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Hydrolyzed gelatin use in diet

A weight-reducing diet heavily promoted in the past required the daily intake of "liquid protein" (soup of hydrolyzed gelatin), water and an assortment of vitamins. All other food and drink were to be avoided. People on this diet
typically lost 10-14 lb in the first week.

(a) Opponents argued that the weight loss was almost entirely water and would be regained almost immediately when a normal diet was resumed. What is the biochemical basis for the opponents argument?

(b) A number of people on this diet died. What are some of the dangers inherent in the diet and how can they lead to death?

Solution Preview

(a) How do we address the issue about weight loss vs. water loss. In part, it's true. When we diet, we lose water. How come? Many diets result in the loss of fat -- which is a good thing. And when fat is hydrolyzed and oxidized, water is produced in the process. This water will be expelled from the body -- no doubt about that. Therefore, when the diet is stopped and the individual begins to eat "normally" again, he will regain the fat and, with it, the restored amount of water that he originally lost.

But here's another factor, which is probably more relevant. This diet is a "no-carb" diet, right? That means that ...

Solution Summary

This solution explains dangers involved in liquid protein diets.