New Vistas for the Treatment of Obesity: Turning the Tide Against the Leading Cause of Morbidity and Cardiovascular Mortality in the Developed World

Westside Medical Associates of Los Angeles and Geffen School of Medicine-UCLA Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, Los Angeles, CA.
Reviews in cardiovascular medicine (Impact Factor: 0.56). 05/2013; 14(1):20-40. DOI: 10.3909/ricm0682
Source: PubMed


Excess adiposity and obesity are the root cause of at least 27 diseases that cause considerable lifelong morbidity and, in many scenarios, eventual cardiovascular mortality. The human body has the ability to increase the number and size of its adipocytes by approximately 10-fold over the course of a lifetime. As fat mass increases, its blood supply, supporting cells, tissue structure, and local and systemic hormonal control also increase. This results in excess adiposity, leading to progressive obesity and the resistance to weight-loss attempts. There have been numerous trials of food diets combined with exercise that, in general, have a 50% dropout rate at 1 year and lead to very modest (∼ 5%) reductions in body weight. Thus, many with obesity require interventions beyond casual diet and exercise advice. Meal replacement diets and bariatric surgery offer considerably greater degrees of weight loss, but both can be plagued by weight regain. Because the ability to control food urges has been shown to be a key psychological factor for success, medicinal approaches that work in this domain are attractive adjuncts to diet, exercise, and weight-loss surgery. This article reviews the emerging role of medical therapy in the treatment of excess adiposity with the goal of reducing comorbidities and possibly improving cardiovascular survival.

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    • "Thus, strategies and policies for prevention and treatment of obesity have been deemed global priorities to reverse the trend of the global obesity epidemic [1]. Numerous anti-obesity interventions have been studied including lifestyle modification, behavioral therapy, pharmacological treatments, and surgery [6] [7]. However, the limited efficacy and high incidence of adverse events with side effects observed in conventional therapies have motivated practitioners to investigate complementary and alternative medicine therapies for weight loss such as dietary supplements, herbal products, and acupuncture [8] [9]. "
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    ABSTRACT: To examine the effect and safety of high-dose green tea extract (Epigallocatechin gallate, EGCG) at a daily dosage of 856.8 mg on weight reduction and changes of lipid profile and obesity-related hormone peptides in women with central obesity. We conducted a randomized, double-blind trial registered under Identifier no. NCT02147041. A total of 115 women with central obesity were screened at our clinic. 102 of them with a body mass index (BMI) ≥ 27 kg/m(2) and a waist circumference (WC) ≥ 80 cm were eligible for the study. These women were randomly assigned to either a high-dose green tea group or placebo group. The total treatment time was 12 weeks. The main outcome measures were anthropometric measurements, lipid profiles, and obesity related hormone peptides including leptin, adiponectin, ghrelin, and insulin. Significant weight loss, from 76.8 ± 11.3 kg to 75.7 ± 11.5 kg (p = 0.025), as well as decreases in BMI (p = 0.018) and waist circumference (p = 0.023) were observed in the treatment group after 12 weeks of high-dose EGCG treatment. This study also demonstrated a consistent trend of decreased total cholesterol, reaching 5.33%, and decreased LDL plasma levels. There was good tolerance of the treatment among subjects without any side effects or adverse events. Significantly lower ghrelin levels and elevated adiponectin levels were detected in the study group than in the placebo group. 12 weeks of treatment with high-dose green tea extract resulted in significant weight loss, reduced waist circumference, and a consistent decrease in total cholesterol and LDL plasma levels without any side effects or adverse effects in women with central obesity. The antiobestic mechanism of high-dose green tea extract might be associated in part with ghrelin secretion inhibition, leading to increased adiponectin levels. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd and European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism. All rights reserved.
    Clinical Nutrition 05/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.clnu.2015.05.003 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Almost 20 years ago, the protein encoded by the ob locus in mice was identified as an adipocyte-secreted hormone, now termed leptin, which functions as a peripheral signal to communicate the organism's energy reserve-and thereby protects against starvation due to insufficient caloric resources. Additional peripheral factors have since been identified that coordinate interorgan crosstalk to manage energy resources. The heart is included in this network through its regulated release of natriuretic peptides A and B-cardiac hormones originally identified as important in blood pressure control. Emerging evidence that natriuretic peptide receptors are expressed in adipose tissue, and that circulating levels of these peptides are decreased in animals and humans with obesity, could imply that natriuretic peptides are also involved in the regulation of energy metabolism. The natriuretic peptides stimulate triglyceride lipolysis in adipocytes, a process also regulated by the sympathetic nervous system. In addition, these two pathways promote uncoupling of mitochondrial respiration and thermogenesis in brown adipocytes. This Review focuses on the roles of the natriuretic peptides and the sympathetic nervous system in regulating adipocyte metabolism. The potential for manipulating the natriuretic peptide pathway to increase energy expenditure in obesity and manage the complications of cardiometabolic disease is also discussed.
    Nature Reviews Endocrinology 12/2013; 10(3). DOI:10.1038/nrendo.2013.234 · 13.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective To describe eating patterns, prevalence of problematic eating behaviors, and determine factors associated with binge eating disorder (BED), before bariatric surgery.Method Before surgery, 2,266 participants (median age 46 years; 78.6% female; 86.9% white; median body mass index 45.9 kg/m2) of the Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery-2 (LABS-2) study completed eating behavior survey items in the self-administered LABS-2 Behavior form. Other measures included the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test, the LABS-2 Psychiatric and Emotional Test Survey, the Beck Depression Inventory, the Interpersonal Support Evaluation List-12, the Short Form-36 Health Survey, and Impact of Weight Quality of Life-Lite Survey.ResultsThe majority (92.1%) of participants reported eating dinner regularly, whereas just over half (54.0%) reported eating breakfast regularly. Half of the participants reported eating at least four meals/week at restaurants; two meals/week were fast food. Loss of control eating was reported by 43.4%, night eating syndrome by 17.7%; 15.7% satisfied criteria for binge eating disorder (BED), 2% for bulimia nervosa. Factors that independently increased the odds of BED were being a college graduate, eating more times per day, taking medication for psychiatric or emotional problems, and having symptoms of alcohol use disorder, lower self-esteem and greater depressive symptoms.DiscussionBefore undergoing bariatric surgery a substantial proportion of patients report problematic eating behaviors. Several factors associated with BED were identified, most suggesting other mental health problems, including higher levels of depressive symptomotology. The strengths of this study include the large sample size, the multi-center design and use of standardized assessment practices. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2014)
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