Recent research conducted at Baylor College of Medicine have confirmed popular knowledge, it is true that as we get older, we get fatter. Why is this the case though? Well the research has shown that fat build up and obesity may actually be caused by oxidative stress generated from the intake of toxins and free radicals from the environment and consumption of sugars and carbohydrates. It suggests that the build up toxins and free radicals, leads to oxidative stress which damages the body’s ability to regulate its energy intake, leading to increased fat storage and reduced consumption of calories or energy, making weight loss increasingly difficult as you get older. This might be the case for some of you reading this right now, where you have experienced the frustration of cutting calories and daily exercise, only to see your weight still continuing to climb as you stare at your scale.

You have to realize that the processes that govern how calories are burned and stored as fat in our bodies are highly complex, and easily damage under heavy toxic loads. Because the underlying mechanisms are damaged through oxidative stress, it leads to an increased sense of frustration when exercise and diet change fail to equate to a corresponding loss in weight. It’s not your fault, it’s a result of your body’s natural mechanisms failing due to toxic damage.

Worse yet, the research has shown that weight gain is a vicious cycle, where damage to the metabolic rate and fat storage has been shown to throw your appetite-regulating hormones into a state of unbalance, increasing the desire to eat unhealthy foods, causing further oxidative stress in the body.

The two hormones primarily responsible for weight gain and appetite regulation are insulin and leptin. Their role in weight management and how they are damaged by oxidative stress has been recently revealed through scientific research.

You’ve probably already heard of insulin. It’s a hormone produced in the pancreas and it’s the primary hormone in the body for regulating not only blood sugar, but various other hormones as well. While ignoring the more technical aspects of insulin, it’s the key that informs cells on what to do with glucose, which comes from carbohydrates such as sugars and starches. Based on what the level of insulin signals, cells will either choose to use the glucose as energy or convert it into fat for future use. It’s important to note that increased food consumption will lead to increased insulin production.

The second hormone, leptin, is secreted by adipose or fat cells. It plays a critical role in signalling the feeling of satiety or feeling full to the brain by providing feedback regarding the amount of fat being stored in the body. In a normal body, elevated leptin levels are interpreted as feeling full. Insulin also plays a critical role, as increased insulin levels cause the secretion of more leptin by fat cells.

Leptin has been shown to cause oxidative stress in the body, which occurs naturally as the body requires oxidative chemicals in order to break down food into usable molecules such as glucose and amino acids. While this is a normal part of metabolism, this leads to inflammation. While this is tolerated well in younger demographics, as people age, their ability to deal with oxidative stress and inflammation is impaired due to decreased glutathione production. Glutathione being a potent antioxidant produced naturally by the body, unfortunately, glutathione production has been proven to drop off significantly a few years after puberty ends. This is what makes proper intake of antioxidants so important after adulthood.

As a result of how leptin and insulin interact with each other and the metabolic process, overeating can start a vicious cycle of weight gain. Because increased caloric consumption will always be met by increased insulin production (and leptin production soon afterwards) in an initially healthy body, the following state of increased systemic inflammation quickly leads to insulin resistance. This happens because insulin is not able to easily pass through an inflamed cell, to compensate, the body produces more insulin, which leads to increased leptin secretion, setting off the vicious cycle.

This quickly leads to overeating and weight gain, because the brain is easily desensitized to leptin. Because leptin is the primary hormone that signals the brain to stop feeling hungry, desensitization to the hormone drives further overconsumption of food. As overconsumption continues, this continues to increase the burden of oxidative stress in the body, quickly resulting in obesity. It’s clear how this is a terrible feedback loop that quickly spirals the body out of control, leading to rapid weight gain, metabolic and blood sugar disorders, and numerous other diseases.

So what is the solution? For starters, you want to reduce the inflammation and oxidative stress in your body, and this means adjusting your diet immediately. It’s imperative that you limit the amount of free radicals entering your body. Once the causative agents for inflammation and oxidative stress are reduced, your body will be primed to benefit tremendously from potent antioxidants.

Yeast beta glucan is a potent antioxidant that represents an effective way of addressing the remaining oxidative stress and inflammation in your body. Yeast beta glucan has been scientifically proven to have potent effects on the process of inflammation, and as discussed earlier, decreasing the amount of inflammation experienced by your cells will increase the cells’ ability to respond to insulin, systematically bringing down the elevated levels of insulin and leptin seen in patients with runaway weight gain. Once the body experiences a stable period of normal hormonal and caloric intake levels, it will naturally repair itself to its previous state of normalcy, allowing your body to experience weight loss through continued proper diet and exercise.

What does this all mean?
While the underlying mechanisms governing the relationship between metabolism, hormonal changes, and over consumption are highly complex and still yet to be fully discovered and explained by researchers, the overall takeaways are pretty clear. Weight gain and loss is not a simple process dictated by the amount of calories you consume and burn. It’s clear by this point that hormones such as leptin and insulin, modulated by inflammation and oxidative stress play a huge role in how your body deals with the amount of calories you burn and store as fat. As a result, the focus when losing weight should be on reducing the amount of inflammation and oxidative stress in your body. This is achievable through diet control and through the intake of potent antioxidants until your body is able to restore its delicate balance. While there are many ways of achieving this, yeast beta glucan represents an effective option for reduction of oxidative stress and inflammation, making it possible to see improvements that previously didn’t exist.