Forskolin: The Fat Fighter or Weight Loss Solution?
Losing weight is arguably one of the most difficult propositions in the world today. In fact modern research has shown that conventional weight loss methods such as diet and exercise while being the healthiest options available, also almost always fail as we succumb to temptation time and again. With a mere 15% of people who try to lose weight being successful enough to sustain their losses. (Source) Fortunately, for the vast majority of the ‘failures’ hope is at hand courtesy dietary supplements and herbal medicines. But the key question is how many of them actually work enough to not only lead to weight loss, but are able to sustain that loss as well, over a long period of time. Apart from these two considerations you also have to keep in mind their probable side effects with many supplements pills having such potent ones that they actually do more harm than good.
One such product happens to be ‘Forskolin’, a hundred percent herbal substance that supposedly has awesome anti obesity properties.
What is Forskolin?
Pure and natural forskolin is both a multipurpose aromatic herbal ingredient as well as a extract which is derived from the roots of the Lamiaceae/ Plectranthus Barbatus plant that belongs to the well known Mint’ plant family.
However, this particular plant has been an important part of Indian Ayurvedic medication for hundreds of years and has been used as a remedy for many illnesses.
Ever since it came under the radar of modern science, a lot of research has been done on this substance and the results have shown that it has quite a few benefits because of which it has become famous.
How Does Forskolin Help With Weight Loss?
Stripped of complicated medical jargon, in a nutshell it contributes to the release of fatty deposits from the body’s cellular fat stores and effectively helps convert them into energy, thus helping reduce fat from all over the body. However, a point to be noted is that left to its own devices merely releasing fat into the blood stream does not lead to a decrease in overall weight as far as the human body is concerned. For long term weight management it is essential that we consume more calories than we are taking in through our eating habits. In laymen’s terms sustainable weight loss is only possible if caloric intake is exceeded by overall caloric consumption.
Many anti obesity products create this ‘caloric deficit’ though their secondary functions of curbing appetite (thereby leading to less food intake) or accelerating RMR (though which the body consumes more calories even at rest or while sleeping) However, barring the release of energy no study as yet, has shown that forskolin is capable of either of these secondary functions. In other words, for weight loss to happen, it is imperative that energy expenditure must exceed energy intake.
More to Read:
- Garcinia Cambogia – A Fat loss Temptation or Contempt?
- Fat Burners- Do They Ensure Effective Weight Loss?
- Piperine – Spice up your weight loss routine with Pepper!
Though very few research studies have been conducted regarding this substance as yet, but at least one has yielded comprehensive results.
In this research study thirty male volunteers (all of them suffering from obesity) had been slotted to be part of two groups. One control grouping of fifteen individuals each, received forskolin two times a day every day, without a break for a period of three months duration, while the other group of fifteen men was given a placebo in lieu of forskolin. In comparison to the group taking the placebos, the forskolin group did lose body fat but there was no weight loss per se. (Source)
In the light of the above study it may be concluded that while it may not cause weight loss, it does however improve overall body composition and also helps protect against weight gain.
Since time immemorial Indian traditional health care practices have used it as a treatment for a veritable plethora of diverse ailments including:
- gastrointestinal / digestive disorders
- respiratory disorders / chronic cough
- skin problems such as eczema, boils, pimples and even
- Stiffness of the body and rheumatism
Two important side effects have been noticed while consuming this product. The first is low blood pressure leading to nausea, and dizziness and second is elevated heart rate that may leave the user out of breath and suffering from palpitations.
Forskolin is more of a ‘fat fighter’ then a potent aid to overall weight loss. It may help remove excess fat from the body in the short term, however, as per research it is not a substitute for healthy dietary habits and exercise when it comes to a long term and sustainable weight loss program.
Weight Loss Pills – Which Formula Will Work for You?
Since the current market is full of wondrous weight loss supplements, it has become quite easy to shed those extra pounds. However, this never-ending list of effective pills has made it difficult for consumers to make an efficient choice. Not every product you come across has potential to offer you the safe result you wish for. So stay informed and make a right choice that can give you lasting weight loss benefits.
How Careful are You?
