Alpha Lipoic Acid + EPA May Promote Body Weight Loss in Healthy Overweight Women

ala-epa and weight lossA new study has found supplementing with alpha lipoic acid, both with or without EPA Omega 3 may support weight loss in women who are overweight and obese.  The EPA Omega 3 was found to prevent the reduction of leptin during weight loss.  Leptin is the satiety hormone that signals the body that it is full.

97 women who were obese or overweight participated in this study.  The study was a double blind placebo controlled study.  All the participants followed a reduced calorie diet and were divided into 4 groups: Control (no supplementation), EPA only (supplemented with 1.3 grams daily), alpha lipoic acid only (300 mg daily) and lastly alpha lipoic acid + EPA .  The study lasted 10 weeks and 77 women completed the study.

The control group lost an average of 5.2 kg on the diet only.  The same weight loss of 5.2 kg was seen in the EPA group.  The alpha lipoic acid group only, lost an average of 7 kg and the alpha lipoic acid group + EPA lost on average 6.5 kg.

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Probiotics in Pregnancy Could Protect Against Childhood Obesity

Probiotics and Childhood ObesityAccording to researchers taking probiotics during pregnancy and breast feeding may modify genes related to obesity in both the mother and their infants.

15 pregnant women participated in this double-blinded randomized controlled (RCT) pilot study.  7 of the women were randomly chosen to supplement with a Probiotic which contained 10 Billion of each Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Bifiobacterium lactis strains of friendly bacteria.  The remaining 8 participants were given a placebo.  The dosing began on the participants first study visit which occurred while they were pregnant and lasted until the end of an exclusive breast feeding period with a maximum study period of 6 months.  Blood samples were taken from the mother’s prior to the commencement of supplementation with the Probiotic and between 6-12 months after the birth of their children.  Researchers reviewed the DNA methylation status of 623 obesity related and 433 weight gain related gene promoters, using the Ingenuity Pathway tool, in each blood sample taken.

Researchers found the levels of DNA methylation in some genes known to carry an increased risk for obesity, including the FTO gene the single most influential gene, were decreased in the group taking the Probiotic supplement.  The FTO gene has been associated with type II diabetes, obesity risk and body mass index.  Suggesting that Probiotic supplementation during pregnancy may have more applications beyond obesity, researchers found Probiotics had effects on the DNA methylation levels of genes involved with immunological and metabolic processes.  Further studies are needed.

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Probiotics Backed for Weight Loss Benefits

Weight Loss and ProbioticsA new meta analysis and review shows Probiotic supplementation containing various strains of Lactobacillus have been shown to cause a small but statistically significant weight loss in overweight and obese individuals.

15 studies of Probiotic supplementation studies were reviewed.  Larger reductions in body weight, BMI (body mass index) and fat percentages were seen in the supplementation group when compared to the participants receiving a placebo.  Even short term supplementation with probiotics (Less than 12 weeks) show small reductions in fat percentage, BMI and body weight.

The studies included in the review lasted between 3 and 12 weeks.  All the studies but three used Lactobacillus.  More than one of the studies reviewed were not registered and were considered a higher risk of bias.

Other reviews done in the past have found similar conclusions on BMI and body weight reductions; however in some of those studies reviewed participants also received Prebiotics in addition to Probiotics.

Further long term studies are needed to examine the effects Probiotic supplements may have on different measures of body weight.

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Could Curcumin Benefit Gut Diversity and Prevent Post-Menopausal Weight Gain?

Curcumin and Weight GainAccording to a new study on rats, Curcumin may aid in reversing decreases in the diversity of gut bacteria after an ovariectomy (OVX) which may prevent weight gain often seen in post-menopausal women.

The study lasted 12 weeks.  Rats were split into three groups: rats having undergone an ovariectomy and fed distilled water (OVX); a control group of rats who underwent a sham operation (SHAM); rats having undergone an ovariectomy and given Curcumin (CUR).  The OVX group showed reduced gut bacterial diversity when compared with the SHAM group.  The CUR group however, displayed significantly different amounts of seven bacterial strains when compared with the OVX group.  Rats in the OVX group also showed a significant weight gain when compared to the control group (SHAM).  The CUR Group however, did not experience this weight gain.  No estrogenic effects were seen in the group supplementing with the Curcumin (CUR) since it did not prevent reductions in serum estradiol levels or uterine weight loss.

