METABOLIC SYNDROME AND MENTAL HEALTH

Modern health means metabolic health. The main pathway to chronic diseases today is the breakdown of our finely tuned metabolic machinery inside, due to processed food, lifestyle and – mental health? Stress and depression have potent effects on our behavior and creating imbalance of hormones such as glucose, insulin and inflammation. Poor mental health contributes to the metabolic syndrome, a cluster of common maladies including a large waist, high lipid levels and blood pressure, breakdown of the balance between insulin and glucose, and the most invisible to all, a fatty liver. You will hear from four experts in this area on the important topics of nutrition, optimal daily habits and how to prevent depression and the cascade of dysregulation that manifests as the metabolic syndrome.

Image - Elissa Epel
Elissa Epel
Ph.D., Professor, Department of Psychiatry, UCSF

Elissa Epel, Ph.D, is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UCSF. Epel studied psychology and psychobiology at Stanford University (BA), and clinical and health psychology at Yale University (Ph.D.). She completed a clinical internship at the Palo Alto Veterans Healthcare System. Her research aims to elucidate mechanisms of healthy aging, and to apply this basic science to scalable interventions that can reach vulnerable populations. She is the Director of the Aging, Metabolism, and Emotions Lab, and the Center for Obesity Assessment, Study, & Treatment, (COAST), and Associate Director of the Center for Health and Community. With her collaborators, she is conducting clinical trials to examine the effect of self-regulation and mindfulness training programs on cellular aging, weight, diet, and glucose control.

Image - Wolfram Alderson
Wolfram Alderson
CEO, Hypoglycemia Support Foundation

Wolfram Alderson’s career in pursuit of social and environmental change spans across four decades. He currently serves as CEO of the Hypoglycemia Support Foundation. The broad focus of his lifetime of work has been improving human and environmental health–often by developing programs and organizations that accomplish both. In addition to being a social change agent, Wolfram is also a visual artist and writer, and has built two major therapeutic arts programs, one for refugees and one for abused children.

Image - Robert Lustig
Dr. Robert Lustig
Professor emeritus of Pediatrics, Division of Endocrinology, UCSF

Dr. Lustig specializes in the field of neuroendocrinology, with an emphasis on the regulation of energy balance by the central nervous system. His research and clinical practice has focused on childhood obesity and diabetes. Dr. Lustig holds a Bachelor’s in Science from MIT, a Doctorate in Medicine from Cornell University Medical College, and a Master’s of Studies in Law from U.C. Hastings College of the Law. Dr. Lustig is the author of the bestselling books The Hacking of the American Mind: The Science Behind the Corporate Takeover of Our Bodies and Brains and Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity and Disease.

Dr. Natalie Rasgon
Professor, Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Obstetrics and Gynecology, Stanford University School of Medicine

Dr. Rasgon is a professor in the departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Obstetrics and Gynecology at Stanford University’s School of Medicine. She began her distinguished career at Odessa Medical Institute and UCLA School of Medicine, and in 2002, she established the Center for Neuroscience in Women’s Health at Stanford University. Dr. Rasgon is considered a renowned expert in neuroendocrinology and women’s mental health. Dr. Rasgon is the author of more than 165 peer-reviewed publications, 25 book chapters, and is a reviewer for 30 professional journals. Her predominant research focus has been on neuroendocrine correlates in various models of affective and cognitive neuroscience, the treatment of bipolar disorder in women, the use of hormonal interventions during menopause and the effects on mood and cognitive function, and the interplay between endocrine function and aging.

Get Tickets Here
https://www.commonwealthclub.org/events/2018-11-01/metabolic-syndrome-and-mental-health

The Commonwealth Club
110 The Embarcadero
Toni Rembe Rock Auditorium
San Francisco94105

Coconut Oil – Poison?

Coconut Oil – Poison?

The recent “news” about Coconut Oil may be inflammatory, but the oil is not.

Well, it’s sure not “poison”. Coconut oil has some palmitic (C16) acid, but also myristic (C14) and lauric (C12) acids. These fatty acids when free (non-esterified) are inflammatory, but in coconut oil they bound to glycerol, they are not “free”. They raise serum LDL levels, but the large buoyant, not the small dense LDL (the bad kind). There are benefits to medium-chain triglycerides (MCT’s), but coconut oil’s fats are larger than MCT’s. So coconut oil is no worse than saturated fat, and saturated fat has been shown to be neutral for CV disease and diabetes.

Checked your Exposome Lately?

Checked your Exposome Lately?

UCSF to Lead The Exposome & Metabolic Health on September 21, 2018

Livestreamed Sugar, Stress, Environment and Weight Symposium Fuses Research and Action

UC San Francisco experts on environmental exposures, social adversity, and health policy will lead The Exposome & Metabolic Health on Friday, September 21st at UCSF Laurel Heights Auditorium from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (PT).

