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Why does Dr Oz think hurting your wrist will stop you from eating a cracker?
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Judith J Wurtman, PhD posted:

I nearly fell off the treadmill when Dr. Oz, whose program was beamed on the overhead TV screens in the gym, proclaimed that snapping a rubber wristband against the wrist would stop the need to eat cookies.
"I would like to see a premenstrual woman zooming in on a piece of chocolate, suddenly stop, snap the wristband and then settle for a celery stick," I muttered to myself as I resumed my running. "She is more likely to turn the wristband into a slingshot to be used against anyone like Dr. Oz, coming between her and chocolate."
Dr. Oz should know that a craving for carbohydrates is generated by the brain, not the taste buds, and is as natural as feeling thirst when the body needs water. Thus snapping a rubber band against the wrist to stop cravings is about as effective as hitting your head against the wall when you are thirsty and trying not to drink.
The thirst and the cravings are signals from our bodies to do something. Thirst is a demand that we drink to increase our blood volume. Carbohydrate craving is a demand that we eat something sweet or starchy because the brain needs to make serotonin. However, unlike thirst, the craving for carbohydrate is often accompanied by deterioration in mood. Studies we carried out at MIT many years ago found that when people had an urge to eat carbohydrates, they were usually stressed, irritable, angry, depressed, cranky, distracted, tired or impatient or all of the above. These moods of course, reflect a change in serotonin activity or levels.
Dr. Oz should also know the following. Serotonin is made after any non-fruit carbohydrate is eaten and digested. Insulin is released and the pattern of amino acids in blood shifts to allow tryptophan to enter the brain. Tryptophan is converted to serotonin very quickly and serotonin levels increase in the brain. This discovery was made in the early l970's.
I agree with the prohibition against eating carbohydrates that are greasy or high in fat like fried batter, chips, doughnuts or other sweet or starchy fatty foods. The brain doesn't want the fat; it wants you to eat carbohydrate. Whether you choose to eat the carbohydrate in the form of a healthy whole-grain food such as Multigrain Cheerios or a high-fat, sugary food like a candy bar is another matter. All that the brain requires is that you consume about 30 grams of carbohydrate and—this is important—that the carbohydrate food is low in protein. Protein prevents tryptophan from getting into the brain. (Fructose, the sugar in fruit and in many sugary drinks, is the one carbohydrate that does not lead to serotonin production.) Carbohydrate that contains large amounts of fat, such as cookies and ice cream, are digested more slowly than fat-free carbohydrates so it takes the brain a longer time to make serotonin.
Just as we lose our thirst after drinking water, we lose our cravings after serotonin is made. And as an added benefit, those unpleasant moods we experienced along with our cravings are replaced by a decrease in stress and an increase in calmness, energy, focus and patience. Of course, if people are prevented from eating carbohydrates by wristbands or given inaccurate advice as they were on the Dr. Oz show, the cravings don't go away. Instead, they will seem to take on the form of an addiction. We all know that when we are terribly thirsty, all we can think about is how and when we can drink. When the brain needs to make serotonin, the cravings can become just as insistent.
And who has the worst, most insistent carbohydrate craving? Women with PMS. The saying, "I could kill for chocolate," is, one hopes, not based on reality but there are plenty of anecdotes of women braving hurricanes and blizzards to get their carbohydrates when they have PMS.
We studied the food choices of women with severe PMS who stayed in the MIT Clinical Research Center at the beginning and end of their menstrual cycle. These normal-weight women increased their calorie intake by more than 1100 calories daily when they were premenstrual—and the calories came entirely from carbohydrates.
When we discovered that inadequate serotonin activity was behind their food cravings and their premenstrual moods, we tried treating these symptoms by giving the women a fat- free, protein- free carbohydrate beverage twice daily. We reasoned that if serotonin could be increased with a small amount of carbohydrate, then perhaps these women could feel better without resorting to drugs or herbal supplements. The carbohydrate intervention worked extremely well; not only did the women feel significantly better, they also were able to control their appetite.
So I would suggest to Dr. Oz that he reconsider the use of snapping wristbands to decrease carbohydrate craving and look to the brain instead. When the brain wants carbohydrates to increase serotonin, neither wristbands nor will power is going to prevent someone from doing what the brain wants. Of course, the carbohydrate craver should be encouraged to choose healthy carbohydrates and remember that only 30 grams, not thirty cookies, have to be consumed.
But the payoff is worth it. A lot of carbohydrate cravers are going to be much happier after their cravings are satisfied—and their wrists won't be sore.