OVX rats showed a higher ratio of phyla Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes in the gut when compared with the control group.  These specific bacterial strains have been observed to lead to overweight rats and have also been associated with obesity in humans.  An additional benefit of Curcumin supplementation was a reduction in the bacteria Anaerotruncus, which has been associated with age-related macular degeneration and pre-natal stress.  Researchers also found Curcumin reduced the amount of Helicobacter pylori or H. pylori, the bacteria responsible for certain stomach ulcers.

Curcumin is the phyto nutrient found in turmeric.  It is a powerful antioxidant and has been show to support cardiovascular health as well as joint health in addition to a host of other promising impactful health promoting mechanisms.

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Probiotics May Promote Weight Loss and Reduce BMI

probioticsAccording to a new meta-analysis, which combined data from 25 randomized trials, consumption of a probiotic may reduce both body mass index (BMI) and body weight.  An additional sub group analysis also pointed out that supplementing with a multi strain probiotic and taking the probiotics for at least eight weeks showed even better weight loss results.

Over 1900 participants took part in these 25 randomized studies.  Significant reductions in body weight (.59 kg) and BMI (.49kg/m2) were seen.  Trials with the multi strain probiotic formulations found an even larger reduction of BMI (.65 kg/m2).

In addition to serving as a delivery system for the absorption of nutrients and the elimination of waste material, the intestinal tract also plays important roles in maintaining healthy immunity and providing resistance to pathogens. The GI tract is populated by billions of cells of beneficial bacteria (probiotics) which help us digest and absorb our food, maintain a healthy intestinal pH (acid content), protect us from pathogenic bacteria, and provide an environment conducive to the continued health of the intestinal tract.

Look for probiotic products containing at least 8 strains of friendly bacteria.  Also,  a high potency probiotic formula containing at least 35 billion viable organisms per capsule will aid in quickly establishing healthy levels of probiotics in the GI tract.  Make sure your probiotic has some way to protect the organisms from the acidic conditions present in the stomach during digestion.  A Bioenhanced Acid Resistant Strain (BEARS) will ensure survivability in both low (acid) and high (alkaline) pH environments.  Lastly make sure your probiotic product contains a prebiotic blend that consist of FOS (a food source for probiotics) and FiberAid (R) arabinogalactans (a patented prebiotic).  This will help support the bodies ability to produce it’s own friendly bacteria.

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Fish Oil and Midlife Bloat

Midlife BloatNew research suggests that supplementing with Omega 3 essential fatty acids may fight middle-age bloat, those extra pounds that appear as a person ages.  It seems the Omega 3’s found in fish oil transform fat storage cells into fat-burning cells by activating receptors in the digestive tract which causes the sympathetic nervous system to fire up and increase the metabolism of fat in the fat storage cells.

Not all types of fat tissues store fat.  White cells store fat but brown cells actually metabolize fat to aid in maintaining a normal body temperature. As we grow older we lose brown fat cells.  Babies have lots of brown fat cells.  Researchers have now identified a new type of cell, a beige type of cell that works similarly to a brown cell.  As we age and approach middle age, these beige cells, like brown cells are lost.  We pack on the pounds because we do not have as many of these fat metabolizing cells.

In a study performed on mice, one group of mice was fed fatty foods and the other group of mice received fatty foods in addition to fish oil.  The mice receiving the fish oil gained an average of 5-10 % less weight and 15-25% less fat when compared to the group eating the fatty food alone.  It seems once the sympathetic nervous system was activated with the fish oil additives some of the rat’s white cells changed to fat metabolizing beige cells.

Other things that have in past research been shown to jump start fat cells into a metabolizing mode are melatonin, green tea and cayenne (capsaicin) without the spicy heat.

Make sure your fish oil is molecularly distilled.  This process removes all potential toxins.  Also Omega-3’s that are manufactured to comply with strict European standards will be free of heavy metals, PCB’s, dioxins, pesticides and other unwanted compounds.

An enteric coating will protect the Fish Oil from the harsh environment of the stomach, enabling the softgel to make it to the small intestines where it can be digested and the fatty acids released and absorbed by the body.

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