By Dr. Donald Brown
Well, it's that time of year again when we renew our vows to eat more sensibly, exercise more, and lose weight. While the first two items on that list are critical to the success of the latter, a safe and effective approach to kick-start our weight-loss program is sometimes needed. Here are three natural dietary supplements that provide uniquely different approaches to weight loss and that, in combination, provide a unique weight-loss formula to pair with a healthy diet and exercise regimen.
African Mango Extract
Also known as Irvingia gabonensis, this fleshy West African fruit is a common ingredient in Nigerian and Cameroonian cuisine. Pharmacological studies have found that an extract of the fruit standardized to 7% albumins (water-soluble proteins that are not the albumens found in egg whites) has multiple mechanisms of action that contribute to weight loss.1 Given the designator IGOB 131, the extract has been found to inhibit adipogenesis— a fancy way to say it reduces the formation of fat in the body. It's also been found to increase the production of leptin, which helps reduce food intake and increases energy in the body. Finally, IGOB 131 has also been shown to slow carbohydrate absorption following meals.
A clinical study with 102 participants has proven that these actions really do lead to weight loss.2 In a double-blind, placebo controlled trial, overweight and/or obese individuals received 150 mg of IGOB 131 or a placebo 30-60 minutes before lunch and dinner for 10 weeks. Individuals taking IGOB 131 had an incredible 28 lb. weight loss at 10 weeks compared to only 1.5 lbs for those in in the placebo group. The IGOB 131 group also had a six-inch reduction in waist circumference.
Green Tea Extract
The use of green tea as an approach to aiding weight loss is not a new discovery. Due to its caffeine content, green tea has been associated with increasing thermogenesis and helping the body burn fat. However, new research is now pointing to the fact that polyphenolic compounds in green tea known as catechins (especially epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate [EGCG]) is also capable of increasing thermogenesis and weight loss.3 This has led to the creation of green tea extracts that are standardized to catechins and EGCG that are caffeine-free. However, one problem with catechins, such as EGCG, is their poor absorption in the intestinal tract. The creation of a green tea extract known as GreenSelect Phytosome has helped solve this problem. Standardized to 60% polyphenols and 40% EGCG, this unique extract combines phosphatidylchol
ine to create a "phytosome" matrix to increase bioavailability of EGCG.
A clinical study with 100 obese individuals examined the weight-loss potential of this extract when added to a low-calorie diet.4 Individuals in the study were all placed on a low-calorie diet (1,850/day for men and 1,350/day for women) for three months. Half of the individuals also received 150 mg of the GreenSelect Phytosome twice daily during the study. At the end of the study, persons adding the green tea extract lost 30 lbs. compared to only 11 lbs. for those just following the low calorie diet alone. Persons taking the green tea extract also had a 14% reduction in waistline circumference.
Proteinase Inhibitor II (PI-2)
Following meals, our body produces a hormone known as cholecystokinin releasing factor (CCK-RF). CCK-RF is secreted into the small intestine in response to food intake and stimulates the secretion of appetitesuppressing cholecystokinin (CCK) into the bloodstream. CCK increases satiety by signaling the brain that it feels "full".5 Proteases are enzymes that breakdown protein and are critical for healthy digestion. While the primary focus of enzymes, such as pepsin, trypsin, and chymotrypsin, are the breakdown of dietary proteins, they can sometimes also breakdown CCK-RF and in turn slow the release of CCK.
Proteinase inhibitors are a class of protein compounds commonly present in plant species, and are especially prevalent in potatoes and tomatoes. They are used by plants as a natural defense mechanism against pests and potentially damaging pathogens (e.g, bacteria) as well as help protect plant tissues from degradation by proteases. Discovered in the 1960's by Dr. Clarence Ryan of Washington State University, Proteinase Inhibitor II (PI-2) was discovered in animal and later human studies to increase the release of CCK and increase satiety. In clinical studies, taking 15-30 mg of PI-2, 30 to 60 minutes before meals, has been shown to increase feelings of fullness and decrease the motivation to eat for up to two hours after a meal.6
Together, these three unique ingredients provide a safe and effective weight loss formula to help you lose weight and reduce your waistline. Here's to your weightloss success in the New Year!
1. Lipids Health Dis 2008;7:44 (doi 10.1186/1476-511X-7-44).
2. Lipids Health Dis 2009;8:7(doi: 10.1186/1467-511X-8-7).
3. J Med Foods 2006;9:451-8.
4. Alternative Med Rev 2009;14:154-60.
5. Nutrition 2000;16:858-65.
6. Dana S, Lewis B. Efficacy of Slendesta potato protein extract. Internal Technical Document, Kemin Health, 2007.