Obesity: pre-programmed before birth? [video]

September 14, 2009 at 2:52 pm | Posted in Video | 3 Comments

Anyone who read this week’s excellent Newsweek article on explanations for increasing rates of obesity in babies might be wondering what the biological processes are behind this trend. (Anyone who read our own piece on this last week will appreciate the extra detail.)

This video lecture explains how chemicals can cause the body to develop more fat cells. It focuses on tributyl tin (TBT), a fungicide and anti-fouling treatment, which may already be in humans at levels sufficient to interfere with the way fat cells are laid down.

UPDATE: Unfortunately the video is no longer available.
We are looking at ways we might be able to resolve the issue.

Also worrying is the suggestion that TBT is actually a more powerful synthetic hormone than the natural ones which regulate fat deposition in the body.

One pre-natal dose of TBT makes mice permanently fatter.

One pre-natal dose of TBT makes mice permanently fatter.


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  1. Other factors that should be considered are excitotoxins e.g. aspartame, the artificial sweetener, and monosodium glutamate, the flavour enhancer. Both dock on the same receptors in the brain, causing cravings for carbohydrates. Aspartame breaks down the blood-brain barrier, allowing toxins directly into the brain. Microwaves from mobile phones and masts have the same effect and they elevate the cortisol levels.


    Search for “microwaves and obesity” You’ll find more information on aspartame in: “Direct and indirect cellular effects of aspartame on the Brain … European Journal of Clinical Nutrition Effects of aspartame on the brain P Humphries et al”


  2. If you have any references for the effects of aspartame on the blood-brain barrier, it would be very helpful if you could provide them.

    Also, I couldn’t see links to studies concluding that EMF breaks down the blood-brain barrier and elevates cortisol levels.

    The aspartame paper is interesting – thanks for pointing us to it.


  3. Here’s a search result blood-brain barrier/aspartame:
    Recent advances in blood-brain barrier transport

    WM Pardridge – Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology, 1988 – Annual Reviews
    … Table 1 Blood-brain barrier nutrient and thyroid hormone carriers’ … use of the new
    nonnutritive dipeptide sweetener, aspartame (aspartylphenylalanine methyl …
    Cited by 141 – Related articles – All 4 versions

    Blood-brain barrier carrier-mediated transport and brain metabolism of amino acids

    WM Pardridge – Neurochemical research, 1998 – Springer
    … 39. Pardridge, WM 1986. Potential effects of the dipeptide sweet- ener aspartame
    on the brain. … Phenylalanine transport at the human blood-brain barrier. …
    Cited by 82 – Related articles – BL Direct – All 3 versions

    Phenylalanine transport at the human blood-brain barrier. Studies with isolated human brain …
    – ►jbc.org [PDF]
    TB Choi, WM Pardridge – Journal of Biological Chemistry, 1986 – ASBMB
    … mild postprandial hyperphenylalaninemia as- sociated with aspartame intake (12,
    13). Quantitative estimation of the K,,, of blood-brain barrier neutral amino …
    Cited by 56 – Related articles – All 3 versions

    Mechanisms of disease: the blood-brain barrier

    EA Neuwelt – Neurosurgery, 2004 – journals.lww.com
    Skip Navigation Links Home > January 2004 – Volume 54 – Issue 1 > Mechanisms of
    Disease: The Blood-Brain Barrier. … Mechanisms of Disease: The Blood-Brain Barrier. …
    Cited by 99 – Related articles – BL Direct – All 5 versions

    [PDF] ►An overview of the multiple functions of the blood-brain barrier

    AL Betz – … of Drugs to the Brain and the Blood-Brain Barrier – bib1lp1.rz.tu-bs.de
    … A perspective from the blood-brain barrier. Physiol Rev 63: 1481-1 535, 1983. Pardridge,
    WM Potential effects of the dipeptide sweetener aspartame on the brain …
    Cited by 28 – Related articles – View as HTML – All 13 versions

    The blood-brain barrier and glutamate

    RA Hawkins – American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2009 – Am Soc Nutrition
    … Ultrastructural cytochemistry of blood-brain barrier endothelia … acid concentrations
    in normal adults fed meals with added monosodium L-glutamate and aspartame. …
    Cited by 28 – Related articles – All 3 versions

    Effects of aspartame and glucose administration on brain and plasma levels of large …
    – ►ajcn.org [PDF]
    H Yokogoshi, CH Roberts, B Caballero, RJ … – American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1984 – Am Soc Nutrition
    … Introduction Aspartame (L-aspartyl-L-phenylalanyl methylester), a synthetic dipeptide
    ester … with phenylalanine for transport across the blood-brain barrier (1-4 …
    Cited by 42 – Related articles – All 7 versions

    Neurochemical changes following high-dose aspartame with dietary carbohydrates.[letter]

    RJ Wurtman – New England Journal of Medicine (USA), 1983 – fao.org
    … amino acid levels that compete with phenylalanine and tyrosine across the
    blood-brain barrier. The results of 1 experiment showed that aspartame almost doubled …
    Cited by 58 – Related articles – Cached – All 5 versions

    Possible neurologic effects of aspartame, a widely used food additive.
    – ►nih.gov [PDF]
    TJ Maher, RJ Wurtman – Environmental Health Perspectives, 1987 – pubmedcentral.nih.gov
    … Coadministra- tion with aspartame of the LNAA valine, which com- petes with
    phenylalanine for passage across the blood- brain barrier (4,21),protected mice …
    Cited by 30 – Related articles – All 12 versions

    Effect of aspartame-derived phenylalanine on neutral amino acid uptake in human brain: a …

    RA Koeppe, BL Shulkin, KC Rosenspire, LA … – Journal of neurochemistry, 1991 – interscience.wiley.com
    … KEYWORDS. Amino acid transport • Phenylalanine • Aminocy • clohexanecarboxylate •
    Aspartame • Positron emission tomography • Blood-brain barrier. …
    Cited by 8 – Related articles – All 4 versions

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