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Jis4Judy responded:
Hi Judith I saw that show and I believe he wasn't hurting his wrist it was a wrist band to use as a reminder to lose just 10 pounds it had 10 pounds written on it ..
DR Oz has some good info but occasionally he make a really bad error I saw one about the risk of strokes I think it was and he had the wrong info on of all things cholesteral numbers
he is a heart specialist .. he had this board all written up
and it said your LDL should be higher than 100 and your HDL should be lower than 50 the lower and higher where in the wrong places Lol
so yes info can be wrong even from doctors ...
Hugs Judy:)
Sw 247 Cw 153ish remember the gold isn;t in the prize it is in the journey! life may not be the party we expected but while we are here we may as well dance!
 
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Jis4Judy replied to Jis4Judy's response:
One more thing a reminder can help in staying on plan
while I was starting my journey I wore a ring my birthstone amethyst I hope I spelled that right. and I used it to remind myself I was on a life changeing mission to make myself healthier. looking at the ring every day helped..

Hugs Judy:)
Sw 247 Cw 153ish remember the gold isn;t in the prize it is in the journey! life may not be the party we expected but while we are here we may as well dance!
 
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Judith J Wurtman, PhD replied to Jis4Judy's response:
Dear Jis4Judy, Medical experts on t.v. have to have their facts straight and your experience with his cholesterol misinformation and mine with his misinformation about why people crave carbohydrates in inexcusable. He or his producers simply don't know simple neurochemistry: serotonin is made after eating carbohydrates. People who are emotional overeaters are using carbohydrates to make themselves feel better . Of course they should not be eating icecream or cookies to do this; there are many very low fat carbohydrates which can be eaten instead. And the wrist band is hardly a substitute for cravings that come from the brain. He is very popular and I think we both would like to see him use his popularity to have all of us better informed, not scatching our heads and wondering where the misinformation came from.
 
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bec318 replied to Judith J Wurtman, PhD's response:
Awesome article Dr. Wurtman! I was on a research mission to help my husband tackle today's high cholesterol diagnosis but I am so happy to have stumbled upon this as well. Honestly, I am a 38 yr old woman who has had horrible PMS since I first started getting my period. I am not tragically overweight but carry some extra pounds around my middle...I am also an avid reader, a most-of-the-time healthy cooker, eater, exersizer, but I beg, WHY could my gynecologist not give me this type of information when I keep telling her I am battling my weight with emotional eating, horrible PMS etc? So instead I go to therapy for emotional eating and now I see if I can just make a more appropriate choice in the carb category, I'll be (almost) fine?! 30 grams?! Yahoo! thank you, and I WISH this type of info could be put on billboards so my fellow females could stop suffering. We're all mothers, professionals, wives, daughters, etc--a full plate for all of us and yeah, those cravings can really get the best of you if you don't know what you're doing. So PLEASE without further ado, what was the shake you gave in the MIT study?! It could yield serious profit and I will be your first customer!!
 
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Judith_J_Wurtman replied to bec318's response:
I am terribly sorry at the long delayed response. My computer or something eradicated my ability to enter this web site until now. RE:PMS. We did have a marketable product, well not me but a company was selling it retail. It was called PMS escape. But the company had financial problems from other sources and could not support the sales so the product disappeared. You can eat your way through PMS though. Do this. Eat all the nutritionally rich foods in the morning and for lunch and then by mid afternoon, switch to carbs. Have a low or no fat carb snack by 2 or 3 pm, a carbohydrate dinner, and another carb snack mid evening. For suggestions, look at the snack ideas and meal ideas in The serotonin power diet. Remember that the new serotonin which will take away the PMS symptoms will be made for only about 3 hours so you have to dose yourself again with the carbohydrates when the mood swings come back. But you will be very much relieved of the emotional pain of PMS if you do this.


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