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Health Risks Linked to Long Term Weight Loss

It might sound a little paradoxical to be told that there are actually some health risks that are linked to long term weight loss, but researcher have found some!

If it wasn't enough that being overweight and clinically obese were bad enough for your health, a new study has found that long term weight loss may actually be toxic to your health as well with complications such as dementia and cancer to content with.

Loss of Fat Not the Problem

POPs and long term weight lossBut it's not the fat loss in itself that causes the health problems. The study showed that levels of persistent organic pollutants (or POPs), which are organic compounds made by man and used in the making of pesticides and drugs, were the culprits in this case.

These POPs tend to accumulate in human tissue when ingested through food or medications. They have been linked to many different types of medical conditions and illnesses, which includes disruption of such of the body's systems as the endocrine, reproductive and immune systems, as well as promoting dementia and some forms of cancer.

The reason that the involvement with weight loss is an issue is because these POPs become stored in fat tissue since the body cannot naturally eliminate them. During the weight loss process, the fats are used by the body, releasing the POPs back into the bloodstream, where they cause the most health problems.

In the study, the association between changes in weight and the serum concentrations of seven identified POPs was measured by researchers. They followed the lives of 1099 Korean adults all of whom were over the age of 40 for a 10 year period.

The results of that study found that of the seven POPs to commonly occur in adults, there was a significantly higher serum concentration in those people who had overall lost weight over that ten-year period, whereas it was found to be lower in those who had overall gained weight in that period.

The most worrying suggestion to come from the study is that a long-term reduction in body size and mass could be directly associated with elevated levels of POPs in the bloodstream, which could have the effect of causing damage to internal organs in the body. These results are not in themselves conclusive and it is still far more dangerous to health to be very overweight or obese, meaning that if your doctor recommends you lose weight, then you should still follow that recommendation.

Go Organic

Upon hearing the evidence revealed by the study, the first thought that came to mind is to do something to prevent these toxins getting into the body to begin with. We can do this to a certain extent by eating organic foodstuffs wherever possible instead of intensively farmed produce.

While there it is still permissible to use certain chemicals on organic crops, these generally fall into the category of low toxicity insecticides and those that do not enter the plant matter but are washed off with water. Which of these are actually used on certain organic farms is down to the discretion of the farmer.

Having grown much of my own fruits and vegetables over the years, I tend to avoid using chemicals at all to fight off pests, instead preferring to use nature's own deterrents in the practice of companion planting. This is where planting different species of crops together keeps most of the pests at bay because they either get confused by the scent of plants they don't like masking that of those that do!

But that's the subject for another article. Watch this space!


Posted on Fri, 01 Oct 2010 in News | 1 Comments

1 thoughts on "Health Risks Linked to Long Term Weight Loss"

flat abs says:

The one thing that I remember is the way that my body used to look years ago but then my life slowed down and I gained weight along with a beer belly. Man, I totally want to lose this body fat and get slim and fit again fast.