If your personal fitness program already includes active lifestyle, healthy diet, and workout sessions, then consider making your health regimen a little more effective by using natural and risk-free weight loss supplements. This will drastically increase your chances of achieving a slim, fit, and strong body.
However, it is imperative to be careful about the product you choose to accomplish your weight loss dreams. After all, not every item you find out there can necessarily be effective for you.
Think you can pick the right weight loss ingredients formula on your own? If not, then we’ve put together a few basic guidelines to help you avoid potentially risky supplements:
Is it Approved?
Before buying a specific weight loss pill, make sure that it is approved and certified by your country’s pharmaceutical body like FDA in USA . This is important to avoid the products that are not only harmful to health, but are also likely to cause permanent side effects to your physical, emotional, or mental health.
Is it Natural?
Don’t forget to review the ingredients used in your chosen weight loss product. It is better to go for natural pills as they typically don’t involve detrimental side effects. When compared to chemically synthesized products, natural weight loss supplements may prove to be a much better choice.
Is it Medically Tested?
It may be a good idea to opt for medically tested and certified weight loss products. Wonder why? Well, such products have usually undergone numerous clinical trials. These tests make them safe, risk-free, and effective for human consumption.
Learn about the manufacturing company’s reputation. After all, reputable and established companies typically produce superior-quality and reliable supplements that you can use without worrying about any side effects.
Familiarize yourself with the side effects that are associated with a particular product. Compare different options available in the market to determine which supplement can help you enjoy the optimal health benefits. Avoid purchasing a product if it involves the side effects that are simply intolerable for you.
Consult With Your Physician
If you have serious medical conditions, allergies, or health disorders, consider discussing your situation with your doctor before choosing any supplement. Your physician may be able to suggest safe and effective weight loss supplements that can do wonders for you.
Help is Here
If you’re eager to tone up your flabby body parts and get rid off those extra pounds, consider going for effective and safe weight loss supplements (check our recommended list https://www.fitnessncare.com/weight-loss/). In addition to helping you reduce weight, these weight loss pills can strengthen your immune system, enhance your metabolic rate, and boost your digestion system.
What is L-Carnitine?
L-Carnitine is a derivate of amino acids, synthesized by many organisms including the human body by using methionine and lysine amino acids. It plays a vital role in the metabolism of fats in mammals and other animals. Carnitine occurs in two forms, D- and L-carnitine. D-carnitine is biologically inactive while L-carnitine is continuously synthesized to produce energy from fats. Biosynthesis of carnitine orimarily occurs in the kidneys and liver.
Benefits of L-Carnitine for Weight Loss
Following are the benefits of carnitine for weight loss:
- It suppresses appetite
- It helps in burning fat
- It increases muscle mass
- It enhances exercise performance
How Does It Work?
L-carnitine is responsible for the transportation of fatty acid to mitochondria (the power house) of the cell where they are utilized to produce energy. Canitine can reduce fatigue and can suppress appetite which can lead to weight loss. Thus, it helps the body in increasing its capacity for workout and exercise and prevents your body from storing fat. This results in more calories being burned by your body to produce energy.
Carnitine has many other benefits as follows other than weight loss:
- It helps in increasing bone mineral mass
- It helps to prevent and reduce symptoms of hyperthyroidism
- It is helpful for the treatment of heart conditions
- It prevents side effects of valproic acid (seizure medication)
- It can improve athletic performance
- It may be useful for fighting different kinds of fatigue
- It can be used as a treatment for migraines
- It can help men having infertility problems to increase the sperm count
- It can help type II diabetic patients by increasing uptake, oxidation and storage of glucose
- It can improve brain function
In a study (source) performed on two groups of men, the volunteers were given either L-carnitine or a carbohydrate only beverage twice a day for 24 weeks. At the end of the study, it was found that it leads to increased fat oxidation while the muscle mass remained unchanged.
In another study (source) which spanned over 4 weeks, 24 overweight but healthy individuals were supplemented with L-carnitine in combination with exercise. The volunteers were either given L-carnitine or a placebo for the duration of the test trial. At the end, it was reported that the group receiving L-carnitine showed significant weight loss and low blood triglyceride levels.
To maintain a healthy body, it is recommended to take 500-2,000mg of L-carnitine daily. There are many supplements as well as natural food sources of L-carnitine, so you can take it in whichever form you like.
L-carnitine can be obtained from the following foods:
- Red meat like lamb, beef and pork (the highest concentration of L-carnitine)
- Vegetables and fruits like potato, sweet potato, carrot, asparagus, banana, apple, avocado
- Dairy products and poultry like cottage cheese, ice cream, whole milk, eggs, chicken
- Grains like rice, lentils, flour (plain and whole-wheat)
Normally, L-carnitine is safe to take by mouth or injections (if required). But some people may have the following side effects from the usage:
- Stomach upset
- Fishy odor in sweat, breath and urine
- Heartburn and flatulence
A word of caution
L-carnitine is thought to be possibly safe for use by pregnant and breast-feeding women, but it is best to consult a doctor before you start consuming it. Even if you do take it in such situations, do not exceed the recommended intake. Those suffering from the following medical conditions should exercise proper caution while contemplating the use of L-carnitine as it can make your condition worse:
- Kidney failure
L-carnitine has numerous health benefits and is required by the body for the metabolism of fats and its transportation. If taken as a supplement, it is proven to lead to significant weight loss when combined with a low caloric diet and exercise. So if you are thinking to add L-carnitine to your diet in order to supplement your weight loss, you can go ahead and do so. Supplement your diet and exercise with L-carnitine and you will have a faster weight loss. Just make absolute sure that you have gone over the possible side effects of L-carnitine, and do not forget to consult your doctor before you start on these supplements.
Piperine – Spice up your weight loss routine with Pepper!
What is Piperine?
Piperine is a chemical compound which is found in black pepper and long pepper – spices which are commonly used all over the world. It is responsible for the unique taste and pungent smell of these spices and is the culprit which makes you sneeze when you inhale its characteristic aroma. Piperine is present in small quantities of 5-9% in black and white pepper and 1-2% in long pepper. These peppers have long been used for medicinal purposes such as Ayurvedic medicines for the treatment of different discomforts and a wide variety of diseases.
Benefits of Piperine for Weight Loss
Recent research has shown promise for piperine being used as an aid in weight loss. Following are some benefits of piperine when losing weight:
- It increases the rate if absorption of other nutrients from your food
- It prevents the formation of new fat cells
- It increases your metabolism
- It inhibits the accumulation of fat
- It helps reduce belly fat
- It helps your body to burn more calories because the effects may last hours after eating
How Does It Work?
Piperine affects a number of pathways and reactions that take place regularly inside your body. It helps in reducing weight through:
Piperine stimulates increased release of gastric juices from the stomach which aid in digestion.
Interfering with Genetics
Piperine is believed to interfere with the genes which are responsible for the formation of new fat cells. This means with the aid of piperine, fewer fat cells will be produced and accumulated in your body.
Boosting your Metabolism
Piperine boosts the metabolism of your body because it is believed to be thermogenic. It burns more calories and it is known to increase your metabolism by 8%.
Piperine also has a diuretic function. It increases perspiration and urination so as to rid your bopdy of harmful toxins.
Absorption of Nutrients
The levels of fat in the blood stream are also reduced by the effects of piperine. The low fat levels enable better and efficient absorption of minerals and other nutrients from your daily intake of food.
Piperine has anti-depressant like effects on the body which means that you are less likely to remain depressed and eat your comfort food, or worse – comfort food binging!
In addition to the many benefits of piperine for weight loss, it is immensely healthy to include in your diet through the usage of ground black pepper. Not only will it spice up your food, but will also reward you with the following benefits:
- Growth retardation of different cancers such as: colon, skin and bowel cancer. It is also known to prevent the development of breast cancer.
- Can be used for clearing skin
- Can relieve arthritis pain
- Improve cognitive function
- Can be used for treatment of skin disease and wound healing
- May be used as a treatment for rheumatism
- Enhances immunity
- It increases the effect of many drugs and supplements by enhancing their absorption
- Can treat respiratory disorders like bronchitis and gastrointestinal conditions such as urinary stones, enteritis and gastritis
- Can be used as an analgestic and sedative
Most studies for evaluating the efficiency of piperine as an aid for weight loss have been performed on animals. The research is still in its initial stages and concrete evidence has not been established yet about the same effects of piperine in humans as observed in animals regarding weight loss.
In a study (source), two groups of male rats were fed a high fat diet for eight weeks for obesity-induced dyslipidemia to develop. A combination of piperine and sibutramine was then administered to the test group and the high fat diet was continued. According to results, when the high fat diet was supplemented with piperine, a significant reduction in total cholesterol and body weight was observed. It also reduced the LDL and VLDL (the bad cholesterol) and increased HDL (the good cholesterol) without any change in food intake.
Another study (source) reports that piperine may help to block the formation of fat cells by interfering with the genes. The research showed that piperine inhibited the formation of adipocytes (fat cells) without affecting the cytotoxicity.
Due to lack of research conducted on piperine and no human trials, the side effects of piperine haven’t been completely established. As far as animal studies have been conducted, it is found that:
- Black pepper may have some carcinogenic effects through topical application but such effects were absent when the extract was orally ingested
- Unless the amount of piperine taken or administered is highly increased, there are no dangers as to the side effects of piperine
A word of caution
Even though no long term or short term side effects have been established for piperine, it is always a wise decision to consult with your doctor before you start on a piperine supplement for any reason. However, you should take utmost care if you are:
- breast-feeding mother
Because piperine has been used as an ancient medicine for the treatment of many diseases, it is safe to use it in amounts as suggested by your doctor or the manufacturer. Just make sure you don’t go beyond the daily dose recommended by these professionals.
Because of the many benefits of piperine for maintaining a healthy body and treating diseases, it is a good decision if you decide to incorporate it in your daily diet. Supplementing your exercise and diet with piperine may prove to be a worthy investment because you might just shed those pounds faster than you would without piperine.
Green Tea – All you need to know
What is Green Tea?
The origin of green tea dates back to more than 4,000 years and has its roots in China. The first green tea was brewed in 2737 BC according to the legend.
Green tea is packed with polyphenols, also referred to as catechins. The concentration of catechins in green tea is higher than in black or oolong tea. Catechins are the bioactive ingredients of green tea which promote weight loss through their extensive functions.
Green tea also provides reasonable amounts of caffeine – not as much as coffee but significant enough to make a difference. Caffeine acts as a stimulant and improves your performance during exercise and aids in burning fat.
Benefits of Green Tea for Weight Loss
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, you need to drink 2-3 cups of green tea daily for weight loss. This will provide you with the adequate amount of caffeine and polyphenols which will aid in the purpose. Depending on the type of technique you use to brew your tea, a cup of green tea has about 10 to 60 mgs of caffeine and 120 to 230 mgs of catechins.
The catechins in green tea help in:
- Preventing accumulation of body fat and also inhibit the absorption of fat from meals, increasing the excretion of fats
- Increasing body temperature which enables you to burn more calories
- Mobilization of fat from the fat cells to be used as fuel
- Boosting the metabolic rate
How Does It Work?
The stem, leaf and leaf bud are the useful parts of green tea. By steaming the fresh leaves at high temperature, the important molecules of polyphenols are retained in their useable form. The functions of the three green tea components can be summarized as under:
They help in:
- Prevention of swelling and inflammation
- Reduce degeneration of joints
- Fight papilloma virus infections
The caffeine in green tea comprises about 2% to 4% of its nutrient value. Caffeine:
- Stimulates the nervous system, muscles and the heart by releasing chemicals known as neurotransmitters
- Increases the urine output
The antioxidants present in green tea help in protecting the heart and blood vessels.
The Correct Way to Brew Green Tea
Just so you know, there is a correct and wrong way of brewing green tea. Boiling water is harmful for the antioxidants and polyphenols, which can damage them and reduce their function. When brewing, make sure to use hot rather than boiling hot water to reap the complete benefits of green tea.
Weight loss is only one of the abundant benefits of green tea. Other benefits include:
- Improves the overall health of your body
- Improvement of brain function – making you smarter!
- Improvement in physical performance by mobilization of fat tissues
- May lower the risk of various kinds of cancer (ongoing research)
- May lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases in old age
- Improvement in dental health by killing bacteria and reducing infection
Many studies have been performed which add to the function of green tea as an effective brew for weight loss. Some of them are outlined as under:
- Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is the main antioxidant which inhibits the enzyme that leads to the increase in norepinephrin levels. Norephinephrine signals the fat cells to break down fat. The high levels of this hormone increase the breakdown of fat. So, EGCG and caffeine may have a synergistic effect.
