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Did you know...?

Do obese people have a shortage of enzymes?

Yes, there is some evidence that overweight/obese individuals do have a shortage of lipase. Researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine conducted some tests on the abdominal fat of 11 obese individuals, average weight of 340 pounds, and found a lipase enzyme deficiency in their fat cells. This could be explained by the fact that obesity and abnormal cholesterol deposits both have their beginnings in our failure to permit fat pre-digestion of cooked or processed foods in the upper stomach (fundus) due to the fact that the natural lipase content of fatty foods has been destroyed by cooking.

Higher Insurance Premiums

One of the nation's largest insurers, UnitedHealthcare, announced in July that it would start offering employers new policies with higher deductibles for employeeswho smoke, are overweight or have high cholesterol and blood pressure.

Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency is known to be associated in osteoporosis, diabetes, high blood pressure, ‘stroke’, heart disease, depression, body muscle mass wasting, gum disease, & certain forms of cancer. The potential to develop autoimmune conditions such as alopecia areata, vitiligo, psoriasis, & inflammatory bowel disease is believed to increase with Vitamin D deficiency.


Many Americans, particularly African Americans, may be suffering from unrecognized deficiencies of a key nutrient -- vitamin D -- that increase the risk of bone problems and perhaps a host of other diseases, a growing number of scientists say.


One federal study of women nationwide found that perhaps nearly half of African American women of childbearing age may be vitamin D deficient.


Many cancers, most notably breast, colon and prostate cancer, seem to increase the farther you get from the equator, where exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun is greatest. The highest rate of prostate cancer is among African Americans.

Calcium/Vitamin D Slows Weight gain

May 14, 2007  WebMD News– Calcium/vitamin D supplements slow postmenopausal weight gain in women who aren't getting enough calcium.

The finding comes from a detailed, seven-year study of more than 36,000 U.S. women aged 50 to 79 enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative. Half the women took 1,000 milligrams of calcium and 400 international units (IU) of vitamin D every day; the other half took identical-looking, inactive placebo pills.

The study proved what many have learned from experience: After menopause, women tend to gain weight until their mid-60s.

"This study clearly demonstrates what happens to women over time. The most weight gain was in the youngest postmenopausal women," Kaiser Permanente researcher Bette Caan, DrPH, tells WebMD.

But the study also showed that calcium/vitamin D supplements slowed this weight gain -- particularly among women who weren't getting enough calcium to begin with.

"Women not taking enough calcium were getting the greatest benefit. They were 11% less likely to gain weight and more likely to remain weight-stable or lose weight," Caan says. "The effect was not cumulative: Women got the benefit after three years, and then were able to maintain that benefit."

This is good news for women, says Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

"The neat thing about this study is there may be a very easy little thing women can do to prevent some of that weight gain after menopause: Keep their calcium up," Bonci tells WebMD.

Caan and colleagues report the finding in the May 14 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.


Gabe Mirkin, M.D.


The July, 2002 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that 42 percent of African American women have low blood levels of vitamin D. Compare this to only 4.2 percent in Caucasians. That means that African Americans are ten times more likely to suffer from vitamin D deficiency than Caucasians. Lack of vitamin D interferes with immunity and a person's ability to kill germs and cancer cells.

Did You Know?

  • Compared to the general public, African-Americans have a higher risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and vascular dementia.
  • More than 40 percent of African-Americans have high blood pressure and are at risk for stroke, which can lead to greater risk for developing Alzheimer’s.
  • African-Americans, as a group, are at greater risk for heart disease and stroke.
  • Every year more than 100,000 African-Americans have a stroke. 
  • Having high cholesterol increases the risk for stroke and may increase the risk for Alzheimer’s
  • 80% of type II diabetes related to obesity
  • 70% of Cardiovascular disease related to obesity
  • 42% breast and colon cancer diagnosed among obese individuals



African Americans are most likely to develop high blood pressure and other chronic diseases than any other racial or ethnic group. For example, high blood pressure:


  • Tends to be more common and more severe
  • Happens at an earlier age
  • Is a leading cause of death for people with type 2 diabetes
  • Is the major reason why African Americans are 8 times more likely to develop kidney failure than Caucasians
  • Is a major reason why African Americans die at an earlier age

There may be a link between diabetes and Alzheimer's disease...

Several new studies suggest that diabetes increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, adding to a store of evidence that links the disorders. The studies involve only Type 2 diabetes, the most common kind, which is usually related to obesity.

The connection raises an ominous prospect: that increases in diabetes, a major concern in the United States and worldwide, may worsen the rising toll from Alzheimer’s. The findings also add dementia to the cloud of threats that already hang over people with diabetes, including heart disease, strokes, kidney failure, blindness and amputations.

But some of the studies also hint that measures to prevent or control diabetes may lower the dementia risk, and that certain diabetes drugs should be tested to find whether they can help Alzheimer’s patients, even those without diabetes. Current treatments for Alzheimer’s can provide only a modest improvement in symptoms and cannot stop the progression of the disease.


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