Bacteria Water: Could it be the next great frontier for Gatorade?

The bottled beverage market is a massive billion dollar industry.  But what would happen if we figured out a way to put modified bacteria that expressed factors known to inhibit weight gain and thwart metabolic disorders into beverages? Imagine, Bacterioade from the makers of Gatorade.  Guaranteed to rehydrate you while it fills your intestines with biosynthesized bacteria known to decrease appetite and help you lose weight. 

Research published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation last year showed that by putting genetically modified E. coli Nissle 1917 bacteria into the drinking water of obese mice for eight weeks researchers could reduce their fat, lower their food intake, and decrease their insulin resistance even while they were fed a high fat diet!  What was even better is the results were sustained for six weeks after the study concluded.  The E. coli bacteria had been genetically modified to produce a naturally occurring lipid called a NAPE which is known to have potent appetite suppressing effects.

Imagine the surge in McDonalds stock when people can head up to the counter for a value meal and order a Bacterioade so they don’t have to worry about weight gain.  Hooray for science!  

Chen et al, 2014: Incorporation of therapeutically modified bacteria into gut microbiota inhibits obesity.  The Journal of Clinical Investigation, 124(8): 3391-3406.  


Want to build muscle? Check out ten great mass building foods!

Tired of spending hours in the weight room with little to no muscle gain to show for it?  If you are like a lot of people we know you are not doing anything wrong in the weight room, but, you might be losing the post workout nutrition battle. 

Hungry Forever asked strength and conditioning experts every where for some insight into the problem.  My addition was an after workout tuna fish concoction I believe can enhance your health and build your body all at the same time.  Check it out in the attached link.   The ideas are sure to help you pump up your workout nutrition and get you started back on the path maximum muscle gain.

Why could Hollywood fix heart disease faster than the American Heart Association or any academic, medical, or government institution?

February is American heart month, sponsored by the American Heart Association. 

What can we expect? 

Let’s see.  We will be presented with the obligatory heart disease statistics like 1 in 4 deaths occur from heart disease.  We will see experts paraded on TV, on radio, and in print publications talking about diet, exercise, stress reduction, salt intake, and all the other preventative things we could be doing.  Then, after a great deal of build-up, much like an 18-year-old girl on prom night, we will all be left feeling unsatisfied and indifferent.

Attention medical authorities everywhere:

If you want to help with disease prevention, stop being you. 

Stop pointing the public to dry disease statistics.  Stop with the boring associations and esoteric calculations.  Stop with the fancy jargon and government agendas.  Instead, start thinking more like Hollywood and less like Ivy League.

No one reading this article would question the idea that if the public began exercising daily, started making better nutritional choices, and learned to manage levels of stress, we could save billions of dollars in medical expenses and reduce the financial burden that is threatening to bankrupt our nation.  However, the argument as to how we can best go about initiating a model of disease prevention, rather than a model of disease treatment, is a topic of great debate. 

I argue that people in Hollywood would be much better able to accomplish this objective than many university or medical professionals.  Why? Because Hollywood professionals know how to emotionally engage people by telling a story.  Movie producers know that to sell their movie they must hook people into a story line, get them to personally identify with the characters, and then take them for a ride that helps them explore the entire spectrum of human emotion from the character’s perspective.  Hollywood sells stories that offer emotional connection, agitation, and release(Incidentally, this is the same formula advertisers use to sell you things every day: connect – agitate – solve.)  At the extreme other end of the scale, universities and medical professionals sell disease prevention strategies by presenting disconnected facts and mind-numbing statistics. 

Hollywood makes people engage and act;

statistics make people daydream and desire cheeseburgers.

So how could universities and medical providers learn from Hollywood and create a message people would not only want to listen to, but on which they would also take action?  The answer: create a story that has a problem and is easy to connect to, agitate the problem, and then offer a solution.  But Brian, you say, how would a university or medical institution perform such an outlandish task?  We are composed of academic researchers and medical professionals.  We deal with liability and serious matters of life and death.  We do not have time to waste on storytelling.  Well then my friends, I say keep spending money on new drugs and better procedures, because we sure as hell are not going to make a dent in the problem with preventative strategies until we can emotionally engage with the public and lead them toward action.

