the individual becomes hungry. Leptin levels go up as a result.

High triglyceride levels also contribute to the prevention of leptin passing through the blood brain barrier. Triglyceride levels are often high in obese individuals as a result of poor dietary choices. In the individual with anorexia, triglyceride levels are often high because of liver damage and anorexia-induced hormone disruption.

If you think that you may be suffering from Leptin Resistance, there are several things that you can do.

  • Get plenty of sleep. Lack of sleep disrupts many hormonal processes, including leptin levels.
  • Avoid non-fruit sources of fructose. Studies show that fructose raises triglyceride levels, blocking leptin from crossing the blood brain barrier.
  • Avoid lectins, (carbohydrate-binding proteins that are found in most plants, particularly seeds and tubers such as cereal crops, potatoes, and beans) especially those from cereal grains (rice, wheat, barley, corn and oats) as they tend to bind to leptin receptors, preventing leptin binding. This intensifies the affect of leptin resistance.
  • Cook and supplement with healthy fats, like coconut oil. Coconut oil lowers triglyceride levels, increases metabolism, and promotes healing in the gut (and liver for those recovering from anorexia).
  • Eat a high protein, low carb diet and stay active! Diet and exercise have the greatest effect on overcoming leptin resistance.

Sources:

BMC Endocrine Disorders – “Agrarian diet and diseases of affluence – Do evolutionary novel dietary lectins cause leptin resistance?” (http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6823/5/10)

Mark’s Daily Apple – “A Primal Primer: Leptin” (http://www.marksdailyapple.com/LEPTIN/)

The Fat Resistance Diet – “Leptin Resistance” (http://fatresistancediet.com/leptin-weight-loss/66-leptin-resistance)

Live Strong – “High Cholesterol Levels in Anorexia” (http://www.livestrong.com/article/86767-high-cholesterol-levels-anorexia/)

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’