This week, we got Bostonia Magazine from Boston University where Dirk went to grad school. There's a piece in the issue by Barbara Moran entitled, "Why We Are Fat: A med biochemist says the obesity epidemic is not just about calories. It could be the chemicals."
In the article, the work of biochemist Barbara Corkey takes center stage. Her thesis? That food additives like saccharin and emulsifiers are one of the reasons we're fat.
This is not a radically new assertion, but Corkey's science is solid. She asserts that food additives and other environmental factors play a role in biochemical changes that can lead to diabetes and obesity. Her work reveals that monoglycerides and saccharin stimulate beta cells to produce insulin at the wrong times. This causes hardship for cells to take up glucose which causes diabetes.
Corkey is realistic in her assertions. She doesn't isolate one really bad additive, but she does think there are a handful of problem additives that could be removed from the food supply. The profile of Corkey is also deep and interesting as it highlights her duality as a scientist and painter.
I have long thought that chemical additives have had to play a part in obesity and illness in general. This is hopefully the beginning of some deeper, more meaningful research in to what we put in our bodies that can change what we put in to our food supply.