Study for Month April, 2010

 The Original Diet

 

(The Natural Laws Study, Part III)

 

By Nathaniel Fajardo

Whole Gospel Ministries

A Bible and Spirit of Prophecy-based Ministry

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“Junk Food Addiction May Be Real”

To those who are familiar with, or better yet, practice the health reform included as “the right arm the third angel’s message,” I am here reprinting a recent Yahoo.News item, updated March 29, 2010, that simply reaffirms this truth. Its emphasis misses the real nature of the problem because it suggests that it is the “brain’s rewards system making addiction-like adaptations” that makes obese people “almost powerless” to indulge even more on junk food.

This is what it misses but what Bible students understand: (1) To indulge appetite—of mind and flesh—was, in fact, Satan’s very first temptation that Eve and Adam yielded to that caused their fall. And “the wages of sin is death.” Rom. 6:23.

“Sin, however small it may be esteemed, can be persisted in only at the cost of [both temporal] and eternal life. Adam and Eve persuaded themselves that in so small a matter as eating of the forbidden fruit that there could not result such terrible consequences as God had declared. But this small matter was sin, the transgression of God’s immutable and holy law, and it opened the floodgates of death and untold woe upon the world. [Rom. 5: 12, 14, 17, 19]. Age after age there has come up from our earth a continual cry of mourning, and ‘whole creation groans and travails together in pain’ [Rom. 8: 22] as a consequence of man’s disobedience.”That I May Know Him, p. 255.

(2) the continued failure to heed God’s Word that “we are fearfully and wonderfully made” and “that our body is the temple of the God.” Thus, Satan has a free and clear path to continue targeting the sinful propensities and weaknesses to presumptuously indulge wrong habits and perverted tastes–a transgression of the principles of God’s moral and natural physical laws that unfailing rewards the transgressors with its dire consequences. It, of course, fails to emphasize the simple truth that it is the continual sinful indulgence that leads to bad habits and then the so-called “brain addiction.”

See Yahoo.News, updated March 29, 2010 (emphasis mine):

“Obese people often say they’d like to eat less but feel almost powerless to stop indulging and now new research suggest that explanation might be all too true.

The theory stems from a study in rats. When the researchers give the rats unlimited access to a kilojoule-laden diet of bacon, pound cake, candy bars and other junk food, the rats quickly gained lots of weight. As they plumped up, eating became such a compulsion that they kept chowing down even when they knew they would receive an unpleasant electric shock to their foot if they did so.

Meanwhile rats fed the equivalent of a well-balanced, healthy diet –and given only limited access to the junk food—didn’t gain much weight and knew enough to stop eating when they received the cue that a foot shock was imminent.

Even more startling, the researchers report, is that when they took away the junk food from the obese rats and replaced it with healthier chow, the obese rats went on something of a hunger strike. For two weeks, they refused to eat hardly anything at all.     They went into voluntary starvation,’ said study author Paul Kenny, an associate professor at Scripps Research Institute at Jupiter, Florida. So what might this say about human behavior?

 

‘Rewarding foods’ change brain’s reward system

       Researchers aren’t certain if the results apply to people struggling with their weight. But they say it’s possible that a diet heavy in highly rewarding foods—quite literally, sausage, cheese cake and other highly processed foods—might cause changes in the brain’s reward system for satiety.

   When that goes awry, the result is not only that people gain weight, but that they feel compelled to seek out more junk food. The findings were published online in Nature Newroscience.

When the researchers looked at the obese animal’s brains, they noted there were declines in the dopamine D2 receptor that previous research has implicated in addiction to cocaine and heroin.

“A hallmark of addiction is that it leads to changes in how the brain’s rewards system works,” Kenny said. “Addiction is a loaded term, but in this case, there is evidence of addiction-like adaptations.”

When researchers artificially suppressed the receptor using a virus in the brains of other rats, those rats started eating junk food compulsively. “What we think is happening is that, as you become obese over a period of time, the D2 receptors go down, which plays a major role in becoming a compulsive eater,” Kenny said, noting that there are almost certainly other factors at play as well.

 

Cupcakes vs. illicit drugs

      There also could be something in the accumulated fat itself that alters the brain’s reward threshold, setting up a “vicious cycle” of overeating yet not feeling satisfied said Pietro Cottone, an assistant professor in the Laboratory of Addictive Disorders at Boston University School of Medicine.

The only way to return to normality is probably dieting for a long period of time to lose the body weight and not eating junk food, Cottone said.

This isn’t the first study to find commonalities between the brain’s reaction to cupcakes and illicit drugs. An earlier study by Cottone and his colleagues suggested that weaning rats off a high-kilojoule diet might lead to similar, though not identical, effects in the brain as withdrawing from drugs and alcohol.

