Peel off the Weight

Stephen Holt, MD, Holt Institute of Medicine, Little Falls, NJ, 2009

Everyone is sick and tired of new promises for easy weight control and the last thing required these days is another fad diet or “supplement promise.” While scientists unravel the complexities of the overweight problem, treatment or management issues lag behind and outcomes remain poor. The bad news is that there is not a diet, drug or supplement in the history of medicine that has caused sustained weight control. The good news is that combining evidence-based, weight loss tactics in a holistic manner can curb the “obesity crisis.” The public health significance of the “overweight bouquet of barbed wire” must not be underestimated. This “prickly bouquet”involves the ugly disease companions of obesity such as high blood pressure, abnormal blood cholesterol, insulin resistance, and Syndrome X (Metabolic syndrome) which is a forerunner to the global epidemic of Type II diabetes mellitus… to name a few problems! “Fighting the flab” is not just a cosmetic issue. Excessive body weight is now probably the commonest cause of preventable premature disability and death in the USA. Our complacency about excess body fat is staggering and its negative health implications seem to be well kept secrets in many segments of the community. While there are 70 million Americans with Metabolic Syndrome X, this diagnosis is not a common documented diagnosis in many patient records (Holt S, Combat Syndrome X, Y and Z…, Wellness Publishing, 2003). Syndrome X is the variable combination of being overweight, having high blood pressure and abnormal blood cholesterol, all linked by resistance to the hormone insulin. This constellation of problems in PREFACE 9 Syndrome X has no simple “drug cure.” It has complex causes rooted in social excesses, adverse lifestyle, lack of exercise, body toxicity, poor nutrition and hereditary tendencies. In other words, many major public health problems, like obesity (overweight status), have multifactorial causes that require multipronged interventions. Unraveling the “fat bouquet of barbed wire” is not easy, but it is possible. My aphorisms on weight control are found in several of my books (entitled “Combat Syndrome X,” “Enhancing Low Carb Diets,” “Syndrome X Nutritional Factors,” “Natural Ways to Digestive Health” and “The Natural Way to a Healthy Heart,” etc). In this book, I have tried to focus on the value of thermogenesis as an adjunct to weight control. My interest in these areas has spanned almost four decades. The challenge was to find a safe and effective way of inducing the burning of body fat, after I had rejected the use of ma huang or ephedra. Ephedra in its classic form is effective but unsafe for many people. Five years ago, I published my support for its removal from the supplement market in my front page column in Natural Pharmacy Magazine (2004). While ephedra is a valuable “natural medicine,” it is best used with medical supervision in the management of obesity because many obese individuals carry cardiovascular risk factors (co-morbid disorders). Some of the amines (alkaloids) in ma huang can tip the balance of cardiovascular functions in susceptible individuals and contribute to stroke and heart attack. This public safety issue had to be acted upon because predatory marketers of ma huang (ephedra) showed little regard for warnings about its inappropriate use; and some promoted it as “herbal speed” to youngsters. When managing individuals with obesity, it must be understood that the mature obese person (about 35 years or older) has a greater chance of having high blood pressure (and other diseases) as part of the Metabolic Syndrome X and its associated medical problems. I asked the bariatric expert, Dr. John Salerno, to write the Foreword to this book because of the confusion that surrounded the safety of several amine-containing (alkaloids) dietary supplements during the ephedra ban. Dr. John Salerno was an apprentice of my friend, Robert Atkins, MD. The ban on ephedra led to great popularity of “ephedrafree supplements” that also contain amines or alkaloids that may 10 Peel Off The Weight “stimulate” the body. This situation led to a grave injustice in the assessment of Citrus aurantium and most specifically its patented, extracted
and researched form in Advantra Z.

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