The event, the twelfth annual COAST/Sugar Stress Environment, and Weight (SSEW) Symposium, will unite researchers, healthcare providers, environmental health, and policy advocates from across the UC Campuses in a day-long conference focusing on how exposures from our environment, both chemical and psychological, get underneath the skin and affect human metabolic health and obesity.

Obesity and related chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, are some of the leading health crises of the 21st century and scientists are still trying to understand how our ‘exposome’ may play a key role. The exposome encompasses all exposures within the human physical and social environments, including air pollution, chemicals, pesticides, processed foods, chronic stress, and even our neighborhoods.

In-person registration is free to the public and a free livestream link is offered to those who register through Eventbrite (www.exposomehealth.eventbrite.com)

“We are at a critical moment in the history of human health and the environment, and the science we will discuss is of utmost important to public health, policy, and individuals. We must raise awareness of how our air, our food, and our social environments are impacting our health in dramatic ways, affecting us now and affecting the next generations,” says Elissa Epel, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the UCSF Consortium for Obesity Assessment Study and Treatment (COAST): “This symposium will cover critical new science and policy actions that are of interest to all, from students to scientists to our grandparents”.

Speakers and panelists will describe the wide reaching and invisible impact of social stress and environmental toxics in our air and food on obesity. “Science shows that we are all exposed to multiple industrial chemicals, many of which are a concern for metabolic diseases. Pregnant women, children, communities of color and low-income communities can be more impacted by these exposures increasing the urgency to take actions to prevent harmful exposures” said Dr. Tracey Woodruff, Director at UCSF Environmental Health Initiative, co-sponsor of the event.

Highlights include:

  • Dr. Eve Ekman, a leading scholar and instructor of meditation and emotion regulation will begin the day with an introductory level meditation instruction, integrating environmental issues.
  • Dr. Tracey Woodruff, Director of the UCSF Environmental Health Initiative, offers an overview of the field of toxic exposures and their impact on health outcomes.


Understanding our “social exposome”

  • Dr. Aric Prather, UCSF Professor and Co-Director of the Consortium for Obesity Assessment, Study, and Treatment discusses how social stressors and relationships can act like environmental toxins, a concept called “social exposome”.
  • Dr. Barbara Laraia, UC Berkeley Professor reveals why neighborhoods and stress have a major impact on obesity, especially during pregnancy.


Understanding interdependence with our food systems

  • Dr. Jenny Jay, UCLA Professor and Researcher at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability provides perspectives on how processed foods and water use impact both the environment and public health.


Understanding the impact of our personal choices

  • Dr. Dale Bredesen, UCSF/UCLA Physician and leading expert on neurodegenerative diseases discusseshow environmental toxins may lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Wolfram Alderson, a social impact innovator and expert on how we can remove toxins from our personal ecosystems and our communities.


Understanding how chemical exposures work in the body

  • Dr. Michele La Merrill, UC Davis Professor of environmental toxicology discusses clinical research on pesticides and metabolic health.
  • Dr. Bruce Blumberg, UC Irvine Professor of Developmental and Cell Biology and leader in the field of “obesogens” discusses the role of exposures that disrupt our endocrine systems and promote obesity.
  • Dr. John Balmes, UC San Francisco Professor gives insight on how air pollution impacts metabolic health.


Understanding policy implications and actions

  • Dr. Laura Schmidt, Professor, UCSF, Co-Director of SSEW Initiative, and expert on food policy and food environment.

If you can’t make it in person, consider watching the talks live, or logging into Facebook and visiting the UCOP Page (facebook.com/universityofcalifornia) from 12:30pm-1:00pm and ask questions to researchers during a Facebook Live Panel.
Topics include how environment, diet, and social experiences affect the health of the next generation.
Panel moderated by Elissa Epel, PhD, UCSF and includes:

  • Tracey Woodruff, PhD, UCSF Expert on how chemical exposures in pregnant women affect the next generation
  • Kimberly Harley, PhD, UCB Expert on how youth are exposed to toxic endocrine disrupting chemicals through beauty and hair products
  • Martyn Smith, PhD, UCB Will define the exposome and share how diet and environmental exposures impact cancers and child health
  • Candice Price, PhD, UCD How diets high in sugar and soda are toxics that get under the skin, leading to metabolic disease and obesity

The Exposome & Metabolic Health is sponsored by COASTSSEW, the UCSF Nutrition and Obesity Research Center, and the UCSF Environmental Health Initiative and the Center for Health and Community at UCSF.  It is led by Drs.Elissa EpelLaura Schmidt, and Samantha Schilf the Executive Director of the SSEW Initiative.

I am sweet enough

The “I am Sweet Enough” event brings together three world-renowned experts who will explain how and why cutting processed sugar from your diet is one of the best things you can do for your health.

