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136 of 139 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excruciatingly detailed diagnosis, a familiar prescription
Five stars for scientific rigor. Three stars for accessibility to the average reader.

Dr. Johnson has written an excruciatingly detailed analysis of how dietary fructose triggers a complex cascade of biochemical events to accumulate fat and reduce energy output. He is not the first expert to arrive at this conclusion, but his book goes into far greater detail...
Published 21 months ago by Amazon Customer

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56 of 66 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Still trying to figure out what to do now......?? Left just as confused..Read before you buy
A bunch of research...great. Facts....great. Understanding of what causes obesity...great. Now spend 1 1/2 chapters at the end to tell me basically there is no cure and no "practical" way to fight and change the mitochondria and uric acid levels without drugs.....and and DRUGS THEY ARE GOING TO BE COMING OUT WITH SOMEDAY IN THE NEAR FUTURE.... Junk. Pointless...
Published 14 months ago by Sondra Marquardt


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136 of 139 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excruciatingly detailed diagnosis, a familiar prescription, December 3, 2012
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This review is from: The Fat Switch (Kindle Edition)
Five stars for scientific rigor. Three stars for accessibility to the average reader.

Dr. Johnson has written an excruciatingly detailed analysis of how dietary fructose triggers a complex cascade of biochemical events to accumulate fat and reduce energy output. He is not the first expert to arrive at this conclusion, but his book goes into far greater detail than any I have read on the precise physiological mechanism by which fructose causes us to pork up.

Physicians, dietitians, researchers and others with an affinity for chemistry will love this book. But if you're looking for fresh ideas on how to lose weight, you may be disappointed. In fact, you may stop reading long before Johnson ever gets around (in chapter 21) to offering familiar advice on how to avoid or reverse the fructose effect: fewer starches & simple carbs, less sugar & artificial sweeteners, more veggies and prudent exercise. Sensible stuff, but hardly radical.

What sets Johnson's book apart is not his prescription but his diagnosis -- and the depth with which he explains a biochemical basis for the epidemic of obesity in the United States.

A book that is sure to fascinate the technically minded, but overkill for the lay reader.
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77 of 78 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Verbose but valuable, November 23, 2013
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This review is from: The Fat Switch (Kindle Edition)
More of a scientific treatise than a how to book. i skipped whole chapters whose sole purpose was to convince you the author is an expert on the topic.

Chapter 23 DOES provide a solution, do Atkins for two weeks to jump start your motor than keep your carbs to 30%, keep sugar to less than 5 teaspoons a day, avoid all sugar except for on holidays this includes avoiding dried fruit and juice. Stay away from fructose unless its a whole piece of not too sweet fruit. Drink coffee, Drink lots of water. Read food labels. Eat a small square of 70% dark chocolate everyday. Increase consumption of vitamin C (up to 500 mg), vitamin D and antioxidants. Eat fat, eat protein and dairy. Do 5 minutes of exercise first thing in the morning in an empty stomach, using the HIT method of 30 seconds full speed and 30 seconds medium speed to decrease your insulin resistance. For more on this google the key words "Can three minutes of exercise a week help make you fit?" Add in yoga, weight lifting and cardio in moderation. Get therapy.

All of the above and more are backed by studies.

What this book didn't mention: I would like to add eat fresh veggies and lots of them. From other books I've read and from personal experience I can tell you that fresh or frozen organic veggies are the fountain of youth. See the books by Dr. Perricone but don't get suckered into his expensive topical creams and such.
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58 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why we gain weight, November 15, 2012
This review is from: The Fat Switch (Kindle Edition)
The Fat Switch offers a very readable explanation of why we gain weight. In particular it explodes the myth that putting on the pounds is all about how many calories we take in vs how much we work off with exercise and metabolism. Instead the book shows that fat storage is regulated by a metabolic switch. For example, many animals gain weight depending on the season or their lifestyle; this is regulated by their genetics.

The books has lots of good information for anyone who wants to understand what they need to do to shed the pounds. Ultimately, the message is a fairly familiar one: sugar and other refined carbs are the most important mechanism that turns on our fat switch (via insulin). Therefore, a diet that avoids these foods should be the most helpful.
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67 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars obesity, an epidemic of the affluent, January 8, 2013
This review is from: The Fat Switch (Kindle Edition)
Take the Foreword:

"Survival of the fattest was the key to survival and still is for many animals during certain times of the year. Species that could improve their ability to store fat had the best chance to survive during times of famine. The last century however has brought advances that provide an abundance of food to the bulk of Western cultures. The virtual elimination of starvation and famine threats has caused genes that previously served to extend the survival of the species to actually become detrimental to our health."

