Life Extension Magazine February 2011
Suzanne Somers’s New Mission to Lift the Veil of Scientific Ignorance
This ingredient helps control the absorption of some calories if taken before the two heaviest meals of the day. By maintaining its viscous structure throughout the digestive tract, LuraLean® is able to stop the absorption of ingested fats and carbohydrates. LuraLean® is a fiber composed of specially processed glucomannan—a water-soluble polysaccharide derived from a tuberous plant that grows only in the remote mountains of northern Japan.
This translates into weight reduction. One clinical study showed that without any dietary changes (participants ate and drank whatever they wanted), those taking LuraLean® lost 5.5 pounds after eight weeks compared to a 1.5-pound weight gain in the placebo group. In a similar study, those taking LuraLean® (twice a day before breakfast and dinner) lost 7.04 pounds compared to a gain of almost 1 pound in the placebo arm of the study. These studies showed substantial reductions in blood triglycerides, cholesterol, and LDL (bad cholesterol) levels in the LuraLean® groups compared to increases in these dangerous blood fats in the placebo arms.
Looking at the blood test results of typical healthy twenty-one-year-olds, scientists noticed that they had very low levels of blood glucose, cholesterol, and triglycerides. Even if people do not change their diet, by the time they reach age fifty their blood glucose, triglycerides, and cholesterol are usually much higher. Fifty-year-olds typically weigh more than when they were twenty-one, especially in the abdominal region of their bodies. There are correlations between blood glucose and triglyceride levels and unwanted weight gain.
To put it simply, the same calories a twenty-one-year-old can safely ingest become increasingly toxic as we age. This is because aging causes us to lose the metabolic capacity to utilize ingested calories in efficient energy-expending ways. Not only do these calories induce body fat storage, but they also increase vascular disease risks. That is why taking LuraLean® before the two heaviest meals of the day is so important. It helps impede absorption of excess sugars and fats in your diet, while helping to reduce the amount of food you consume with each meal.
Researchers at the UCLA School of Medicine have successfully used extracts from the white kidney bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) to target alpha amylase. A study was done where thirty obese adults took either a placebo or the Phaseolus vulgaris extract. After eight weeks, those taking the white bean extract lost 3.8 pounds in weight, and more important, 1.5 inches of abdominal fat. The group taking the Phaseolus vulgaris also had a three-fold reduction in triglyceride levels compared with the placebo group, which helps corroborate the role of weight loss and simultaneous reduction in artery-clogging triglyceride levels.
Another more impressive study of Phaseolus vulgaris showed that those who consumed the most carbohydrates lost the most weight. In this study, subjects who supplemented with Phaseolus vulgaris and consumed the highest levels of dietary starch lost 8.7 pounds compared with only 1.7 pounds in the control group over four weeks. Even more impressive was the 3.3 inches of belly fat lost in the Phaseolus vulgaris group versus only 1.3 inches in the controls. In a double-blind study on sixty overweight volunteers, half the study participants received Phaseolus vulgaris while the other half were given a placebo. Both groups were placed on a 2,000–2,200-calorie diet. After only thirty days, those taking Phaseolus vulgaris lost 6.5 pounds of weight and 1.2 inches in waist size compared with 0.8 pounds and 0.2 inches in the placebo group.
As we age, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep belly fat off. At the same time, we are challenged to keep blood glucose levels in optimal ranges. The exploding rates of type 2 diabetes and obesity are a testament to the dual problem of weight gain caused by the absorption of too many calories from simple carbohydrates.
Irvingia is a West African plant extract (from Irvingia gabonesis) that has been shown to help support leptin sensitivity in overweight people. Fat cells (called adipocytes) secrete leptin, a hormone that tells your brain you’ve eaten enough. Leptin also helps with the breakdown of stored (triglyceride) fat in our fat cells. Overweight people have higher blood levels of leptin, indicating that their cells have become resistant to leptin. In a published study, irvingia demonstrated beneficial effects on leptin blood levels, followed by a weight loss of over 20 pounds on average in ten weeks and an average reduction in waist circumference of about 6 inches. Study subjects taking irvingia reported consuming fewer calories, which makes sense, based on the enhanced leptin sensitivity brought about by this plant extract. Irvingia also has alpha-amylase-inhibiting properties similar to Phaseolus vulgaris. Inhibiting amylase helps slow the rate of carbohydrate absorption, reducing the caloric impact of starchy and sugary foods.
Large meals overload the bloodstream with calories and later cause a rebound increase in appetite when blood sugar levels plummet in response to excess release of insulin. One way of stopping this after-meal glucose-insulin rebound is to take nutrients that neutralize the carbohydrate-degrading enzyme alpha-amylase before meals.
Scientific data suggests that irvingia also helps support healthy adiponectin levels. Adiponectin is a hormone that helps maintain the insulin sensitivity of our energy-producing cells. Large fat cells found in overweight people produce less adiponectin. This means that these individuals need to be concerned about maintaining enough adiponectin to support insulin sensitivity, something that we lose during normal aging.
Most people don’t know this, but the majority of body fat consists of triglycerides that are stored in our fat cells. A reason that weight loss and triglyceride reduction go hand in hand is that triglycerides make up the bulk of our fat storage. We get triglycerides directly from the fat we eat, and also from the conversion of excess glucose in our blood to triglycerides stored in our fat cells. In the latter instance, glucose is converted to triglycerides by an enzyme called glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase. Irvingia inhibits glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, reducing the amount of ingested sugars that are converted to body fat.
Green Tea Phytosome
We all know about the great benefits of green tea. Aging robs us of the ability to efficiently burn fat as energy. Instead we store fat in our adipocytes (fat cells). The components responsible for green tea’s weight loss benefits are polyphenol compounds that increase metabolic energy expenditure and hence calorie burning. The problem is getting enough of green tea’s polyphenols absorbed into the blood. But a group of Italian researchers created a proprietary green tea phytosome that increased the polyphenols’ ability to be absorbed into the bloodstream. In a human clinical trial using this green tea phytosome, the weight loss effects were substantial. This study involved one hundred overweight subjects, half of whom received the green tea phytosome. Both groups were placed on reduced-calorie diets (approximately 1,850 calories/day for men and 1,350 calories/day for women).
After ninety days on the reduced-calorie diet, the control group lost 9.9 pounds. The group taking the green tea phytosome, on the other hand, lost a whopping 30.1 pounds—more than triple the weight loss of the control group! There was a 10 percent reduction in the green tea phytosome group’s belly size compared with a 5 percent reduction in the control group. Male participants did even better in this category, showing a 14 percent reduction in waist circumference compared with a 7 percent reduction in the control group.
What’s so interesting about this study is that it shows that people can lose considerable weight (9.9 pounds) by eating fewer calories. Yet when this green tea phytosome was added, the total amount of weight lost tripled (to 30.1 pounds) while twice as much belly fat disappeared. Scientists attribute these remarkable benefits to the ability of green tea to boost resting metabolic rates and reduce the absorption of dietary fats, which makes this green tea phytosome an ideal nutrient to take before heavy meals.
If you are going to turn your life around by eliminating toxic foods, adding these four supplements can boost your ability to lose weight more quickly and safely, with no drugs or stimulants.
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Excerpt from Sexy Forever by Suzanne Somers. Published by Crown, Copyright 2010 Suzanne Somers©.