Zosimo T. Literatus, R.M.T.

Breakthroughs

DURING my college days, I used to join classmates or boardinghouse mates in a round of drinks during weekends while watching basketball games, usually NBA, on the small screen.

But what I have noticed today is how fatty foods—such as stewed pork, beef soup, and peanuts—have become the favorite pulutan (a snack to go with your drink).

We simply believe that the alcohol in our drinks can effectively dissolve the fat in our food and flush it out of our system.

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A study last month and reported in “Alcohol,” however, explained the biological reasons more clearly.

Jessica Barson—and her colleagues of six from the Department of Psychology and Princeton Neuroscience Institute (Princeton University in New Jersey) and the Laboratory of Behavioral Neurobiology (Rockefeller University in New York)—confirmed that high-fat hunger increases with an increased intake of alcohol (nine percent ethanol).

The team also noted an interactive effect wherein for a similar intake of alcohol during the study period, triglyceride (TG) levels increased by 172 percent among those who had high-fat diet and 111 percent increase among those with low-fat diet.

When the team administered a lipid-lowering drug gemfibrozil at a dose of 50 mg per kilogram of body weight, TG levels dropped by 37 percent and ethanol intake reduced significantly.

In addition, the drug also dropped the activity of orexigenic peptide, a substance in the hypothalamus that stimulates consumption of ethanol and fat.

Barson confirmed that “these results support the existence of a vicious cycle between ethanol and fat, whereby each nutrient stimulates intake of the other.”

As ethanol and fat act synergistically, she explained, TG levels also increase causing a surge in the orexigenic peptides that promotes further consumption of ethanol and fat. And this cycle goes on and on to the point of saturation, whereby the person either vomits or takes a drunken sleep.

In light of the recent visit of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (who vowed to support the Philippines in its fight against insurgency), we turn to former US President Franklin Roosevelt. He spoke of a better cycle that may as well be looked into in the coming 2010 election: “There is a mysterious cycle in human events. To some generations much is given.

Of other generations much is expected. This generation … has a rendezvous with destiny.” A wise choice of a president in 2010 will either make or break this rendezvous with destiny. E-mail: zim_breakthroughs@yahoo.com; blog: http://breakthroughs.today.blogspot.com)