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Overweight and obesity are defined based on body mass index (BMI), which is determined as weight (kg) divided by height2 (m). A healthy BMI range is 18.5–24.9 kg/m2. Overweight is defined as a BMI from 25–29.9 kg/m2, and obesity is defined as BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2. Obesity can be further subdivided based on subclasses of BMI as shown below. Waist circumference can be used in combination with a BMI value to evaluate health risk for individuals.

Categories of BMI and disease risk relative to normal weight and waist circumference:

BMI kg/m2 Obesity Class Men ≤ 102cm (≤40 in) Women ≤ 88 cm (≤35 in) >102 cm (>40 in) >88 cm (>35 in)
Underweight <18.5
Normal+ 18.5–24.9
Overweight 25.0–29.9 Increased High
Obesity 30.0–34.9 I High Very High
35.0–39.9 II Very High Very High
Extreme Obesity ≥40 III Extremely High Extremely High

According to the latest statistics over a third of our children aged 2-11 are overweight and of those, half could be considered obese (Read more…). Knowing that diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers are directly linked to the amount of body fat we carry and the types of foods we eat, the prevalence of these diseases are expected to sky rocket.

Why Starving or Dieting Doesn’t Work

The statistics show that diets alone don’t work. Physician and author Dean Ornish, a physician and president and founder of the nonprofit Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California, as well as Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. reports that 66% of dieters regain all their weight within one year, and 97% gain it back within 5 years. When we starve our body we lower our metabolism and essentially turn off our fat burning furnace because our body stores the food we eat as fat to ensure that we have lots of fat for the next famine. This viscous cycle trains our body to store food as fat.

Tips for Fat Loss

  • Avoid prolonged fasting and have a regular diet (3 meals, 3 snacks).
  • Eat protein at every meal and eat only protein for breakfast – an egg, a chicken breast, a protein shake, protein powder in yogurt for example. To make it simple the piece of protein should be the size of your palm.
  • A minimum of 1 g/kg/day of high quality mixed protein intake is required to maintain your lean body mass (total body mass minus body fat mass) and other vital bodily functions.
  • To avoid protein breakdown, muscle wasting and harmful changes in fluid-balance, make sure to have a minimum carbohydrate intake of 100 g per day (400 kcal/day). Moreover, complex carbohydrates such as kidney beans and green vegetables that are high in fiber have a low glycemic index; therefore, they are associated with greater satiety since their digestion takes more time compared to the simple carbohydrates (e.g. table sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, honey and so on).
  • Stop eating all white foods (i.e white bread, white pasta, white sugar, white flour, and white potatoes). If you have a doughy belly then stop eating all grains too; grains are starches that convert into sugars. People lose weight fast when they eliminate grains from their diet – sometimes several pounds per week.
  • Minimize drinking fruit juice unless they are made with a cold process juicer that does not eliminate the fiber in the fruit. Fruit juice disrupts blood sugar.
  • Eat dark green vegetables at lunch and dinner with a palm sized piece of protein. Eat a snack in between and make sure it is protein (like a piece of cheese).

CLA + Green Tea Extract Enhance Fat Loss

CLA

CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) is a naturally occurring polyunsaturated fatty acid present in small quantities in many foods (e.g. meat and dairy products). However, the changes in the way beef, chickens, and other animals are fed and raised over the past few decades has resulted in a drastic reduction in the amount of CLA in the average North American Diet. Although the human body does not make CLA, it is readily absorbed from food and in supplement form.

CLA is essential for the delivery of dietary fat into cells; it transports glucose into cells where it can be used to build muscle and produce energy rather than being converted to fat. This mechanism of action of CLA makes it a useful supplement in weight loss programs. Deficiency studies in humans have not been conducted; however, scientists think that weight gain might be a result of a deficiency.

CLA is also a very potent antioxidant and exhibits properties which enhance the immune system.