This book "The Fat Switch" is nothing less than remarkable. I could
not put it down. One one occasion I read all night and got zero sleep.
It is one of those rare masterpieces that rarely comes along.

While the book is called "The Fat Switch" it could have been called "Obesity by Design" as the author Richard Johnson, M.D. explains, obesity is built into all animal genomes, including human genomes, planning for that rainy or famine day. Take what the author says about the country Nauru. Taken from the Preface:

"The remote island of Nauru lies in the Pacific Ocean and is one of the tiniest countries in the world. Separated from other islands by hundreds of miles, it was not colonized until hundreds of years ago when people of Micronesian descent reached the island by boat. A small island of only 7.7 square miles (20 square kilometers), the people survived on fish, breadfruit, coconuts, beach almond, paw paw, and the Noddy bird. The sparse life resulted in the people suffering intermittent starvation. The island was insulated from the world until the early 1800s, when Europeans first visited its shores. Initially the European presence was minor, but a major transition began in 1906 when rich phosphate rock was discovered on the island. By 1922 a large company began mining, providing royalties to the Nauruan landowners. The Nauruans suddenly became wealthy, and would buy the western foods brought in by the ships. One of the favorite foods was sugar, and by 1927 the average intake of sugar was reported to be a pound per day.
For the Nauruans, who had suffered from intermittent famine, obesity had always been viewed as desirable. It was a custom to fatten women to make them more attractive. With the onset of new wealth, however, obesity increased to levels never before observed, and diabetes appeared for the first time. The first case of diabetes was reported in 1925, and the second case in 1934. During World War II the island fell under control of the Japanese, and consumption of sugar fell--many of the native people were sent to the island of Truk where they had limited food supplies and even starved. Following the war, however, the Nauruans returned and by 1968 were collecting royalties amounting to $37,500 dollars per year per person, and with this they resumed their love of sugar and western foods. As they became rich, they hired laborers to work in the mines and they became progressively sedentary. Cars were brought in so the people could drive for even the shortest distances on the small island. Obesity and diabetes soared. Even today, with the exhaustion of the phosphate mines and a much more shaky economy, the Nauruans maintain the honor of being the most obese people in the world, with over 90 percent of the adult population overweight or obese, and with more than one-third with diabetes.
Unfortunately, the story of Nauru is not new in history. Dramatic increases in obesity and diabetes have been seen with the introduction of western culture time and time again. Examples include the Native American Indians, the Maori of New Zealand, and the Australian Aborigines. It is also not peculiar to indigenous peoples. Today obesity is occurring in all peoples, especially among the young. It does not matter whether you live in Tibet, Mongolia, or the Amazon. Wherever western culture is being introduced, obesity and diabetes are increasing."

It seems that all genomes have acquired the ability to prepare for the eventual famine that is sure to become a reality. In all genomes (brought about by mutations) is a switch that gets turned on and
gets turned off. The switch (the fat accumulation switch) gets turned on by a biochemical switch (it appears in humans the biochemical switch is always turned on). The switch in animals when turned on causes the animals to preferentially shunt energy from food into fat. And in man due to a biological change in humans rather than human culture the shunting of food into fat seems to always occur (the fat switch is always turned on). In humans the fat switch seems to normally be turned on, hence obesity. The author explains that the reasons for the fat switch to always be turned on in humans is due to the ingestion of high glycemic foods such as sugar, fructose (which the author seriously maligns) and simple carbohydrates. Consequently to avoid obesity, avoid these foods. And of course the author recommends exercise. But doesn't just leave it there, explains that epicatechin, a substance found in cocoa, can generate new mitochondria, the energy portion of the cell. As well epicatechin may block the effects of fructose and hence avoid obesity.

But the cost of the book was highly understated when Dr Johnson told the story of the Kuna Indians off the coast of Panama. It seems they drink five (5) cups of cocoa a day, have very low blood pressure, and according to other sources of information have virtually eliminated cardiovascular disease, cancer, insulin resistance and type II diabetes. The information on cocoa and the Kuna Indians could be priced at several thousand dollars.

