Weight Loss Supplements-Part 2
- Tuesday, 29 December 2009
In part one of this two-part weight loss series, the effects of fiber, protein and essential fatty acids (EFAs) intake were discussed. In part two of this article, the focus is on specialty fat-loss supplements and herbs. Some of these ingredients may be helpful with your battle against the bulge this New Year.
Green Tea Extract
Green tea extract is one of the best-selling fat loss ingredients because of the large body of scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness. Several clinical trials have shown that green tea extract standardized for epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) can have a significant effect on increasing thermogenesis and fat oxidation. Researchers have determined that the EGCG component of green tea has the greatest impact on fat loss, so you’ll want to make sure the green tea you use is standardized for EGCG. Most of the research shows that a daily total of 270 mg of EGCG is most effective at stimulating fat loss. In addition to its fat-burning properties, green tea also has powerful antioxidant effects, which have great health benefits.
5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is a precursor to serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that signals your brain to feel happy and content. For this reason, 5-HTP is commonly used to reduce stress, improve sleep and fight depression. With respect to fat loss, research shows that 5-HTP can help curb appetite and fight off sugar cravings. Although 5-HTP doesn’t directly stimulate fat loss, it can be a very useful supplement for those trying to stick to a weight-loss diet.
Caffeine is the most widely used ergogenic aid in the world and is one of the main ingredients in nearly every popular fat burner on the market. Although excessive intake of caffeine can have detrimental effects on the body, a moderate dose, used short term, can help give your metabolism an extra fat-burning boost. Caffeine causes a variety of physiological effects in the body that results in the mobilization and oxidation of fat. Caffeine also gives a mild energy boost and will increase mental alertness, cognition and overall physical performance. If you feel that you need an extra fat-burning boost, then take advantage of caffeine’s research-proven ability to enhance fat loss. Please remember, caffeine supplements should only be used occasionally and are not right for everyone. The Health Canada Natural Health Products Directorate caffeine monograph recommends that health individuals can use 100 to 200 mg of caffeine, every 3 to 4 hours, as needed, and should not to exceed 1000 mg in a 24-hour period.
Cissus quadrangularis is an ancient medicinal plant native to Sri Lanka and India. It’s used in ancient Ayurvedic medicine as a general tonic and analgesic, with bone healing properties. More recently, Cissus quadrangularis has been studied for its weight-loss properties. In fact, one clinical study showed that taking a dose of 150 mg of Cissus quadrangularis extract twice daily for 10 weeks produced a mean weight loss of 8.7 kg in people with a mean initial weight of 99 kg. Waist circumference, percentage body fat, and plasma total cholesterol levels were also decreased. Compounds found in Cissus quadrangularis are reported to inhibit lipase and amylase, reducing breakdown and absorption of dietary fats and carbohydrates, which can contribute to weight-loss. Although more evidence is needed to fully establish the weight loss effects of Cissus quadrangularis, this herbal treatment has good potential as an effective weight loss aid.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a clinically-proven “fat-burning” fat that is usually derived from sunflower or safflower oil. Research shows that CLA increases energy expenditure, decreases triglyceride (stored fat) incorporation into fat cells and inhibits lipoprotein lipase (LPL) and fatty acid synthase (FAS), which are the enzymes responsible for fat synthesis. If you’re going to use CLA, make sure you use a product that has high concentrations of the active isomers, cis-9, trans-11 and trans-10, cis-12, and take at least 3 grams daily to get noticeable results.
A Final Note on Fat Loss
The next time you head to your local health food store in search of natural supplements to help with weight loss, keep your eyes open for some of the ingredients and herbs discussed here. Just remember, these supplements can help with weight loss, but only if used in conjunction with an exercise program and a well-planned nutritional regime!
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