In our last post, we looked were building up to the causes of male belly fat. We were curious to find out the reason as men we could eventually morph into a jelly roll over the years.
To recap quickly, you can find the earlier post here.
Let us continue from where we finished:
The causes for men’s obesity can be from a range of factors as noted by Dr. Joseph Mercola:
- Increased consumption of highly processed food, especially fructose
- Increased portion sizes of restaurant food and grocery products
- Increased driving and computer use (sedentary activities)
- Increased modernization
- Certain medications
- Endocrine disorders and genetics
- Changing social perceptions of what is “normal” weight
There are two components that I, through my research, think may be the launching points to men’s belly fat problems. What are those components?
The Two Other Hidden Culprits for Belly Fat
Since I have been interested in the subject of natural solutions, real food, organic, and the like; I have heard from a lot of the top voices in this field. Of course, there are times where someone would mention a theory and the theory will cause your accepted point of view to start smoking and sparks to fly out of your ears.
Please forgive me because I do not recall who said this about belly fat yet this paraphrase has never left me. I either read or heard the following (again paraphrased and the commenter was actually referring to women): “The reason why women have the little pooch below their belly is due to a storing of toxins.”
This really disturbed me and I started to wonder: “Could the same theory be postulated for MPS?” So putting on my Scooby Dum detective hat, grabbing a magnifying glass, and Scooby snacks, I went off to find out if this theory has any merit.
Before I continue, I would like to explain my point of view about science. My view comes from a Biblical worldview, which I will do my best to compare with Scripture to see in this light. I hold the same view as well as Kevin Trudeau where he challenges the medical establishment to use the phrases for theories: “It appears, based on the current research we have; it seems that; we believe this to be true, however, we also know that as more research and observations are evaluated this may change in the future.”
Why? Theories are constantly changing and the only way for facts to be verified is through rigorous testing and results being consistent every time. I hope this helps. With that being said, here is what the current research shows about men’s belly fat.
The Other Belly Fat Culprit – Toxins
Remember our question about toxins being stored in women, the current research shows thus far that this holds true for men as well. Toxins are more prevalent than what our ancestors use to deal with.
I recall borrowing from the library The Fast Track One-Day Detox Diet by Ann Louise Gittleman. In this book, Ann discusses about the constant assault the body receives from toxins such as chemicals in plastics, carpeting, etc. No one is immune.
What is more disturbing is when Ann shocked an associate of the Environmental Working Group (who was eating organic, taking vitamins, and other necessary precautions to make her home green) by showing her that through blood testing, she still had toxins.
My research had me come across the article entitled “Belly Fat and Toxins” (source). My suspicions about toxins were right:
Before the advent of modern technology, few were forced to concern themselves with the dangers of an overexposure to toxins, as the amount of toxins in the environment was too small to cause anyone significant damage. In today’s society, however, large amounts of toxins are almost impossible to avoid. Whether you are purchasing foods filled with pesticides, beauty products high in phthalates, or storing your food in plastic containers made with bisphenol-A, you can’t help but expose your body to enormous amounts of environmental toxins on a daily basis. Unfortunately, these toxins have a profoundly negative effect on your waistline as well as your overall health.
One unfortunate side effect of an overexposure to toxins is an increase in belly fat. According to a study performed by Pascal Imbeault, a researcher at Laval University, exposure to large amounts of toxins can permanently damage one’s mitochondria. Mitochondria are the main location where fatty acids eventually undergo beta oxidation, which means damaged mitochondria may result in impaired fat-burning. By avoiding excessive amounts of environmental toxins, you can keep your mitochondria functioning optimally and decrease your risk of accumulating belly fat.
Is this the cause of MPS? I would throw my hat in the arena of ideas and venture to say that this is one of the causes. Think about the many men who work labor jobs outside. They are not immune to chem-trails, industry pollution, and other chemical assaults on their system.
What about the white-collar professional? They are not off the hook either. The chemicals in the water for coffee, the carpet, and others can wreak havoc on their system.