How do we do it?  Easy. Get Tom Rinaldi, the reporter from ESPN, to be in charge of the message.  Every Saturday during college football season, Rinaldi does a story about some gut-wrenching/heartwarming story that engages the audience.  And, every Saturday as I sip my Michelob Ultra I pretend to have something in my eye when I start to tear up over his story.  Please understand I am not the exception here.  This is an audience comprised largely of men who are at least a few drinks in by the time his clip comes on, and they are mostly engaged in a pseudo warfare mentality fraught with masculine cultural symbols and traditions.  In other words, this is not a group of modern metro-sexual men who are ready to talk about their feelings and hold hands like they were getting ready for the next band at Woodstock.  Still, I have seen entire rooms full of men and women quiet down and engage emotionally in the lives of the real people involved in Rinaldi’s segments.

The ultimate lesson we can take from reporters like Tom Rinaldi and Hollywood movie producers is that people do not connect with statistics.  People connect with stories.  If our goal is to influence human behavior by incorporating preventative strategies we know will work, we must engage people on the human level and lead them by the hand to a solution.

Will it be messy to deal with “people problems” including adherence and monitoring?  Yes.  People are always messy.  That is what makes them so frustratingly beautiful.  But will emotion always trump cold hard facts and warnings when it comes to getting people to engage and begin to act?  You’d better believe it.  (At least until the singularity…look it up R2-D2.)

So my simple message to all my friends in academia and in medical institutions everywhere is to learn to be a good story teller.  If you are in a position to be able to persuade people and influence their decision making, you are by definition a sales person.  And if you are a sales person, you must learn to influence by telling a good story.  

By learning to emotionally engage with your patients and the public through stories, they will become primed and ready to take action when you tell them what lifestyle interventions they need to make.  The public needs medical leaders who can break down the walls that separate academia and medical entities from the masses.  The public needs head coaches to trust in and help guide them through their journey.  You have the knowledge and the motivation to affect so many people. All you are missing is a good story.





Can scientists turn on brown fat cells and ramp up your metabolism to burn off excess fat? New research suggests it may be possible.

Not all fat cells are of the "love handle" and "saddle bag" variety.  Scientists have long known about two unique kinds of fat cells simply termed "brown" fat and "white" fat.  When humans and other mammals are infants, we come packaged with a host of the brown fat cells you can think of as little energy burning furnaces.  This brown fat is located primarily on the upper back and helps with body temperature regulation by releasing heat through chemical breakdown.  White fat, on the other hand, is best thought of as a little Ziploc bag that locks in excess energy from past birthday cakes and prevents us from starving to death on Sundays when Chick-fil-A is closed.

Researchers have long been curious about whether brown fat cell stimulation could be used as a mechanism of fighting off the growing obesity problem and the associated health consequences of being over weight.  We have known for some time that the prevalence of brown fat decreases as we age.  However, recently scientists have discovered brown fat is still present in adulthood and that leaner people may tend to have more brown fat stores than obese individuals.  The pertinent question remains whether there is a way to kick this fat back into high metabolic action.  

Exciting news came from researchers at the University of Bonn who recently reported in the journal Nature that it may indeed be possible to both stimulate brown fat cells and "brown" white fat cells.  This is exciting news for people who dream of a pill that literally burns calories while they sleep.  Though a clinical application is still a long way off, the data does provide new understanding of how brown fat cells work and a potential line of plausible research for extracting its ability to fight obesity.  

The question for continuing to wait for a fat busting pill going to be your salvation from obesity?  Maybe.  But until they perfect this potent fat fighter let's focus on the litany of side effect free benefits provided by exercise, whole food nutrition, and other proven healthy lifestyle modifications.  If you start today by the time the FDA approves the pill you will have already solved your own problem.  

Check out Science Daily's account of the article at: