Fri 7 Oct, 2011 07:51 am
I have a question regarding a sci-fi cure for obesity.
Let's assume I’m the average 27-year-old male human.
It is well-known that the small intestine contains enterocytes which absorb substances -- such as carbohydrates from foods -- into the bloodstream. Currently, these enterocytes rely on aerobic respiration [from glucose and oxygen via their supply of blood from capillaries].
Here is where the sci-fi element enters play: the enterocytes of the small intestine develop organelles that rely on solely on homolactate fermentation for energy. Glucose from digested food enters these organelles to provide them with fuel to initiate the homolactate fermentation. Homolactate fermentation does not generate CO2, the patient being treated will not experience any bloating. Each of these organelles converted glucose to lactate at the fastest rate possible. There are also as many of these new organelles as possible without hindering the absorption of nutrients other than carbohydrates. Any simple sugars *other* than glucose [such as fructose and galactose] are digested by these organelles and converted to glucose, which provides energy for these organelles. Any simple sugar -- that would otherwise be absorbed into the bloodstream -- goes through this conversion to glucose. NO amount of glucose or any simple sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream to ANY extent. Equally *important* is that the waste product of fermentation [i.e. lactate] is not at all absorbed into the bloodstream, instead, all of the lactate molecules are pumped out of these organelles and back into the small intestine. These molecules of lactate are then excreted in the stool via the colon.
These homolactate-fermenting organelles do NOT receive any glucose from the blood, but instead feed on the glucose resulting from ingestion of digestible carbohydrates.
If, for whatever reason, these organelles are not receiving a sufficient amount of glucose -- such as if/when the patient fasts -- they don't die or experience any damage to any extent. Instead, these organelles enter a metabolically-inactive [dormant] state. When glucose is again present, these organelles will resume their process of converting glucose to lactate. These organelles only die when the attached enterocyte dies. After the programmed cells death [apoptosis] of the current enterocytes, new enterocytes will germinate. These new enterocytes will keep sprouting those glucose-eating organelles so this conversion of simple carbohydrates to lactate will continue for the rest of my life.
Let's say my small intestine suddenly experiences the above metamorphosis.
In addition, let's say I take part in the optimum/ideal amounts, durations, intensities, and repetitions of strength-training, flexibility-training -- [such as stretching], and body-building exercises with the optimum/ideal amount of rest in between workouts. However, I do absolutely *no* cardiovascular or aerobic exercises.
Let's also say that my diet consists solely of Italian and Indian sweets/desserts along with fruits covered in dairy cream. In addition, instead of eating 3 large meals a day, I eat very many amounts of very small variable-sized meals a day in such a manner that I get the ideal amount of protein per day for my muscular health. Last but not least, the meal sizes vary such that the 1st meal of the day is the largest, and the last meal of the day is the smallest. As the day goes on each meal gets smaller. This routine is similar to the "eats breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper" type of meal plan, except that is involves much larger amounts of much smaller meals.
In terms of water, I also get drink the ideal/optimum amount for health [including muscle strength/size]. I also get the optimum amount of sleep each night and wake up at 5:00 AM each morning.
Now, it's obvious that fruits as well as sweets/desserts of any kind tend to be rather low in protein. This means that if I'm getting the ideal amount of protein from such foods, the result will be an extreme excess of lactate in the colon.
Final note: All the foods I consume are completely natural and organic. They do not involve any entity -- such as pesticides or industrial pollutants -- that would cause them to be considered un-natural or non-organic. No trans fats or margarine either. Lot's of butter and cream, though!!
What will happen if I start and maintain this lifestyle -- in terms of diet and exercise -- after my small intestine goes through the aforementioned changes?
Here are my guesses.
1. Due to lack of glucose in the bloodstream, the body will be forced to use fat for energy and I will eventually lose all of my adipoctyes. The central nervous system will use ketones for energy, as a substitute for glucose.
2. Since body fat will be lost, my breasts will no longer be noticeable when clothed [even men have some amount of visible breast tissue!]. In addition, I will have a hard time sitting due to the absence of fat in my buttocks.
3. My muscle mass will increase -- due to the above diet and exercise regime.
4. Diarrhea due to colonic irritation caused by the acidity of lactate.
What else would happen with me in this Sci-Fi situation? How long would I survive? What disadvantages would I experience other than #2 and #4 of my above guesses?
You'd probably turn green and emit gaseous xenon farts.
Metabolic systems are complex. Probably the only way to know would be to try it and see.
Lets add more functions to these organelles. Let's say they completely prevent the entry of the following substances into the enterocytes:
3. Saturated fatty acids
As soon as any of the above 3 molecules enter any organelle, the organelle channels the undesired molecule out and back into the small intestine to be excreted in the stools via the colon. This will decrease the concentration of cholesterol and LDL in the bloodstream.
My guess is that there would be the following drawback: the resulting molecules of glycerol, cholesterol, and saturated fatty acids -- in the colon -- will cause steatorrhea.