- In a study, 17% more fat was burned by men who took green tea extract along with exercise as compared to men who didn’t take green tea.
- Another study has proven that the effects of green tea for burning fat are applicable for both during rest and exercise.
Green tea taken with proper guidance has almost no side effects, provided that you:
- Do not take green tea early in the morning on an empty stomach – because the caffeine can lead to dehydration which stimulates the release of gastric acid, which might lead to an upset stomach or even ulcer.
- Do not take green tea with meals because it will reduce the absorption of vitamin B1 (thiamin). Deficiency of thiamin causes a condition called beriberi.
- Do not take with calcium or iron rich foods because it reduces the absorption of calcium and iron derived from plants.
Taking too much of green tea, such as more than five cups a day can cause multiple side effects which can be very mild or serious depending on your consumption:
- Sleep problems
- Irregular heartbeat
Though green tea has proven effects for weight loss, it must not be ignored that noticeable effects occur when green tea is used to supplement burning fat during exercise as well as following a healthy diet, and counting your calories. There is no magic potion out there to take away your extra pounds, but given the great health effects of green tea, adding it in your daily diet will surely help you in maintaining a fit and healthy body.
Source of Study:
- International Journal of Obesity
- Journal of Health Science, 51(2) 233-236 (2005)
- US National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health
Guarana – Weigh low with high Caffeine
What is Guarana?
A part of the maple family, this climbing plant is known for its coffee-like seeds, both in appearance and their caffeine content. The seeds of Guarana are black in color and have about twice the caffeine as found in coffee beans. Guarana seeds have 2 to 4.5 percent of caffeine as compared to coffee beans that have 1 to 2 percent. The high concentration of caffeine protects the plant from herbivore animals due to its bitter taste. Guarana is used as an effective stimulant because of its high caffeine composition.
Benefits of Guarana for Weight Loss
Guarana has been popular for the following effects:
- It suppresses appetite
- It boosts metabolism
- It increases expenditure of energy
- It increases the breakdown of fat
- Enhance exercise performance
- Promotes weight loss
- Serves as diuretic
- Mobilizes stored fat
How Does It Work?
Because of the high caffeine content in guarana, its effects as a stimulant for weight loss include the following:
- Increasing heart rate, boosting metabolism and suppressing appetite. If taken before meals, guarana sufficiently decreases your appetite, making you eat less which leads to weight loss.
- Having a thermogenic effect on the body, i.e. more calories are burned because increased heat is produced in the body Through thermogenesis, fat oxidation and energy utilization is increased.
- As a diuretic, caffeine promotes elimination of excess water weight through urine.
Guarana is popularly used for many reasons including the following:
- Commercial preparation of caffeine
- Carbonated fizzy drinks and other sweetened beverages
- Herbal teas, energy shots and drinks
- Possible treatment for anxiety, diarrhea, heart problems, joint pain, malaria, fluid retention and hypotension
- Effective against fever and headaches
- Improved short-term performance
- Reduces physical and mental fatigue
- Fights bloating and other digestive problems
- Enhances intellectual performance
In a study (source) performed in 2002, it was found that a mixture containing yerba mate, guarana and damiana helps in losing weight. The study was over a period of 45 days and 44 overweight but healthy participants took part in the study. The volunteers were either given the mixture of above mentioned ingredients or a placebo. After completion of the study, significant weight loss was observed in the test group.
Another study (source) in 2001 studied the effect of guarana and ma huang in a randomized trial consisting of 67 volunteers for 8 weeks. Volunteers were either given a combination of the two ingredients or a placebo. At the end of the study, the guarana-ma-huang group lost 4 kg (on average) while the placebo group was only able to shed off 0.4 kg.