Studies

A meta-analysis comparing the results of many studies on CLA supplementation concluded that taking 3.2 grams of CLA supplement daily was effective in decreasing fat mass. Also, the authors of this meta-analysis concluded that the results of the studies that were unable to show a statistically significant reduction in fat mass after using CLA supplementation were not reliable because they either had too few subjects or the duration of the experiment was too short. Read more…

Also, a randomized double-blind study on forty-eight obese participants showed that a 12-week CLA supplementation led to increasing their lean body mass (the body weight minus the body fat) by 0.64 Kg for participants who took 6.4 grams  of CLA daily. Read more…

According to a 12-month study, the average body weight in the group that received CLA supplements decreased from (80.7 ± 9.5) Kg to (78.9 ± 9.9)Kg while the body weight for the group that did not receive CLA increased from (80.1 ± 9.4)  to (80.4 ± 10.5)Kg. The participants’ diet and exercise regimen did not change considerably during the study. Read more…

Furthermore, a study on obese children between 6-10 years of age showed that after 7 months of using CLA supplementation, body fat percentage decreased significantly in the group receiving CLA [(−0.5 ± 2.1%) vs (+1.3 ± 1.8%)]. Note that the negative sign shows a reduction in weight while the positive sign shows a weight gain. Moreover, the abdominal body fat as a percentage of total body weight of the group that received CLA significantly decreased (−0.1 ± 0.9%) compared to the other group (0.4 ± 0.6%). Read more…

Side Effects

No known toxicity or serious side effects have been reported.

Warnings and Interactions

Use with caution in individuals with diabetes or in those who may be predisposed to hypoglycemia (low sugar level).

Caution is also warranted as t10c12 CLA increased insulin resistance and dyslipidemia in individuals with metabolic syndrome (Metabolic syndrome is the name for a group of factors that increase one’s risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes; these factors include a large waistline, low “good” HDL cholesterol, as well as high blood pressure, high triglycerides (blood fats) and high blood sugar levels). Blood sugar should be monitored regularly as dosage of hypoglycemia medications may require adjustment.

Use with caution in individuals with autoimmune disorders or those who are using immunosuppressant agents.

Effects of drugs with hypoglycemic activity may be potentiated (including insulin and oral hypoglycemics).

Use with caution in individuals who are using anti-hypertensive agents.

Dosing

1000-2000 mg 3 times daily in divided doses.

The estimated daily intake of CLA for women is 0.35 g/day and for men is 0.43 g/day, predominantly from milk and milk products.

Products that we carry

Ingredients: 

Hormone and antibiotic free whey protein isolate 90%, Tonalin conjugated linoleic acid, xylitol, cocoa powder, natural chocolate flavours, xanthan gum, stevia and sodium. Per scoop (40.7 g) this product contains 2500mg of conjugated linolenic acid and 20g of Protein.

Direction for Use: 

Add 1 scoop to 250ml of water, yogurt, coconut milk or blend into a smoothie to taste. for weight management, take 2 scoops a day for a total of 5000mg of CLA. Take a few hours before or after taking other medications.

Ingredients: 

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA derived from safflower oil) (730mg/cap)

Camellia sinensis (Green tea extract stanardized to 40% EGCG, 80% catechins and 12% caffeine) (Contains naturally occuring caffeine) (113.3mg/cap)

Direction for Use:

Adults (12 years and older): Take 6 capsules of CLA Plus per day with food.

Green Tea Extract

Green tea is made from the Camellia sinensis plant. Unlike black tea, green tea is not fermented, so the important molecules of green tea like polyphenols are not destroyed in the process and can produce the beneficial health effects. Catechins is the major component of green tea extract that is thought to aid in weight loss. The mechanism of action of green tea preparations in reducing weight is not fully known but researchers believe that it involves thermogenesis (increasing energy expenditure).

