Getting rid of fat, part 17. My free belly fat book talks about the importance of leptin and the easiest way to make this master fat hormone work better for fat loss. [Read more…]
Okay, there are no secrets. Nevertheless, belly fat loss programs often miss the most important part of optimizing fat metabolism. All of the latest major research books on diet and lifestyle either explain it or show why it is so important. Here is what you should know about it. [Read more…]
Irvingia extract reduces fat by influencing key enzymes, genes, inflammation, and hormones. Research shows an average weight loss of 28 pounds within 10 weeks. Side effects are minimal, although not nonexistent. Here is the view of a research scientist on what you need to know about the science behind Irvingia weight loss.
Components Of Irvingia Weight Loss
Irvingia supplement influences at least five key components of fat metabolism. The research details on the impact of Irvingia on weight loss may seem a little technical here. However, they show how unique this herb is in the number of ways that it directs weight loss. This list makes Irvingia unlike any other weight loss supplement. The key effects are as follows.
1) Adiponection is a hormone that is secreted by large fat cells to help support insulin sensitivity and cardiovascular health. Irvingia causes a significant increase in adiponectin levelsin overweight people.
2) Glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase is an enzyme that converts glucose into triglycerides that then go into storage in fat cells. The result is to make fat cells fatter. Irvingia inhibits the activity of this enzyme, thereby slowing down the growth of fat cells.
3) C-reactive protein blocks the activity of leptin, the master fat hormone, which leads to leptin resistance. Leptin resistance causes fat gain. Overweight people taking Irvingia extract have lower levels of CRP, thereby restoring normal leptin activity and proper fat metabolism.
4) Amylase is an enzyme that breaks down starch to release glucose. Glucose is then absorbed in the digestive tract and taken up as blood sugar. Irvingia inhibits the action of amylase, thereby reducing the number of calories that can be absorbed from eating starch.
5) PPAR-gamma is a key enzyme that regulates the formation of new fat cells and insulin sensitivity. Irvingia inhibits the formation of new fat cells by it influence on PPAR-gamma.
The U.S. National Institutes of Health medical database (PubMed) lists 28 research articles that were published on Irvingia since 1980. They involve a wide range of studies on the role of Irvingia in reducing blood sugar in diabetics, relieving pain relief, preventing malaria, in treating bacterial and fungal infections, and even in making Irvingia wine. This variety of effects comes from more than one species of Irvingia and more than one plant part.
The research relevant to the development of this herb as a weight loss supplement concerns an extract of the seeds of one species, Irvingia gabonensis.
Clinical Research On Irvingia Gabonensis Seed Extract
Recent human studies on supplementation using the seed extract of Irvingia gabonensis show significant positive changes after 10 weeks in the following tests: total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, blood glucose, C-reactive protein, adiponectin, and leptin. These results were based the twice-daily, 150 mg dose, of a proprietary Irvingia gabonensis seed extract.
In addition to the metabolic measurements above, the Irvingia-treated group in this study also lost an average of 12.8 kg (28 lbs) and 6.3 percent body fat. Furthermore, mean waist size in the treatment group dropped just over 16 cm (more than 6 inches) during the study period.
This and other studies shows a remarkably diverse set of physiological effects from Irvingia. Other studies also show its effects on regulating genes that influence the production of hormones and enzymes that control fat metabolism.
Irvingia Side Effects
The main side effect in research studies, and from individual testimonies by people who take Irvingia, is a decrease in appetite. This probably has to do with how the herb reinvigorates leptin activity. Poor leptin activity is associated with hunger and a greater appetite.
Irvingia is also less effective if people eat too much. In other words, it is not a license to overeat.
This herb also seems to have different effects on people who eat a low carb diet. Since the actions of Irvingia are directed at carbohydrate metabolism as it relates to fat cells, complex carbs seem to be important when using this supplement.
Researchers in Cameroon, where Irvingia is a native food source, noticed that long-term consumption of the seeds of this plant is associated with two main side effects: 1) resistance to diabetes; and, 2) resistance to obesity. These observations are what attracted the attention of medical researchers in the first place. Seeds of Irvingia have been used by indigenous populations as a soup thickener for centuries. People have not suffered any apparent negative side effects from Irvingia even though they typically eat it almost every day of their lives.