Want to avoid obesity, drink lots of sugar free cocoa.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, December 28, 2012
By 
Joe Doolin (Sandy, UT United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Fat Switch (Kindle Edition)
I was quite perplexed reading a couple of the reviews. In fact, I found the book to be groundbreaking not as a "how to" book on preventing obesity but instead as a keen historical analysis of the "history" of obesity and the factors causing it. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, finding it to be an excellent balance of science and history. This book should appeal to both the scientist and the layperson with little background in chemistry. Dr. Johnson seems to be on to something here, especially when discussing the impressive findings of how uric acid levels may be leading to obesity. The discussion on how to prevent obesity is excellent but really not the only reason to buy this book. Highly recommended.
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56 of 66 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Still trying to figure out what to do now......?? Left just as confused..Read before you buy, July 17, 2013
This review is from: The Fat Switch (Kindle Edition)
A bunch of research...great. Facts....great. Understanding of what causes obesity...great. Now spend 1 1/2 chapters at the end to tell me basically there is no cure and no "practical" way to fight and change the mitochondria and uric acid levels without drugs.....and and DRUGS THEY ARE GOING TO BE COMING OUT WITH SOMEDAY IN THE NEAR FUTURE.... Junk. Pointless information and a big infomercial basically for whatever they are about to sell us. All the hype over this book has about "simple ways to reverse and turn off fat switch"....yet I'm still left wondering what to do besides what I've already tried. Low carb and exercise....which by the way, this book tells you that you can't live on forever and your fat will come back. Save your money and join a gym...and stop eating sugar. I just saved you $20. Really disappointed in MERCOLA for promoting this type of book that is trying to sell drugs.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Landmark Work, March 27, 2013
This review is from: The Fat Switch (Kindle Edition)
As a physician with 50 years of clinical and research experience, I have no hesitation in stating that Johnson's "The Fat Switch" is a work that should result in major changes in how physicians and laypeople view the subject of obesity. Looking back over the last 20 years of my medical incursions into the arena of understanding a saner approach to dietary advice, and especially considering my specialty of oncology, I now add to my list of key books The Fat Switch. For those who might be curious about the earlier books they were The Anti-Inflammation Zone by Sears, The Antioxidant Revolution by Cooper, The Fast Diet by Mosely, Wheat Belly by Davis, and now The Fat Switch.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes a lot of sense, February 1, 2013
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This review is from: The Fat Switch (Kindle Edition)
The author meticulously works his way through the history of Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome. His thesis makes a lot of sense in explaining the place of Fructose and Uric Acid in switching on the bodies demand for fat storage. All serious "health nuts" should read this book. Those who want a lesser read, but still want to understand why they are overweight, will benefit from just reading the summaries, and learn the author's recommendations on how they can overcome their weight problems.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dr. Johnson details how Fructose causes obesity, June 23, 2013
By 
Cal Page (New Hampshire, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Fat Switch (Hardcover)
This is one of the books you must own if you are a serious foodie. In an easy to follow way, Dr. Johnson details how Fructose triggers metabolic pathways in our body to store fat. The book connects our evolutionary past when food was scarce through today, when it is not. Then, our ancestors needed to be able to store fat to survive. Fructose, scarce then, was this biological trigger that caused this biochemistry in our bodies. Today, unfortunately, we have learned how to refine Fructose, and add it to 80% of the foods in the supermarket. Since our biochemistry hasn't changed that much, this same Fructose triggers our body to store more and more and more fat.

I was disappointed Dr. Johnson didn't touch on the Paleo Nutrition plan. Paleo cuts out all refined Fructose, and only allows limited fruits (which contain some natural Fructose). Paleo also cuts out grains and legumes to prevent leaky gut (which triggers the inflammation response) which again the Doctor did not touch on.

So, it's 2013, and you want to lose weight? Fortunately, the science is coming together. Unfortunately, the political system in the US still advocates Fructose consumption. More fortunately, you can ignore the bad advice from the FDA, and go with what works. After reading this book, (and a few Paleo books), you will be able to put yourself on a nutrition plan that will make you thin and healthy again.

You can buy the book new from the Mercola web site at a reasonable price. Amazon needs to get off the stick and get it back in print at a reasonable price. This book deserves to be on every book shelf.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book has ALREADY changed my life., February 8, 2013
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This review is from: The Fat Switch (Kindle Edition)
I am still reading this book, but it is VERY refreshing to have a real SCIENTIST
explain that being too fat has NOTHING to do with GLUTTONY or SLOTH.

Looks like cheap corn syrup and cheap sugar beets have exacted a HUGE toll
on Americans and also ENABLED the drug companies and insurance companies
to "cure" the resulting catastrophes.

I just figured out that if leptin is working properly there is no need for an individual to
to COUNT CALORIES because the biochemistry for this process to be done automatically
has already been developed over four billion years of evolutionary R and D.
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The Fat Switch
The Fat Switch by Richard J. Johnson
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