Guarana is characterized as safe by the FDA to be used in amounts as present in foods or when taken for medicinal uses. There is no standard dose for guarana but a dose of 200-800mg per day is typically used by most people. High doses are linked to serious side effects such as:
- Bleeding disorders
- Heart disease
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Heartburn and flatulence
- Heart palpitations
A word of caution
It is necessary to ensure that your daily dose of guarana doesn’t exceed the recommended dosage prescribed by health regulatory bodies. More than 300 mg of caffeine per day can lead to increased excretion of calcium from the bones which might cause osteoporosis. You should exercise more caution if you are:
- Expectant or breast-feeding mother
- Suffering from heart disease
Guarana seeds are packed with caffeine, which accounts for its many benefits as a stimulant. This effect of guarana is the reason for its use as a weight loss supplement. Many studies have supported the role of guarana in weight loss, but due to the high caffeine content, caution is advised to everyone deciding to use guarana as a weight loss supplement. Proper care and caution needs to be exercised while starting with guarana and recommended doses need to be followed. As with all other supplements, it is best to use guarana with a healthy routine comprising of diet and exercise, in order to reap the maximum benefits of this plant.
Garcinia Cambogia – A Fat loss Temptation or Contempt?
What is Garcinia cambogia?
It is a citrus fruit which is naturally found in Southeast Asia. It is pumpkin shaped and its acid HCA is similar to the citric acid found in lemons and oranges. The hydroxycitric acid (HCA) has been used in cooking for a long time. Recent research has shed some light on probable role of garcinia cambogia in weight loss which is why it has become quite popular since the last decade or so.
Benefits of Garcinia cambogia for Weight Loss
Following effects of garcinia cambogia are believed to be helpful for weight loss:
- It improves your metabolism
- It can reduce your appetite
- It can help you feel full faster
- It increases your satiety level after food intake
- It regulates cholesterol in the blood
- It also increases the endurance during exercise, i.e. it enhances exercise performance
How Does It Work?
HCA is known to block an enzyme called citrate lyase. This enzyme is used by your body to make fat. Blocking this enzyme makes it unavailable to take part in the process of adipogenesis (the making of fat cells/tissue). As the number of fats cells produced by your body decrease, then your body fat will also decrease. Another effect of HCA is that it increases the level of a chemical substance called serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical which is released by the brain which makes you feel less hungry.
Other benefits of Garcia cambogia other than weight loss are listed as under:
- It reduces joint pain
- It can increase bowel movement
- It is used for the treatment of parasite infections such as worms
- It is also used to cure bloody diarrhea and dysentery
In a study (source) comprising 30 healthy but obese participants, it was found that HCA promotes weight loss. The participants were all in the 21-50 age group who consumed 2,000 calories daily and walked five days a week for half an hour. The individuals were either given HCA extract or a placebo throughout the study. At the end of the eight week period, the HCA group lost 12 pounds while the placebo group only managed to scrape off 3 pounds from their body – an incomparable rate of 400 percent!
In a study (source) similar to the one mentioned above, 60 people took part with controlled diet and proper exercise regime. The study reported a loss of 10.5 pounds on average in the group who received HCA while the placebo group just lost 3.5 pounds on average.
The above studies prove that when HCA is used to supplement your low-calorie diet and daily exercise, you will end up losing more weight – and faster.
Although the extract from garcinia cambogia is safe to use for weight loss in the recommended dosage, some people might suffer from the following side effects:
- dry mouth
- discomfort of the digestive tract
- upset stomach
A word of caution
There is not much evidence about the effect of garcinia cambogia on pregnant or/and breastfeeding women. If you are pregnant or are a breast-feeding mother, do exercise proper care and consult your doctor before starting to use this product. However, for safety concerns it is recommended that you avoid use of Garcinia cambogia in such situations and stick to a low-calorie diet and exercise to lose weight.
Garcinia cambogia is popularly used by weight loss enthusiasts and dieters looking to cut fat and get a toned, leaner body. The effects of garcinia cambogia for weight loss are evident when it is used as a supplement while maintaining a proper diet and exercise of at least half an hour for five days a week. If you stick to the manufacturers label and do not exceed the daily dosage, then you are typically quite safe from any serious side effects. However, depending on your body, you may experience some of the mild side effects as listed in the article.
If you make the choice to use garcinia cambogia supplementing your weight loss regime, then make sure to first consult your doctor to avoid any kind of situation which might be unhealthy for you.