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‘It’s like my body flipped a switch and started storing fat,” lamented my husband Patrick as he stood in front of the mirror. “Ever since I turned 35, the battle of the bulge has turned into a rout. Gut 1, Patrick 0.”

My search for a workable solution — Patrick is a tough nut when it comes to diets, though he is exercising more of late and cutting carbs — led me to Dr. George Scheele, a La Jolla resident. Scheele is a medical doctor and nutrition expert.

“Many people today suffer from metabolic syndrome, which occurs as a result of dietary imbalance,” said Scheele. “The syndrome is associated with eight degenerative diseases — the first is overweight disorder, then high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar. Then you have type-two diabetes, cardiovascular diseases (heart attacks and strokes), four kinds of cancer (breast, prostate, colon, endometrial), osteoarthritis, and finally, gall bladder disease. All this is basically because people eat too many carbohydrates. That’s partly because it’s the cheapest food and also because the food industry keeps throwing sugar into everything to make it taste good.” Further, he said, “We don’t get enough protein.”

But, according to Scheele, there is protein and there is protein. “Healthy cells contain proteins that span the entire charge spectrum — from negatively charged proteins to positively charged. Protein health means that there’s a balance between negatively charged proteins and positively charged proteins. This is essential for core body health because the 25,000 proteins in the body are its worker bees.” Scheele said that those proteins helped reset and maintain the body’s metabolic pathways — the proper functioning and interaction of its various organ systems.

“Under conditions of protein deficiency,” continued Scheele, “the synthesis of negatively charged proteins continues, but the synthesis of positively charged proteins is greatly diminished, and this impairs cell function, causing further disease. All foods made in bulk in nature contain negatively charged proteins — things like whey, soy, casein, and egg white. And when we get meat at the store, it’s usually muscle, which is also mainly negatively charged proteins.” And when you eat negative, you end up making negative. “Unless, of course, you eat like your grandparents did — tripe, kidney, or stomach. You get much more of a protein balance from organ meat, but people don’t eat all that much of it anymore.”

What determines the whole positive/negative charge of a protein is the dominance of positively or negatively charged amino acids attached to it. “You could make up for a positively charged protein deficiency by eating protein with an overall negative charge,” but you’d have to eat huge amounts, and that would mean a massive caloric intake. So Scheele came up with an easier way: Factor4 Weight Control, a nutritional and weight-loss shake that provides, among other things, the essential amino acids “that correct protein deficiency.”

“The body needs 20 amino acids,” explained Scheele. “Eleven are nonessential — meaning our body makes them — and nine are essential — meaning our body doesn’t make them, and we must get them from our diets. As we age, there are two things that prevent us from getting those essential amino acids: we fall into poor eating habits, taking in lots of carbohydrates and less protein-rich food, and also, the aging process interferes with the digestive process, leading to further deficiencies in amino acids and positively charged proteins. I call this the food-chain gap.” According to Scheele, Factor4 Weight Control, which contains essential or “power” amino acids, corrects the amino-acid deficiency, closes the food-chain gap, and rebalances the charge spectrum of protein health.

The benefits of what Scheele calls “supercharged protein health” are many, but they begin with energy replenishment and fat loss. “By the end of the first week, you have more pep and energy. By the end of the first month, your clothes fit better. In a weight-loss study that we did on 25 subjects with chronic overweight disorders, 24 lost weight. One group lost between 20 and 30 pounds. I myself lost 25 pounds in six months with no meal replacement or struggles with portion control.

“The power amino acids,” said Scheele, “reset the metabolic pathways, and that’s why you get more pep and energy. [Plus, it burns calories.] They can even improve mood: three of those amino acids are direct precursors to neurotransmitters in the brain. Two of them are dopamine and serotonin, which are related to pleasure. This means they can also relieve stress, anxiety, mood swings, and depression. Because they reach the brain within minutes, the amino acids also signal the brain’s appetite centers that the body is well fed, and that leads to feelings of comfort, satisfaction, and well-being.”

And of course, overall health and correct functioning within the body mean less susceptibility to viral sickness. “I used to get three viruses a year. But I’ve been using Factor4 Weight Control for two and a half years, and I don’t get sick anymore.”

To help explain the science behind Factor4 Weight Control, Scheele has been giving a series of free lectures at the Riford Community Center in La Jolla on issues of core body health and weight loss. The last (August 13 at 7 p.m.) is entitled “Anti-aging Health: Living Longer with Improved Quality of Life.” I asked about the anti-aging part. “Well,” he said, “with Factor 4, hair and nails grow twice as fast, and skin has more blood supply and elasticity. These things lead to a more youthful look.”

Factor4 Weight Control is available at factor4health.com for $29.95 for 30 servings. For more information, call 888-870-3438.

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