The author continues:
Not only can exposing yourself to an overabundance of environmental toxins increase your belly fat, but too much belly fat can increase your endogenous levels of toxins as well. Unlike the subcutaneous fat that is stored around your hips and thighs, the fat that is found in the belly region is predominantly visceral, which has been shown to have numerous endocrinological functions including the production arachidonic acid. Arachidonic acid is a precursor to interleukin-6 and many other pro-inflammatory cytokines, and has been shown to be toxic at very high levels. As more and more body fat is accumulated, the levels of arachidonic acid become much higher than your body can handle, and the result is an increased waistline and a decreased level of health. (underline emphasis mine)
The solution is to cut as much of the environmental toxins you can within your power. You can cut the toxic burden by being pro-active in getting rid of the sources of toxins. The other option is to create a consistent detoxification program to lessen the burden on the body.
There is one more culprit though.
Belly Fat Culprit #2 – Fructose
You thought fructose was just as spotless as the driven snow. . .completely harmless. While fructose in moderation in of itself is fine, the insidiousness comes from Big Food adding fructose to everything under the sun particularly High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).
The body possesses a hormone called Leptin. You can think of leptin as one of those ride operators at the carnival. He will open the gate to let a number of people on the ride and once he sees the ride is full, he closes the gate.
Leptin signals the body by saying, “Alright, Bubba, that’s enough food for lunch. Step away from the plate slowly.” How does fructose come into the equation? Fructose, in overblown doses, works on leptin in a very sinister way.
My research lead to Dr. Mercola and he quotes Dr. Robert Lusig, the first researcher to make the clarion call on sugar (source):
Dr. Robert Lustig, Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco, has been a pioneer in decoding sugar metabolism. His work has highlighted some major differences in how different sugars are broken down and used:
After eating fructose, 100 percent of the metabolic burden rests on your liver. But with glucose, your liver has to break down only 20 percent.
Every cell in your body, including your brain, utilizes glucose. Therefore, much of it is “burned up” immediately after you consume it. By contrast, fructose is turned into free fatty acids (FFAs), VLDL (the damaging form of cholesterol), and triglycerides, which get stored as fat.
The fatty acids created during fructose metabolism accumulate as fat droplets in your liver and skeletal muscle tissues, causing insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Insulin resistance progresses to metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
Fructose is the most lipophilic carbohydrate. In other words, fructose converts to activated glycerol (g-3-p), which is directly used to turn FFAs into triglycerides. The more g-3-p you have, the more fat you store. Glucose does not do this.
When you eat 120 calories of glucose, less than one calorie is stored as fat. 120 calories of fructose results in 40 calories being stored as fat. Consuming fructose is essentially consuming fat!
The metabolism of fructose by your liver creates a long list of waste products and toxins, including a large amount of uric acid, which drives up blood pressure and causes gout.
Glucose suppresses the hunger hormone ghrelin and stimulates leptin, which suppresses your appetite. Fructose has no effect on ghrelin and interferes with your brain’s communication with leptin, resulting in overeating.
You ever wonder why at fellowship meals or buffets you tend to overeat, I would dare to say that fructose has been added to one of the foods to cause of gorging yourself. Hence, the reason why we need to petition for the buffet restaurant “Golden Corral” to change their name to “Golden Trough.”
We can add toxins and fructose as the extra culprits.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Earlier, I focused on Christian men and now I would like to come back full circle on why this issue needs to be addressed.
As alluded to earlier, Christian men are becoming stricken with diseases and become incapiatied to do God’s work. The men are dying faster. Some dying horrible and painful deaths that can be easily avoided.
Then there is the testimony to other Christians and non-believers. What sort of testimony does a pastor or an evangelist give to the flock or non-believers? It’s okay to be obese and have diabetes? It’s okay to waddle through the doors and huff and puff? It’s okay to let yourself go because what really matters is the spirit and the soul?
If Christians were called to be set apart from the world, wouldn’t this also mean to be set apart in the appearance and to have the physical constitution that shows excellent health?
How tragic to stand in front of the Lord after death as a believer and God rebukes you for not taking care of yourself more and how you could have been used more for His glory if your health was pristine?
The way Christians can turn this around is through balance (1 Cor. 6:12). Christians need to take care of not only the spiritual yet also the physical (1 Cor. 6:19). Educate yourself through research, documentaries, and asking the hard questions about nutritional science. Change your eating habits. Change your buying dollars to support organic and local.
Christians in this country need not only a spiritual revival yet also a revival to returning to health the way God intended.
Do you think Christian men need to take care of this problem? Do you know men in this condition? Are they doing anything about it?