Studies

A meta-analysis compared the results of numerous studies on the efficacy of green tea preparations for weight loss on obese subjects. They conclude that the group that took green tea preparations for at least 12 weeks, on average, lost 0.2 to 3.5 Kg more than those in the group that did not receive green tea preparations. Also, the researchers believe that this effect cannot be achieved by just drinking cups of green tea since the concentration of the active ingredients in green tea is less than the required amount to reduce weight. Read more…

A randomized double-blind study assessed the effect of green tea preparations on 240 subjects. After 12 weeks, the green tea group who ingested 583 mg of green tea preparations daily experienced a significantly greater reduction in waist circumference (~2.5 cm) and body fat mass (~2.5 Kg) compared to the other group that did not receive green tea. Physical activity and dietary intake of the subjects remained the same during the experiment period. Read more…

Another study examined the effect of green tea on 38 normal to overweight subjects who were 24-46 years old. Their dietary intake remained the same during the study period. After 12 weeks, the reduction in waist circumference of the group that received 690 mg catechins daily was significantly greater that that in the group that did not receive green tea (−3.4 ± 0.5 cm vs. −1.6 ± 0.4 cm).  Moreover, there was a significant reduction in the total fat area (visceral fat area plus subcutaneous fat area obtained through CT image) of the group that received green tea compared to the control group: (−16.7 ± 3.0)cm2 vs. (−4.4 ± 4.1) cm2. Read more…

Adverse Effects

No known toxicity or serious side effects have been reported. Prolonged or large doses might cause adverse effects such as stomach upset.

Warnings and interactions

Use with caution in pregnancy, lactation and in children < 2 years old. Caution is also required for individuals with anemia, hepatic disease or certain types of cancer such as breast or prostate.

Use cautiously in individuals with a history of bleeding or hemostatic disorders, and in individuals taking anticoagulant medications, aspirin, NSAIDs, or anti-platelet medications (e.g. clopidogrel)

Dosing

250-500 mg/day or 3 cups/day (standardized to contain 50% to 97% polyphenols per dose, containing per dose at least 50% (-)epigallocatechin-3-gallate(EGCG))

Products that we carry

We carry a product called CLA Plus, which contains both CLA and Green Tea Extract. Please refer to above for more details.

 

Ingredients: 

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA derived from safflower oil) (730mg/sache)

Camellia sinensis (Green tea extract stanardized to 40% EGCG, 80% catechins and 12% caffeine) (Contains naturally occuring caffeine) (113.3mg/sache)

Direction for Use:

Adults (12 years and older): Take 6 capsules of CLA Plus per day with food.

Ingredients: 

Garcinia cambogia fruit extract, hibiscus flowers, natural flavours, green tea leaves, malva leaves, hawthorn berries, parsley root, lemon peels, citric acid, cranberries.

Direction for Use:

For hot herbal tea, use 1 tea bag per cup. Add boiling water and steep for 3 minutes or until you obtain desired taste. Remove tea bag and enjoy!
For iced tea pour 2 cups of boiling water over 4 tea bags. Steep 5 minutes. Remove tea bags. Add two cups of cold water and chill.

Chirositol

Chirositol

A very well-researched ingredient derived from carob called Chirositol has been involved in more than 30 published studies at the Virginia Medical School over the past 25 years. A couple of the articles can be found here: Read more… Read more..

Research on Chirositol has shown excellent results in the treatment of insulin resistant conditions like type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and PCOS as well as weight loss and especially belly fat. Chirositol stimulates insulin activity, helps to regulate glucose levels, and pushes glucose into the cells where they are supposed to be (not leaving it in the blood), which in turn helps to normalize blood sugar levels. Elevated blood sugar after eating is one of the causes of weight gain and belly fat. This happens because insulin is produced by the pancreas to take glucose from blood stream into cells and if glucose is lying around in your blood, your body thinks it needs to produce more insulin to take these glucose molecules into cells. Eventually, your cells can become resistant to insulin, due to excess insulin levels in your body. Insulin resistance is a pre-diabetic condition. Type-2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome as well as elevated cholesterol and triglycerides ultimately result if elevated blood sugar is not controlled. And all this is what causes belly fat and weight gain.

In women, when insulin levels increase, some male hormones, particularly testosterone, are produced in excess by the body. When insulin and testosterone are elevated, women develop hormone related conditions like acne, male-pattern facial hair growth (e.g. hair above the lip, on and under the chin), infertility, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Chirositol has been researched for the treatment of PCOS with excellent results in restoring fertility, reducing weight, and halting male facial hair growth and acne.

In men, elevated insulin causes testosterone to convert to estrogens (which results in breasts and beer belly) and also causes conversion of testosterone to DHT, a harmful male hormone associated with prostate cancer and hair loss. Read more… Chirositol normalizes insulin and testosterone thereby promoting weight loss.

