Yo-yo Dieting Decreases Immune Function

A recent article published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association (June 2004) gave yet another reason to avoid the weight loss/weight gain cycle of dieting. The repeated changes in weight are a stress to the body, and stress has a number of negative consequences.

In this study, women were interviewed to determine their pattern of weight loss/gain over the previous 20 years. In addition, the health of their immune system was assessed through the activity of immune system cells called natural killer cells (NK). These cells play an important role in everything from preventing colds to fighting cancer.

The researchers discovered that women who had lost and regained 10-or-more pounds more than one time over the previous 20 years had a suppressed immune system. Most strikingly, those who had lost weight more than 5 times had natural killer cell function that was one third less than someone whose weight had remained stable over the same period.

Undertaking diets or using supplements that promise quick weight loss may shed some pounds in the short term, but supporting health means that weight needs to remain stable over many years. The practitioners at Nature Cures Clinic have expertise in designing diet and lifestyle programs that optimize weight while at the same time optimizing overall health and vitality. In addition, therapies such as acupuncture, massage, hypnosis and physical medicine can be used to support individuals in making these changes as enjoyable as possible.

Call the clinic for more information or to schedule a consultation about weight loss.