Life Extension Magazine May 2009
Novel Methods to Reduce Stubborn Belly Fat
By Dale Kiefer
Adipose tissue is the major energy reserve in humans, involved in the storage and mobilization of fat. Adipocytes are derived from precursor cells called pre-adipocytes. As pre-adipocytes mature, they expand and accumulate triglycerides. Weight gain, overweight, or obesity results from an excess of adipose tissue caused by greater numbers of adipocytes (hyperplasia) and increased fat storage (hypertrophy) within them.
Sphacelaria scoparia is an extract of the brown alga called sea broom, which reportedly reduces fat by inhibiting differentiation of pre-adipocytes into mature fat cells by decreasing the expression of several key transcription factors involved in this process.29 Sphacelaria scoparia works in a complementary manner with Xantalgosil C® and caffeine to reduce the size of existing fat cells, while reducing the number of new fat cells. This strategy mimics the kind of benefits that would ordinarily require strenuous exercise to achieve. Sphacelaria scoparia also increases the synthesis of types I and IV collagen, which are crucial dermal components for maintaining skin integrity and improving skin firmness and tone.29
Chlorella: This extract is derived from the green alga Chlorella vulgaris and is rich in amino acids and proteins that work to promote healthy skin tone by encouraging the synthesis of natural proteins, such as elastin, laminin, and collagen.30
These proteins help anchor the outer epidermal skin layer to the deeper dermal layers, at the dermo-epidermal junction.30 By also protecting collagen from matrix-degrading enzymes in the skin, Chlorella enhances structure and support, yielding firmer skin with better, more youthful tone.30
Regu®-Stretch: This includes extracts of the herb Marrubium vulgare, the pro-B-vitamin panthenol, and a synthetic peptide (protein fragment). Regu®-Stretch is an active complex especially intended for reducing the appearance and occurrence of stretch marks.31 It also stimulates collagen production and improves skin elasticity, moisture, and suppleness.31
More Than Skin Deep: The QuSomes® Delivery System
Job one for human skin is to serve as a barrier, protecting the interior of the body from the external environment. For the most part, skin is remarkably effective at its job. As a result, it has traditionally been extraordinarily difficult to formulate topically applied cosmeceuticals capable of penetrating beyond the epidermis—the outer layer of inert skin cells—to deliver active ingredients to the underlying layers of living skin, where they can actually do some good.
That is why scientists developed the QuSomes® delivery system. Designed to harness skin cells’ natural affinity for lipids, the QuSomes® intradermal system essentially encapsulates active ingredients in microscopic designer spheres, similar to liposomes, which are capable of penetrating deep within dermal tissue.32 Composed of natural compounds called phospholipids, these nanospheres do their job safely and effectively. Upon reaching their intended targets, these tiny spheres are welcomed into living fat cells which can include subcutaneous adipocytes. Rather than relying on interactions with receptors on the cells’ exterior, they now have the ability to enter directly into the interior of the cells. After entering the cells, they release their “cargo” of lipolysis-enhancing (fat breakdown) ingredients. They may also be harnessed to deliver agents capable of promoting collagen and elastin proliferation, to encourage the growth of firmer, more elastic skin.
The human body has evolved complex mechanisms to ensure survival through the storage of excess calories as fat. In Paleolithic times, this made sense; opportunities for feasting were ordinarily tempered by unpredictable times of famine. But the modern world is drastically different. We no longer face the constant threat of starvation.
On the contrary, we are surrounded, 24/7 by constant access to inexpensive calorie-dense foods, while we are required to expend far less energy to obtain them. This relatively rapid change has exceeded the body’s ability to balance the intake and output of energy, resulting in ever-increasing pressure to store excess calories as fat. This situation threatens people’s physical, emotional, and financial viability.
Fortunately, the development of complementary nutraceuticals, natural hormones, and in some cases certain drugs can resolve this problem internally and now externally with targeted topical ingredients. In conjunction with a sensible diet and exercise program, these topically applied compounds offer much-needed assistance in the struggle to reduce abdominal fat mass and maintain a pleasing contour.
A new comprehensive program to reduce visceral abdominal fat will be unveiled in the next issue of Life Extension magazine. In the meantime, a novel topical preparation has been developed to help reduce the appearance of subcutaneous fat while firming loose abdominal skin.
If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension Health Advisor at 1-800-226-2370.
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