Chirositol has further been shown to reduce appetite and improve serotonin level, our happy hormone. Read more… Reduced serotonin or poor metabolism of serotonin is linked to increased sugar cravings. Read more… So by restoring serotonin, chirositol also helps control appetite.

Studies

One study assessed the effect of chirositol on insulin sensitivity on 30 healthy subjects (18-65 years old). The results showed that 45 to 60 minutes after the ingestion of 6 g chirositol , the level of glucose and insulin in blood was significantly reduced (i.e. cells became more sensitive to insulin and more glucose entered the cells) compared to the group that did not ingest chirositol. Read more…

A randomized, controlled clinical trial published in a 2010 issue of the journal Gynecological Endocrinology, for example, found that a daily dosage of 4 grams myo-inositol and 400 mcg folic acid significantly increased ovulation and conception rates in infertile PCOS women compared with 1,500 mg daily of metformin. Read more…

Side effects

Possibly safe for most adults. It might cause dizziness, tiredness or nausea.

Warnings and interactions

The safety of chirositol for pregnant or lactating women is unknown.

Taking large doses of chirositol might make bipolar disease worse.

Dosage

600 mg of chirositol per day.

Products that we carry

Ingredients: D-Chiro-Inositol (chirositol) (600mg/capsule)

Direction for Use: Take 1 capsule per day. If you are over 160 lbs, take 2 capsules per day or as directed by a health care practitioner. Take with food.

Adaptogens to Decrease Stress and Reduce Belly Fat

When you are under constant stress, your adrenal glands pump out a hormone called cortisol to help you deal with the stress you are facing. Elevated cortisol is associated with elevating insulin, blood sugar problems, fat accumulation, difficulty handling stress, insomnia and more. Cortisol also causes fat cells to change structure and become resistant to fat loss. For these reasons, it is imperative to reduce stress and to support the adrenals too.

A few adrenal support nutrients include Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, and Licorice Extract which work to normalize adrenal function.

Products that we carry

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References: 

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA). Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database [cited 2015 June 18].

Mitchell NS, Catenacci VA, Wyatt HR, Hill JO. Obesity: overview of an epidemic. Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2011 [cited 2015 June 18]. 34(4):717–32.

Overweight and Obesity Statistics [Internet]. Bethesda: The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; 2015 [cited 2015 June 17]. Available from: http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/Pages/overweight-obesity-statistics.aspx

Natalie M Racine NM, Waters AC, Carrel AL, Allen DB, McVean JJ, Clark RR, O’Brien AR, O’Shea M, Scott CE, Scholler DA. Effect of conjugated linoleic acid on body fat accretion in overweight or obese children. Am J Clin Nutr [Internet]. 2010 May [cited 2015 June 18]; 91(5): 1157-1164. Available from:  http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/91/5/1157.full?sid=f6fc410a-0560-47a2-bc5c-838a0c3c0f3d

Gaullier JM, Halse J, Hoye K, Kristiansen K, Fagertun H, Vik H, Gudmundsen O. Supplementation with conjugated linoleic acid for 24 months is well tolerated by and reduces body fat mass in healthy, overweight humans. J Nutr [Internet]. 2005 [cited 2015 June 18]; 135:778–84. Available from: http://jn.nutrition.org/content/135/4/778.full

Leah D, Whigham LD, Waters AC, Schoeller DA. Schoeller DA. Efficacy of conjugated linoleic acid for reducing fat mass: a meta-analysis in humans1,2. Am J Clin Nutr [Internet]. 2007 May [cited 2015 June 18]; 85(5): 1203-1211.  Available from: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/85/5/1203.long

Steck SE, Chalecki AM, Miller P, Conway J, Austin GL, Hardin JW, Albright CD, Thuillier P. 2007. Conjugated linoleic acid supplementation for twelve weeks increases lean body mass in obese humans. The Journal of Nutrition [Internet]. 2007 [cited 2015 June 18]; 137(5):1188-1193. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17449580

