Saturday, December 15, 2007

Fiaf: Where next?

The Fiaf paper and review I've been discussing both cover high quality basic research. This is the sort of thing which gives us serious insights in to how our bodies work. They certainly give credence, with some lateral thinking, to the ability of high fat diets to assist weight loss. The germ free/high Fiaf mice also had a higher metabolic rate and were more active than their control companions (or themselves once colonised and fed the normal 10% fat, high carbohydrate rodent chow). These also seem desirable attributes which LC eaters tend to notice when they switch to fat burning.

In view of the enormous reluctance of the current health care system to accept the hard data supporting low carbohydrate eating I was curious as to how these basic scientists might take their work forward in to the clinical field. I'm slightly doubtful that the advice would be a high fat diet, if they wished to continue to obtain funding.

So here is most of the last sentence of the discussion from the 2007 review paper:

"these findings suggest that the gut microbiota contributes to mammalian adiposity by regulating more than one node within the metabolic network that controls bioenergetics. Manipulating microbial characteristics in ways that impact calorie harvest from a diet, and/or Fiaf expression, or Fiaf-mediated control of Pgc-1alpha, may represent new strategies for modifying host energy balance to promote health"

I can certainly go with the first suggestion, but my own decision to use a high fat diet, however logical, may be different to what may be tried by the mainstream medics.

Tinkering with Fiaf at the gut wall level MIGHT be safe, after all not eating for a day bumps the levels up. So perhaps here is a target for a slimming drug. But what will happen if you bump up a starvation hormone, with it's cascade of effects down stream which increase fat oxidation, yet continue to feed a diet based on glucose? I have a bad feeling about this. It is very suggestive of clofibrate, pioglitazone and rosiglitazone, none of which feature on my must-have list. You are well in to the realms of the law of Unintended Consequences with this approach.

What about that last suggestion of tinkering with Pgc-1alpha? Just have a look at the stub in wikipedia to get some idea of what this co factor does.

I'm not sure I would personally want to start tinkering with a massive metabolic control switch, many of the normal effects of which are still unknown, in the hope of improving human health.

Unintended Consequences anyone?

Eggs and butter for breakfast seems a much safer option.


1 comment:

SteveRN said...

Have you been reading the resistat starch stuff on FTA? What you seem to be saying is, for weight loss, if you are doing high fat, you would want to avoid taking potatoe starch. If you take the PS, you are feeding the bacteria, so you could still eat high fat, without starving the bacteria, therefore, you would not effect fiaf levels.