STEM-Talk: Vyvyanne Loh on “TOFI”, metabolic diseases, and weight management

Metabolic disease may be the greatest epidemic we face.

Dr. Vyvyanne Loh has built her medical practice around dealing with it. She is the founder and leader of Transform Alliance for Health, a Boston preventive-care practice that specializes in weight management and the treatment of chronic metabolic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidemia

Loh is a board-certified physician in obesity and internal medicine. She joins us on the latest episode of STEM-Talk, where the conversation includes the concept of TOFI — Thin Outside, Fat Inside.

“Most people assume my patients could be identified visually in terms of their obesity, but it turns out that a good number of my patients have this phenotype of looking thin, but they still have a metabolic problem in the sense that they have dysfunctional fat in their bodies.”

At play in this scenario is abdominal, or visceral fat, which is linked to a wide range of metabolic disorders. Loh also explains how there’s a clearcut association between obesity and decreased brain volume that rarely gets discussed.

In her Boston-based practice, she and her staff have had success helping people lose 50 pounds or more and getting them off their many medications. She has spent her medical career developing expertise in immunology, metabolic syndrome, fat metabolism, clinical nutrition and preventive medicine.

You can listen here, or wherever you listen to podcasts. You also can catch her Evening Lecture at IHMC, titled “The Magical Mystery Macrophage Tour” here.

In the show notes for Loh’s interview, you can also learn about the upcoming virtual conference on Targeting Metabesity.

STEM-Talk cohost Dr. Ken Ford will be one of nearly 70 speakers, including many former guests on STEM-Talk, talking about the growing evidence that the major chronic diseases of the day share common metabolic roots and as a result may also share common solutions.

If you are interested in a free ticket to the conference, follow this link where you will find instructions on how to receive a code for complimentary admission that is being offered to STEM-Talk listeners.

At the Oct. 10 to 13 conference, Ford will moderate a session on emerging research related to endogenous and exogenous ketosis in health and disease as well as the role of ketones in mild traumatic brain injury and the prevention and treatment of cancer.

STEM-Talk is a biweekly podcast that is part of IHMC’s outreach initiatives. IHMC is a not-for-profit research institute of the Florida University System where researchers pioneer science and technologies aimed at leveraging and extending human capabilities. For more information, visit