Jumpstart Your New Year's Resolution
The New Year inevitably brings hopes for becoming healthier and for some of us, that requires losing a few extra pounds. If you can identify with this challenge, don't despair because you are not alone, as two out of three Americans qualify as overweight or obese and are facing the same struggles. Weight loss is a tricky topic, since there is no one-size-fits-all solution. NEEDS Natural News presents three contributed articles that offer different approaches for optimizing weight loss, including groundbreaking methods to reduce the size of fat cells, fish oil supplementation, and stimulating energy metabolism.
1. What Causes Fat to Accumulate on our Bodies?
Contributed by Life Extension
Few people understand what is happening in their bodies as they accumulate fat pounds. To state it in the simplest terms, we become overweight because:
1. Fat cells (adipocytes) become bloated in our bodies from storage of surplus calories from food as body fat, and
2. Fat cells become dysfunctional, resulting in metabolic derangements including impairments in burning of fatty acids for energy.1
There are many reasons why we accumulate dysfunctional, bloated adipocytes as we age, especially in the abdominal area. The ultimate target of any obesity reversal program is to target bloated, dysfunctional fat cells.
Interventions focused upon bloated, dysfunctional adipocytes have been attempted by indirect methods, such as speeding up metabolic rate to burn excess fat mass stored in the body. Scientists have found limited success when employing certain adipocyte-reducing approaches—yet the obesity epidemic worsens each year nonetheless.
The problem has been that up until now, little has been available to directly target critical mechanisms responsible for bloated, dysfunctional adipocytes.
Herculean Effort Leads to Discovery of Anti-Adipocyte Plant Extracts
A group of scientists screened over one thousand plant extracts with the objective of identifying ones able to:
1. Reduce the differentiation of pre-adipocytes into bloated, dysfunctional adipocytes (fat storage cells).
2. Reduce excessive fatty acid uptake of existing adipocytes.
3. Enhance lipolysis—the breakdown of stored fat in adipocytes.
Extensive testing uncovered two plant extracts that function via multiple mechanisms to reverse the metabolic dysfunction associated with bloated fat cells.2
In one of the laboratory tests, fat accumulation in cells was inhibited by a remarkable 48.5% when treated with one of these plant extracts compared to control cells. The other component of this dual plant extract was shown to reduce fat accumulation in cells by a stunning 65.9% compared with control.2
When measuring the breakdown of stored fat (lipolysis), 55.8% more fat was broken down in adipocytes using one of the components of this dual plant extract compared to control.2
These in vitro studies showed the potent efficacy of these plant extracts to reduce fat accumulation in cells and promote fat burning (breakdown) in adipocytes. The next step was to study the effects of this novel blend of plant extracts in the whole animal (in vivo) model.2
Revealing Two Incredible Plant Extracts
AdipoStat is formulated with two natural plant extracts (Sphaeranthus indicus flower and mangosteen fruit) that work in concert to help inhibit the creation of adipocytes, impede fat cell growth, and induce the breakdown of stored fat. Optimal results were shown in studies where these two plant extracts were combined.
In a key study with diet and exercise, 20 adults ingested 800 mg of AdipoStat daily while 30 others received a placebo. After eight weeks, the AdipoStat group lost 4.05 inches of belly fat (2.0 x the placebo group), 11.4 pounds of total body weight (3.7 x the placebo group), dropped 2.05 in Body Mass Index (BMI) (3.9 x the placebo group). They also saw a noticeable drop in waist-to-hip ratio, indicating they experienced fat loss in the abdominal area, where excess fat mass is associated with serious health issues. And they exhibited favorably elevated levels of a hormone called adiponectin which sends command signals that determine how big your fat cells get, how much they break down (lipolysis), and how often they are produced (adipogenesis). 3
A second human clinical trial yielded similar results, confirming the benefits of taking AdipoStat. 4
Excerpted from Life Extension magazine July 2011 References:
1. Guo W, Pirtskhalava T, Tchkonia T, et al. Aging results in paradoxical susceptibility of fat cell progenitors to lipotoxicity. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Apr;292(4):E1041-51.
2. Lau FC, Golakoti T., Krishnaraju AV, Sengupta K. OBESITY. 2011; 19(1):S175, 590-P. (Abstract supplement).
3. Lau FC, Golakoti T, Krishnaraju AV, Sengupta K, Bagchi D. Efficacy and tolerability of Merastin™- A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. FASEB J. April 2011; 25:(Meeting Abstract Supplement) 601.9. Presented at Experimental Biology 2011, Washington, DC. April 10, 2011. Program No. 601.9, Poster No. A278.
