Messages and signals from food: FSP27 and those 15 hours helping you lose weight

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35943344_mDiscovering that certain inflammatory cytokines can lead to insulin resistance and make fat deposition easier has helped us understanding that one of the molecules measured by Recaller and BioMarkers tests, that is, the cytokine called BAFF, can stimulate the accumulation of fat even in normal caloric intake patterns.

Therefore, using these two tests can help towards a better understanding on how to change personal eating habits and limit the level of inflammation, therefore reducing insulin sensitivity and supporting fitness and wellness recovery.

A new open-minded attitude has contributed to these novel aspects (however not yet fully accepted by the entire medical profession) and triggered further research around those signals that our body receives from food and the ways, by which food affects the organism.

Today we know that food can be both a positive and negative trigger of many hormonal, immunological and metabolic stimuli. For these reasons, nutrition research has recently gained an unexpectedly important role, opening up novel unexplored research directions.

The American clinician James Johnson is a great supporter of the alternate-day diet as a tool to maintain a healthy weight (which is characterised by the alternation of very hypocaloric days and normocaloric days). Many of the theories proposed by him since 2006 have been explained as the result of the activation of sirtuin (Johnson et JB al, Med Hypotheses. 2006; 67(2): 209-11. Epub 2006 March 10). This molecule, despite its positive regulatory action on mitochondria, cannot be the sole responsible for weight loss.

The alternate-day diet proposed by Johnson proposed noteworthy ideas and it is quite effective, to the point that the British researcher Johnstone referred to it as one of the possible tools to fight obesity in the International Journal of Obesity (Int J Johnstone A. Obes (Lond). 2015 May; 39(5): 727-733. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2014.214. Epub 2014 Dec 26).

Johnson’s theories have become obsolete and redundant after the discovery of the FSP27 action and the description of the double action played by fasting: indeed, on one side there are the effects produced by a long fasting period (corresponding to the action produced by prolonged hypocaloric diets), while on the other those produced by a short fasting period, with its interesting lipolytic and anti-inflammatory actions.

In an article published on the Journal of Lipid Biochemistry Research, Dr. Vilà-Brau and his research group in Barcelona described the role of short fasting on FSP27 production. This molecule is a fat-mobilizing protein, which increases by 800 times in plasma during the first 15-18 hours of fasting or low-calorie diet, returning to its normal low levels immediately after.

Therefore, short-term fasting or low-calorie control diets trigger lipolysis; however, if fasting and the hypocaloric profile are prolonged, after a short phase of lipolysis the body will start accumulating fat again as soon as it has the chance (Vilà-Brau A et al, J Lipid Res. 2013 Sea; 54(3): 592-601. Doi:10.1194/jlr.M028472. Epub 2012 Dec 6).

Stimulating the production of such fat-mobilizing protein may become a very useful tool for fitness and weight loss management.

In our practice, we have already been applying such approach for two years to treat certain selected cases, by designing well-defined therapeutic pathways.

After having understood which foods should be kept under control by interpreting the results of an individual food profiling, we evaluate the opportunity to introduce two or three days of fasting per week to activate a lipolytic stimulus, by which the production of FSP27 can be boosted.

This way, one can achieve the right balance between fat burning and taste, leaving enough space for real pleasure in food.

Believing on the infamous 5:2 or 500-calorie diets is a terrible mistake. In fact, the only feature of these programs is a caloric reduction in 2 days out of 7, without re-educating the person to food.

Instead, we offer the chance to define a balanced dietary plan, which respects the individual food profile, characterised both by 2 (or 3, in some cases) days of “food caution” and days where it is possible to eat with relative freedom (without exceeding like a gannet), while keeping alive all those positive signals sent to the body by a plentiful breakfast, a balanced intake of carbohydrates and proteins and the food quality.

In the book “Breakfast and brunch to feel well” (2014), we have proposed specific dishes, suitable for all the different types of food hypersensitivity, which are ideal to implement such type of nutritional approach.

Science and knowledge are changing and evolving significantly: today, we understand better the meaning of “message” and “signal” that each type of food may send to the organism. This is an important step, which helps overcoming some strong beliefs supported even by the most informed and progressive nutritionists.

The amount of scientific data describing such dietary approach is remarkable, supporting its strong anti-inflammatory action. On these pages, we will soon publish new insights and practical tips to help anyone navigate through this new itinerary, while enjoying a healthy diet and the pleasure of eating and feeling well.

Scientific in-depth analysis

FSP27 is a molecule involved in lipid droplets formation within the cell. It is indeed a vector carrying fat around without determining fat accumulation or fat mobilization. Such signal protein simply responds to the metabolic cellular status in relation to the type of cell and the cell cycle period.

Those not entirely knowledgeable tend to think of FSP27 only as a molecule involved in the control (downregulation) of the metabolic pathway that uses lipids.

The immediate reduction in fat consumption is linked to the tendency of cells to face a phase of metabolic fate redefinition of their energy reserve, with the consequent block of any unregulated fat consumption for a few hours.

For example, in the early stages of fasting the adipose tissue uses FSP27 to move fat reserves to all body tissues, primarily muscles, which use fat for energy production.

Therefore, the cells expressing FSP27 are not those where actually fat burns, but rather those that trigger the slimming process described in Chaix studies.

It is always important to truly understand how temporally and spatially located is a protein in relation to the results one wants to achieve.