Gaullier, J. M., Halse, J., Høye, K., Kristiansen, K., Fagertun, H., Vik, H. & Gudmundsen, O. (2004) Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) supplementation for one year reduces body fat mass in healthy, overweight humans. Am. J. Clin. Nutr [Internet]. 2004 [cited 2015 June 18]; 79:1118-1125. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15159244

Mijares AH, Banuls C, Peris JE, Monzo N, Jover A, Bellod L, Victor VM, Rocha M. A single acute dose of pinitol from a naturally-occurring food ingredient decreases hyperglycaemia and circulating insulin levels in healthy subjects. Food Chemistry [Internet]. 2013 [cited 2015 June 18]: 141: 1267-1272. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/science/article/pii/S0308814613004883

Larner J. D-Chiro-Inositol – Its Functional Role in Insulin Action and Its Deficit in Insulin Resistance Int. Jnl. Experimental Diab. Res. [Internet]. 2002 [cited 2015 June 20 ]; 3:47-60. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11900279

Larner J, Brautigan DL, Thorner MO. D-Chiro-Inositol Glycans in Insulin Signaling and Insulin Resistance. Molecular Medicine [Internet]. 2010 [cited in 2015 June 20]; 16(11-12):543-552. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2972396/

Nagao T, Komine Y, Soga S, Meguro Sh, Hase T, Tanaka Y, Tokimitsu I. Ingestion of a tea rich in catechins leads to a reduction in body fat and malondialdehyde-modified LDL in men. American Society for Clinical Nutrition [Internet]. 2005 [cited 2015 June 18]; 81(1) :122-129. Available from: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/81/1/122.short

Tomonori N, Hase T, Tokimitsu I. A Green Tea Extract High in Catechins Reduces Body Fat and Cardiovascular Risks in Humans. North American Association for the Study of Obesity [Internet]. 2007 [cited in 2015 June 18]; 15(6): 1473–1483   Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1038/oby.2007.176/full

Jurgens TM, Whelan AM, Killian L, et al. Green tea for weight loss and weight maintenance in overweight or obese adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev [Internet ]. 2012 [cited on 2015 June 19]; 12. Available from: Pubmed  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23235664

Green Tea Extract.  Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database [cited 2015 June 25].

Shixian Q, VanCrey B, Shi J, Kakuda Y, Jiang Y.  Green Tea Extract Thermogenesis-Induced Weight Loss by Epigallocatechin Gallatte Inhibition of Catechol-O-Methyltransferase.  Journal of Medicinal Food.  2006 [cited on 2015 June 19];4:451-458. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17201629

Dulloo AG, Duret C, Rohrer D, Girardier L, Mensi N, Fathi M, Chantre P, Vandermander J.  Efficacy of a Green Tea Extract Rich in Catechin Polyphenols and Caffeine in Increasing 24-H Energy Expenditure and Fat Oxidation in Humans.  The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 1999 [cited 2015 June 25]; 70(60):1040-1045. Available from: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/70/6/1040.full

D-chiro-inositol. WebMd[Internet] . 2009 [cited 2015 June 20]. Available from: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-299-d-chiro-inositol,%20synonym%20(%20)-chiroinositol%20(inositol).aspx?activeingredientid=299&activeingredientname=d-chiro-inositol,%20synonym%20(%20)-chiroinositol%20(inositol)

Muldoon M, Mackey R, Williams K, Korytkowski M, Flory J, and Manuck S. Low Central Nervous System Serotonergic Responsivity Is Associated with the Metabolic Syndrome and Physical Inactivity. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism [Internet]. 2013 [cited 2015 June 26];  89(1). Available from: http://press.endocrine.org/doi/full/10.1210/jc.2003-031295

Levine JControlled trials of inositol in psychiatry. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 1997 May [cited 2015 June 26]; 7(2):147-55. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9169302

Pitteloud N, Mootha V, Dwyer A, Hardin M, Lee H, Eriksson K, Tripathy D, Yialamas M, Groop L, Elahi D, Hayes F. Relationship Between Testosterone Levels, Insulin Sensitivity, and Mitochondrial Function in Men. Diabetes Care. 2005 [cited 2015 June 26]; 28(7):1636-1642. Available from: http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/28/7/1636.long

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