An association of doctors, named AMPAS, is born to shake some dormant consciousness and to discuss “aloud” (possibly asserting every statement with solid scientific basis) about how much the basic concepts of diet have changed in the last 15 years. The founding members are 12: internists, immunologists, gastroenterologists, specialists in pulmonary diseases, orthopedists, general practitioners, nutritionists, psychiatrists, dentists, cosmetic surgeons, anesthetists, acupuncturists (and already pediatricians, cardiologists, specialists in food science have joined as ordinary members), every day on the front line with their patients, looking for ideas and methods to treat and heal.

For more information on the association, a few lines below is the letter of Dr. Luca Speciani outlining its principles and objectives

Letter from Dr. Luca Speciani, President of AMPAS

The sense of impotence that every professional feels when a diet suggested to a patient does not get results, or at least not in the long run, is terribly frustrating for both the professional and for the patient being treated, and often leads to issues ranging from eating disorders (fasting, anorexia, bulimia, vomiting) to the compulsive search for the latest fashion diet (even if heavily unbalanced) or the last medication that escaped the controls or prescribed by complacent figures.

This situation is no longer acceptable. Or at least it’s not anymore since new scientific data are available that – starting from 1994 when Friedman discovered leptin – provided us biochemical bases and tools to understand how the setting based on calories counting or nutrient percentages was far too simplistic to achieve stable results in complex diseases such as overweight and obesity. A series of very important molecules, such as the adipokine, leptin, adiponectin, resistin, or CCK enterochines, ghrelin, PYY, GLP-1, were discovered in cascade in the following years. And their hypothalamic interferences with the satiety centers (NPY) and with the centers of activation of the entire metabolism have gradually become clearer, being able to regulate thyroid, sexual system, adrenal gland, mood, musculoskeletal system, inflammation. All this has completely revolutionised the way we see and understand the science of nutrition.

Understanding that a different, balanced diet, studied on the basis of these new principles, can have such a profound influence on us, also means understanding the therapeutic power of these changes. Learning how to stimulate thyroid activity through a diet means – for example – to reduce the dosages of hormone replacement therapy. Stimulating ovarian activity with a diet can mean to report menstruation to those who have lost them (perhaps after a low-calorie diet) or regularise a heavy, irregular and painful cycle that causes anemia, hopefully avoiding the “regulatory” administration of the contraceptive pill or other hormonal “bombs”. And understanding how keeping blood sugar low in a resistant insulin patient with nutrition and fitness can effectively prevent the serious damages caused by diabetes on our body.   These are just some examples of how the new molecules (and their dynamics in response to food) can strongly influence not only fattening and weight loss, but also our relationship with drugs and health in general.

Of course, any diet – even the most busted – gives some timid results in the first weeks, if the patient goes from “wurstel and fries, with aperitif, wine and dessert” to a more controlled regime. And this gives a false feeling of security and tranquility to those who prescribe low-calorie diets, which may represent a first mode of action for those who have long been in a high-calorie regime. But most patients that today a professional sees are very different and come to the medical studio after having tried several diets, different regimens, and after having often regained all the previously lost kilograms in a short time. To deal with those patients, you must really know how to interact with hypothalamic signals, and have biochemical and metabolic knowledge that was not available until 15 years ago. And we need reliable tools that allow us to analyse in a distinct way the changes in fat mass, muscle mass, retention water, without which we grope in the dark.

For several years now, we have been working with GIFT Diet and its principles to restore health and a healthy weight of our patients, but it’s now time for a further step, we should spread knowledge in our society, our schools, our municipalities of residence, our administrations. We need to “contaminate” with our knowledge the largest possible number of environments, so people can understand that it is possible (and above all that it is not difficult) to be healthy, and alsoz to prevent fattening and related diseases. This means making contact with local administrations, schools, hospitals, company canteens, research institutes, to address to small and concrete behaviors with a preventive value, in light of the new paradigm that is slowly emerging.

Recently, in Italy, we had the first food vending machine installed according to our guidelines, and we immediately received many requests for other interventions in other locations. We wonder why, for example, in public canteens, in schools and hospitals, there are meals with refined cereals (bread and white pasta) served instead of the whole grain ones that have been described in scientific literature for decades as healthier and able to lower the risk of subtle pathologies, like colon cancer, constipation, colitis, diverticulosis. We wonder why we should still make use of hydrogenated fats, which are being gradually banned in many other European countries for their documented harmfulness, and which are nonetheless generously placed in almost all the morning cookies for our children. We wonder why it should be allowed to add white sugar to all the children’s food, when it is more than documented its effect on fattening also and especially at an early age. Who really knows the hypothalamic dynamics of response to these foods must fight for their fast removal. We are also here to spread this knowledge to those who still – guiltily if operating as a professional in the sector – ignores them.

Considering these unjustified behaviors, the need arises for an association of physicians who can guarantee with strength, and with the power of multidisciplinarity, the scientific solidity of our principles, spreading as much as possible the knowledge of these concepts, and their transformation into real operations. No specific intervention is required for now. At the moment we only want to “count” ourselves and give a strong signal to those who read or listen to us, that we are not alone. You do not need to operate in the GIFT Network or be a Signal Doctor to join: the association goes further, and its aim is to spread and make known. Each member will offer his active contribution as he deems  appropriate, when it feels right to get into action. In the meantime, however, he will have given his presence and visibility to the project.

Someone has asked us why making an association of physicians, and physicians only. The individual contributions to the project as a whole are open to all (we have created the figure of the “supporting member”, which has no title restriction, although it does not have the right to vote), but the AMPAS was also created with the specific purpose of representing a medical-scientific interface able to communicate at high level with institutions, providing the necessary justifications and expressing the necessary authoritativeness also towards third parties. All the other figures, precious for their contribution (pharmacists, biologists, nutritionists, graduates in Motor Sciences or in Nursing Sciences, food technologists, naturopaths, dietitians, physiotherapists, osteopaths), but also third parties or individual citizens,  can work with suggestions, actions, initiatives, involving the association through its president and benefiting – where the initiative is approved – of the scientific value of the association.

Article. 2 of the statute (translated from Italian) states:

The association aims to associate all the medical professionals who, although coming from medical training areas of various kinds, are interested in social and individual problems of nutrition and want to work to:

  • Give disclosure and spread to the scientific bases of a signal diet, whose biological and therapeutic effects are expressed through signals of regulation of the hypothalamus against fat mass, muscle strength, body water.
  • Encourage the research and diffusion of new data and new information on everything related to a signal supply.
  • Promote the use of diet and lifestyle as therapeutic tools to be combined with ordinary therapies for any pathology that can directly or indirectly benefit, limiting the use of drugs wherever possible.
  • Become a qualified medical group of guidance towards institutions, companies, schools, families, political groups, other associations, professional associations, disclose the concepts of body signals and facilitate its application to everyone, regardless of trade marks or economic interests.

Becoming a member is easy. You just need to send an email to the president and founder saying that you agree and adhere to the basic principles of the association and reporting their data in this order:
– Name and surname, date and place of birth, residence
– Operational office, telephone, e-mail (all communications are made via e-mail or facebook, where a special group has been made)
– Possible specialty, registration number of doctors.
Registration is completely free. The real cost is the strong and concrete adherence to the association’s aims, which are few but clear. Upon receipt of the subscription email, a number is assigned, and the member can be called a “member” of the AMPAS, and receives a copy of the statute.
(the supporting member may send information about just the first two lines)