Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Can a Magnet Help You Lose Weight?

Can a Magnet Help You Lose Weight?

According to a new study, it can. A noninvasive electromagnetic brain stimulation technique, called Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (dTMS), is capable of changing the composition of the bacteria in the gut. This technique has been found to reduce food cravings and induce weight loss in obese people. The process involves placing an electromagnetic coil on the scalp which sends magnetic pulses to specific regions of the brain. Scientists have discovered that one underlying cause of obesity is an imbalance of the digestive track’s microorganisms. This improper mix of beneficial and harmful bacteria is known to impair the brain’s signals for hunger and satiety. This electromagnetic brain stimulation can potentially solve this imbalance.



In a study funded by the Italian Ministry of Health, 14 obese individuals were assigned to be a part of either an experimental group or a control group. The experimental group received 15 dTMS treatments over a five-week period, while the control group received 15 sham stimulations over the same five-week period. After the experiment had ended, those receiving dTMS treatments lost more than 3% of their body weight and more than 4% of their fat. Also, an analysis of their fecal matter showed a significant increase of beneficial bacteria with anti-inflammatory properties. These changes in bacterial species correlated with improved metabolic and hormonal measures such as glucose, insulin, and many pituitary hormones. The control group showed no changes in their microbiota composition nor any changes in their weight or fat percentages.

Does this mean that all it takes to lose a few pounds is sending magnetic pulses to the deep regions of your brain? With the help of dTMS, maybe. Once the results of this study are presented this Sunday at ENDO 2017, I’m sure additional research into deep transcranial magnetic stimulation to solve the obesity epidemic will take off.


Posted by Caitlin Lohr (2)


13 comments:

  1. It is interesting how an imbalance in gut bacteria can cause so many detrimental effects in humans. It is also amazing how with just some brain stimulation the individuals lost 3% of their body weight without any diet or exercise changes. I wonder how stimulating the brain can change your gut microbiome?

    Posted by Sierra Tyrol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! I am very interested in how it actually works too. I think I'll keep updated through the summit and see if it's explained in any more detail!

      Posted by Caitlin Lohr

      Delete
  2. It isn't a shocking statement to say that a lot of the world is obese. Obesity has been an epidemic within the United States, and I'm willing to bet other countries, for quite some time now and even though all it takes is some motivation, a little exercise each day, and eating the right foods, it is still tough for people to stay healthy. Obviously there are numerous factors involved, such as socioeconomic level and possible diseases not allowing people to exercise and get the right food, but it is great to see another technique being used to help with weight loss. One question i did have was, is there any side effects of using this stimulation to regions of the brain? For example, has it caused any seizures or tumor growths? Hopefully not because any way for people to lose weight in a healthy way is important!

    Posted by Nicolas Baltayan (group A)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It honestly is shocking to look at the statistics involving obesity. It truly is the epidemic of the century. I agree this technology is a breakthrough, and so far no side effects have been noted. But, it was a small study for only 5 weeks... so I think more tests will have to be done before we can say it isn't dangerous!

      Posted by Caitlin Lohr

      Delete
  3. Wow! who knew that something as simple as a magnet could possible fix the growing rate of obesity! I find it interesting how scientists recently discovered the cause of obesity could be linked to the digestive track’s microorganisms and brain signals. Who knew? I definitely didn't! However, I'm kind of a skeptic because this discovery is fairly new and only a handful of people were tested. Also, Nicolas' (comment) made a great point about possible side effects! Im sure not all these kind of questions are answered because the results of the study hasn't been presented yet! Time will tell!

    Posted by Angela Driscoll (group A)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree! It was shocking to read because I had no idea the microorganisms had anything to do with fat! But yes, more research certainly has to be done before we can declare it truthful or harmless! It will be exciting to see how it all unfolds!

      Posted by Caitlin Lohr

      Delete
  4. Technology just gets more and more advanced! I feel this is a very useful technique for weight loss because as Nicolas said, a lot of different factors come into play when you're trying to lose weight. Some obese people are just not in the position to even exercise because it's just physically impossible for them. I think this provides a much simpler solution to help get them on the right track to start off weight loss. And from there, they can begin other techniques.


    Posted by Natalie Nou (group c)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree! There are many physical and psychological factors that play a role in obesity, and its certainly not easy... or there wouldn't be an epidemic! But this could be the miracle a lot of people have been waiting for! A way to finally lose the weight they couldn't seem to lose themselves.

      Posted by Caitlin Lohr

      Delete
  5. I find the bacteria in your gut to be so interesting and really instrumental for our day-to-day lives. I wonder if this magnet has any side effects down the road. I have heard of your “gut instinct” and I am wondering if this noninvasive magnet would mess up that natural instinct that people get or if that is just all superstition! I also think that this shows how important it is for people to watch what they eat as it has such an impact on how we feel, behave and act. I think that the brain-gut connection is such a powerful one and would love to do some more research on it! Overall very cool post with very interesting research!

    Posted by: Kate Masterson (Group C)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha I think "gut instinct" is just a metaphor for knowing something "deep down" or "in the pit of your stomach". I'm pretty sure it doesn't have anything to do with your actually gut! And yes I agree, it really is fascinating! I can't wait to see how the presentation of this new technique goes!

      Posted by Caitlin Lohr

      Delete
  6. I'm curious as to when we'll see this become a common practice. And I'm even more curious to see how it will be regulated under our health care system. I imagine it being immensely helpful in making weight loss more affordable. Obesity is highly prevalent amongst people below the poverty line, so treatment options for their condition are narrow and expensive. That being said, I can unfortunately foresee insurance companies labelling it as "cosmetic surgery" or something to that effect and then not covering it.

    Posted by Owen Mulledy (C)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thats a very good point. I'm sure, at first at least, this will be unbelievably expensive. And I do truly hope that they will lower the price once it becomes more common. Obesity truly is a medical issue and shouldn't be down played to a "cosmetic" issue. I hope everyone will be able to afford such a wonderful opportunity.

      Posted by Caitlin Lohr

      Delete
  7. Well the big secret here that most people don’t know about is that laundry detergent is just one way of getting clothes clean but the powerful forces of magnetism is another. It’s so simple and yet something you might see in a Sci-Fi movie. Magnetic Laundry System Reviews These are not your regular fridge magnets these magnets are at least 390 times stronger, they are like the hulk of magnets.

    ReplyDelete