Where To Get Irvingia Supplement
Research to develop an Irvingia supplement and get it approved for manufacture in the U.S. has been conducted by only one company so far. This is the Life Extension Foundation. In fact, at the moment, Life Extension Integra Lean is the only product that offers this herb in clinically relevant doses.
Furthermore, Life Extension has, in their typical fashion, continued to fund ongoing research and development of Irvingia. This means that expansion of the science behind this herb for weight loss will be able to explain more of how this herb works and what we can expect from it for healthy hormone and enzyme regulation.
As I a scientist with an extensive background in plant biochemistry and human health, I think that is just peachy. (Pardon the botanical pun!)
All the best in natural health,
Body fat composition can be confusing. This is especially true when you want to lose abnormal fat and keep the fat that you need for good health. Total body fat percent really tells you nothing. Here is what you should know.
Body Fat Composition vs Body Weight
The best way to tell whether your diet, fitness, or other weight management programs are working for you is to keep track of changes in your body fat composition. Imagine that you weigh 200 lbs on Earth and are 35 percent body fat. On the moon you would instantly lose about 167 lbs because of lower gravity. However, your body would still be 35 percent fat.
The point here is that weight is not the issue. Fat is.
Body Fat Calculations and Types of Fat
Now it get a little dicey, because there is no way to know how much of the different kinds of fat are in your body. Your total consists of brown fat and white fat (both referred to as adipose tissues), and even cell membrane fat.
Brown fat is the new kid on the block for fat loss. At one time it was thought to be present only in infants. Recent research shows its presence in adults. It occurs mostly in the upper chest area and around the neck. The importance of this discovery is that the more brown fat you have, the more able you are to balance other types of fat. Brown fat directs the metabolism of that awful belly fat that most folks want to lose.
You can easily tell when you have abnormal fat made of white adipose tissue, because it sticks out somewhere. The usual places are belly, thighs and buttocks, and upper arms.
Ideally, the best fat loss would therefore be white fat loss. Indeed, better weight management would include getting your body to make more brown fat and less white fat. So far, scientists have succeeded in getting mice to do this in laboratory research. We do not yet know whether this will work in people. Of course, drug companies are seeking a new miracle drug that will do this for you. No such thing is available at the moment.
Body Fat Recommendations
Keep in mind that measuring total body fat can be misleading, even though it is currently the best indicator of body fat composition. The accuracy of the main three methods of measurement varies.
The most accurate is the submersion test, where your buoyancy in water is used to calculate body fat percent. The second most accurate method is through impedance devices. These are now available as bathroom scales that read body fat and as handheld devices that use the same principle. In my personal experience, my handheld impedance device measures about 3 percent higher than does the submersion method.
The least accurate method is the caliper method. It varies tremendously because the strength of pinching varies with the examiner.
Regardless of the result that you get, there is a range of body fat composition that is best for optimum health and weight (fat) management. There is no magic number for everyone. Indeed, numbers are always higher for women than for men, and they increase with age.
General agreement among nutrition researchers offers the following as healthy ranges of body fat percent for women and men in different age groups:
20 to 40 yrs, 21 to 33 percent fat
41 to 60 yrs, 23 to 35 percent fat
61 to 79 yrs, 24 to 36 percent fat
20 to 40 yrs, 8 to 19 percent fat
41 to 60 yrs, 11 to 22 percent fat
61 to 79 yrs, 13 to 25 percent fat
These are the target ranges for good health. It is probably obvious that being above these ranges is the foundation for overweight (i.e., overfat) and obesity. There may be no limit to how high it can go. One of my clients, a woman in her 50s, measured at 48 percent body fat. Wow!
Lower Body Fat Percent Is Not Healthier
What may not be so obvious is that numbers below these health ranges are not necessarily healthier just because they are lower. You need body fat in the right amounts, of the right types, in the right places for optimum health and body image.