Sunday September 16, 2018 – 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
The Ben Sadowski Auditorium, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto

Brought to you by Renascent, a national leader in treating substance use disorders. Since 1970, Renascent has helped almost 50,000 people, becoming an accredited expert in providing hope and healing to individuals, families, loved ones, communities, and organizations impacted by addiction. Renascent’s Food Addiction Program is the first of its kind in Canada, applying an addiction model of care to help people find peace and freedom from their relationship with food.

Click here to register: https://renascent.ca/iamsweetenough/

Trump Derangement Syndrome – Is it real?

Trump Derangement Syndrome – Is it real?

Everyone is worried about what happened to Trump’s brain, but no one seems to be particularly worried about what’s happening to ours. The Russians hacked the election, but it’s Trump who has hacked our minds. In fact, Trump has instead turned the tables and coined a new diagnosis in a tweet: “Some people HATE the fact that I got along well with President Putin of Russia. They would rather go to war than see this. It’s called Trump Derangement Syndrome!”

Click here to read the entire article in MedPage Today.

Beyond Calories: “The scientific community agrees: A calorie is NOT a calorie”

Beyond Calories: “The scientific community agrees: A calorie is NOT a calorie”

Academic Position Paper Concludes: Some Calories More Harmful than Others

Beyond Calories” analysis finds unanimity among researchers on unique role sugar-sweetened beverages play in chronic health problems, despite challenges in current landscape of nutrition research

A position paper written by a group of twenty-two researchers and published in a leading scientific journal provides a comprehensive review of the current challenging landscape of nutrition research, including a notable warning that consumption of soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages increases cardio-metabolic risk factors.

The findings, published in Obesity Reviews and available online today [CLICK HERE FOR REPORT], are the result of a July 2017 academic conference hosted by the CrossFit Foundation. The conference convened the group of international nutrition scientists and researchers to review the current scientific record and the specific dietary components that lead to cardio-metabolic factors associated with obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type-2 diabetes, independent of caloric intake.

While the paper reviews the significant challenges involved in conducting and interpreting nutrition research—detailing the historically conflicting expert opinions regarding the health effects of food components such as fat, sugar, and carbohydrate—the participants did arrive at one conclusion: the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages clearly increases risk factors for chronic diseases such cardiovascular disease, and type-2 diabetes, even compared with calorically-equal amounts of starch.

This finding and unanimity of scientific experts is notable because it undercuts the beverage industry’s focus on balancing calorie consumption with calorie expenditure. The industry’s “energy balance” argument falsely assures the consumer that sugar consumption is not uniquely harmful in its effect on obesity and cardiometabolic disease—claiming that, like any food, added sugar can fit into a healthy diet as long as the excess calories are burned through increased physical activity. However, the review of the evidence encapsulated within the “Beyond Calories” position paper confirms that some calories are more harmful than others in terms of their cardiometabolic effect, and that a healthy diet is about more than “energy balance.” The review summarizes evidence that risk factors even increase when sugars are consumed within diets that do not result in weight gain.

The paper’s finding also undercuts the beverage industry’s resistance to the development of consumption-focused health policies—such as soda taxes, warning labels, and marketing restrictions—that could impact the dramatic global rise in cardio-metabolic disease. The paper’s sugar-sweetened beverage finding is also relevant to recent legislative and legal battles, such as a 2017 Ninth Circuit court decision that prevented the City of San Francisco from implementing a soda warning label, which hinged upon the court’s determination of whether soda and other sweetened beverages are uniquely harmful to human health or merely one source of calories among many.

As a recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association explained, “The court noted that…a clearer emphasis in the law on the special harms of SSBs [sugar-sweetened beverages], rather than added sugars in general, would have strengthened the government’s case.”

First author Dr. Kimber Stanhope of University of California, Davis, noted that the paper’s delineation of the challenges associated with conducting and interpreting nutritional research may help the public better understand inconsistencies in nutrition advice, and suggested that “this thorough academic review of the current body of nutrition research is a valuable contribution that may both improve the design of future research and focus attention on research areas that may have the greatest impact in slowing the epidemics of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type-2 diabetes.”

The factors that lead to obesity and chronic disease are as complex as the human body itself.  But while the authors’ findings were inconclusive in regards to several other questions such as low-fat versus low-carbohydrate diets, the scientists’ conclusions regarding the impacts of sugar-sweetened beverages were clear.

“The food and beverage industry has influenced the field of nutrition for decades by highlighting the health impact of caloric intake at the expense of other factors that might call their products into question,” said Director Olivia Leonard of the CrossFit Foundation. “These tactics have exerted a devastating impact on human health. We’re proud to support efforts to correct and inform public perception of the consumption and lifestyle choices that impact individual health.”

For more information about this paper, contact Josh Lahey: josh@lotsixteen.com