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Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014
Health & Fitness

Can you reprogram your fat cells?


Published:

When Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 billion, we wondered how a simple communication app (maybe it’s not so simple) could be worth more than half of all the NFL teams combined. (The average NFL team is worth $1.1 billion.) But it’s easy to underestimate the value of something if you haven’t seen it in action.

A couple of years ago, published lab research revealed that mice secreted a hormone during exercise that reprogrammed their adipose tissue (fat cells). This allowed the critters to burn calories at a souped-up rate even when they were resting. We were a little skeptical that the results would apply to humans, but what’s improbable yesterday ...

Turns out you, too, can turn on fat cells so that they burn instead of store calories. Say hello to irisin — a powerful anti-aging hormone that helps you achieve a younger RealAge. It’s released from skeletal muscle and turns white fat cells into metabolism-boosting brown fat cells, after you’ve stopped exercising.

For example, the calories burned while following our walking program don’t account for all the weight loss and improvements in glucose and lousy LDL cholesterol levels. The irisin afterglow contributes to the added health boost.

To get your bonus boost, try our complete 12-week walking program at www.sharecare.com. You can start slowly. Week one is 15 to 20 minutes, two to three times a week, and you’ll build up to 30 to 60 minutes, four to six days a week. You’ll be amazed at how easily you earn your burn. And that’s worth MORE than any app!

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The chances of hitting a trifecta — that’s betting correctly on which horse will finish first (win), second (place) and third (show) — are slim, but the payoff is huge. A $2 bet on the trifecta at the Kentucky Derby last year paid $6,925.60. Not bad. But putting your $2 toward three winning probiotics — Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and Lactobacillus reuteri — well, that delivers a payoff every day.

Making sure you have the right balance of these good-for-you bacteria in your intestines (that’s where they live!) can help you lose weight, lower cholesterol and reduce your risk for Type 2 diabetes and its complications while keeping your cardiovascular system healthy. They thrive in foods you love (really!), and you can take them as supplements.

Lactobacillus acidophilus is in probiotic yogurt and fermented soy products like miso and tempeh. Most often thought of as a digestive aid, it’s also good for treating vaginal yeast infections.

Lactobacillus rhamnosus acts as anti-inflammatory in your gut and helps fight obesity and insulin resistance. You can enjoy it in probiotic yogurt, fermented soy and fermented milks. Remember: Dairy products help probiotics survive through stomach acid, but make sure you choose non-fat, no-added-sugar dairy.

Lactobacillus reuteri reduces lousy LDL cholesterol and your risk of coronary heart disease. You can get it in supplements, and it’s in breast milk (just FYI) and even chewing gum designed to control dental plaque and gingivitis.

We’re betting this lacto-trifecta will show you good bacteria in the right place and that’s a big health win!

Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.

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