4. Results based on initial results of unpublished data.
2. Fish Oil for Managing Weight
Contributed by Nordic Naturals By Christopher Mohr, PhD, RD
It should come as no surprise to hear that omega-3 fats, and more specifically fish oil, are incredible for you. But in addition to the basics – there's more well known research with omega-3s, like how they play a powerful role in lowering triglycerides, heart health, cognition, and so much more.
But recent data suggests an interesting piece to the omega-3 puzzle; they may play a role in weight management.
Let's look at some of the studies that have recently displayed the effectiveness of fish oil in helping manage body weight. The first one comes from the International Journal of Obesity where 324 overweight and obese men and women went on a reduced calorie diet. These people were then divided into four groups, each receiving either nothing, fatty fish, lean fish, or fish oil capsules daily.
The men in the study lost an average of 14 pounds, and the men who ate fish or took fish oil lost an extra two pounds. There was an added weight loss advantage even in the group of men who ate cod (non-fatty fish); however, the driving force behind this stumped the researchers.5
A more recent study looking at fish oil and weight loss was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. This study used a fish oil supplement that contained high levels of DHA.6
In this all-male study, the participants were given either sunflower oil or DHA-rich fish oil. Some were instructed to exercise while others were not. The exercise component was to walk at 75% of their maximum heart rate for 45 minutes, three times a week; certainly not a very high level of exercise considering the recommendations, but exercise nonetheless. Regardless of the less-than-optimal exercise program design, the fish oil and exercise people experienced decreases in body mass greater than any of the other groups combined. The authors noted, "Both fish oil supplementation and regular aerobic exercise reduced fat mass." The mechanisms of fish oil related to weight loss are not quite clear at this time. Unpublished data with this study showed a lower heart rate with the fish oil, meaning participants have to work harder to get their heart rate elevated, which would in turn burn more calories; however, this needs to be examined further.
What's the takehome message here? These studies suggest that fish oil may play a role with weight management. An even stronger message, though, is that even if this data doesn't continue to pan out, all of the co-morbidities of overweight and obesity benefit significantly from omega-3 supplementation, so regular consumption of a high quality fish oil is always a smart idea!
Christopher Mohr, PhD RD, owner of Mohr Results, is a consulting Sports Nutritionist for the Cincinnati Bengals and is also the Sports Nutritionist for Under Armour's TNP Training Council.
5. Thorsdottir I, et.al. Int J Obes 2007.
6. Hill AM, Am J Clin Nutr,Vol. 85(5):1267-1274, 2007.
3. Herbs and Nutrients to Optimize Metabolism
Contributed by Designs for Health By Dr. Teresa Bujacich, ND, LAc
As so many people know from experience, weight loss isn't just about eating fewer calories and exercising more. There is a complex network of hormones, enzymes, and metabolic constituents that determine whether your body burns up those calories or stores them as fat. Certain herbs and nutrients can help optimize your metabolic rate and increase lean body mass, making your weight loss efforts far more efficient.
Coleus forskohli, a root extract of the perilla plant, and its active constituent, forskolin, stimulate the metabolic messenger for energy production (cyclic AMP) to help increase lean body mass. The only clinically researched Coleus on the market is trademarked as ForsLean®. ForsLean has been documented in two open field and two double-blind studies for management of healthy body weight and body composition. ForsLean® has obtained the US and EC patents for use of forskolin in enhancing lean body mass and promoting weight loss.
The dried fruit rind of Garcinia cambogia is a unique source of HydroxyCitric Acid (HCA), which has been used for centuries in Southeastern Asia to prepare more filling meals. HCA has been demonstrated to inhibit an enzyme which is a building block for fat synthesis, making it effective in weight management in both animal and human studies. The overall effect of HCA is that less sugar is stored as fat and more fat is disposed from the body.
Carnitine, magnesium, and pantothenic acid optimize the conversion of fat and carbohydrates into energy. Carnitine improves fat transport into the mitochondria where it can be burned as fuel. EGCg, from green tea, also favors fat burning over the burning of carbohydrates while reducing fat storage.
Banaba and green tea, along with chelated chromium, vanadium, magnesium and zinc improve entry and metabolism of glucose in the cells and help to normalize insulin levels. One of insulin's jobs is to store excess sugar as fat, so by keeping insulin levels balanced, weight gain will be minimized. Blood sugar management also results in better appetite control and diminished sugar and carb cravings.
Good luck with your New Year's resolution!