 

In that study, researchers gave rats regular diet for five days and then switched them to a chocolate-favored food that was high in sugar. When deprived of the sugary food, they showed signs of anxiety and their brains acted as if they were withdrawing from alcohol or drugs. The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

 

‘Huge conundrum for humans’      

     In the current study, the rats were raised on healthy foods, but their preferences quickly shifted when offered junk food. Throughout the day, they snacked and nibbled rapidly bulking up. And the more they gained, the more they ate.

“That poses a huge conundrum for humans,” Kenny said. “It shows you how powerful this behavior can become.”

Dr. Julio Licinio, director of the John Curtin School of Medicine Research at the Australian National University, called the study answers, “one of the many missing pieces in the puzzle of obesity and addiction.”

“Now that is clear that areas of the brain involved in addiction and also involved in obesity, the next question is: why do those areas become dysregulated in some people but not in others,” Licinio asked.   “And importantly, why do some people who have a biological tendency towards addiction go to drugs, while others go to alcohol, and others to food.” (HealthDay News, March 2010).”

  

Let’s start from the bottom with the last question, and then work upwards:

 

  1. “Why do some people who have a biological tendency towards addiction go to drugs, while others to alcohol, and others to food?

 

First, we must reckon with the unbending law of heredity. Since the fall of mankind’s first parents, sinful propensities and tendencies have been transmitted to all their children. These have accumulated particularly through ill-advised and hasty and marriages, strengthened by practice as influenced by culture and family upbringing, perpetuated down through the generations and family trees to each following generation by their parents—unless the buck stops somewhere. If not us, then who? if not now, then when?

That is why there have ever been two lines that emanated from Adam—the righteous line, and, the wicked line—one through Abel (the first victim of hatred against God’s people) and replaced by Seth; the other from Cain, the first murderer, vagabond, and city-builder. Not that any of them were born already righteous or wicked, as in the false doctrine of predestination, but that by omniscience, God revealed that two general classes of mankind would develop till the end—the obedient and disobedient. One would be a distinct line of God-fearing, law-keeping people in contrast to the line of self-worshippers and idolaters of every kind. One class is the true followers and agencies of God on earth, the other of Satan. One line is called “the children of disobedience” and “darkness,” the other “the children of light and truth.” Each is known by their “fruits.”

As I stated earlier, quoting a genome scientist, “It is genetics that loads the bullets; environment pulls the trigger.” There is nothing one can do about the genes he inherited from his parents but there is certainly much he can do to control his internal and external environments. Internal here refers to educating the mind and making decisions according to conviction, not inclinations. External has to do with the extension of this internal conviction like resisting to read, watch or go to places where he becomes more vulnerable to yielding to his weaknesses and bad habits. This is the struggle that all overcomers will have to experience by the grace of Christ. He claims and acts on the promise: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

No surprise therefore that those with inherited tendencies for addiction turn to either drugs, alcohol or……food! And by food it invariably means “junk food.” It’s hard to say which is worse: an alcoholic, a drug addict, or a food junkie. The Word of God calls all intemperance—lack of self-denial, self-sacrifice, and self-discipline. In the spiritual sense intemperance is self-worship for it indulges self-centered, selfish desires, thus “another god,” —the opposite of the crucifixion of self, as Christ modeled for all.

 

“Why do those areas [of the brain] become dysregulated in some people but not in others?”

 

There are other factors as recognized by the researchers but the explanation we just considered are a central part of it. Improvement of the race is not by “natural selection” but by conversion and sanctified choices according to the plan of salvation of the gospel.

 

“A huge conundrum for humans.”

 

A conundrum, says Webster, is “a kind or riddle or puzzling question, of which the answer is a pun or involving a pun; and unanswerable or purely speculative question. It is synonymous to enigma.” These questions are not unanswerable but explainable according to the plan of redemption. The only thing “puzzling and enigmatic” is this: Man was the crowning act of creation—the only rational being created with this faculty after the angels. When animals, who, having no intelligence as man does, including the inanimate waves of the sea obey the voice of the Creator, it is truly amazing how man chooses to doubt and disobey God, even rebelling against His requirements which were made for his own welfare and happiness! Satan is the author and father of rebellion.

 

“Though raised on healthy foods, the preference quickly shifted to junk foods when offered. Throughout the day they snacked and nibbled, rapidly bulking up.”

 

Sounds familiar? Are we talking or rats or human beings? Isn’t this also an extension, rather, and expansion of the meaning of the “rat race”– to see who gets sick quicker and dies faster and earlier by and from indulging unsanctified appetites—otherwise known as gluttony? Countless millions of graves have been dug, not by backhoes and spades wielded by grave-diggers but by human mouth and teeth!

 

“When deprived of the sugary foods, (and junk foods), the rats showed signs of anxiety and their brains acted as if they were withdrawing from alcohol and drug.”

 

This, of course, was after the regular, good diet was shifted to a chocolate-flavored food high in sugar—a terrible diet. This is not rocket science but Bible science which we should have known from the very beginning without having to wait all these years and spend billions of research dollars and untold man hours all of which could have been spent on a more worthy cause!

(to be continued)