Don’t believe the LIES about Garcinia Cambogia

pinocchio_lying
Since the late 1990’s Garcinia Cambogia has been included in various weight loss products, but exploded in popularity in 2012 when Dr Julie Chen talked about it on the Dr Oz TV show.

Unfortunately, there is an avalanche of faulty information about Garcinia Cambogia on the web that we attempt to clean up below.

WHAT THE RESEARCH SAYS

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Several studies on rats have demonstrated significant weight loss, belly fat reduction, and lowered blood glucose levels (456).

We looked at all the randomized, double-blind clinical studies on humans. Some we excluded were either too short (2 weeks), used too small a dose, or had other flaws such as a low fat, high carb diet which researchers believe had a negative impact on the results.


This chart shows the results from the most relevant clinical studies on Garcinia Cambogia, encompassing 307 participants (7,8,9,10).

All of these were Double Blind,Randomized Controlled Trials, with subjects given Garcinia Cambogia or Placebo over 8-12 weeks.

The average for these 4 studies was 4.1 pounds lost vs 1.7 for those taking Placebo.

It should be noted that studies #3 and 4 used the highest dosages of 2800 mg daily, and showed the greatest amount of weight loss compared to placebo.

Studies #1 and 2 showed the least amount of weight loss benefit, and also used the lowest amount of Garcinia Cambogia, at 1200 mg per day.

[box]Conclusion: The average for the 4 relevant clinical studies on humans showed weight loss of 3 pounds more than placebo. Studies that used higher doses of HCA recorded more weight loss. [/box]

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What brand of Garcinia Cambogia should you Buy

You really need to read the label. Many brands are pushing inferior products. If they don’t show you the label, chances are they are trying to push you some crappy, useless stuff and don’t want you to realize it until you take it and don’t get any results.

Always Look for the HCA!

HCA, or hydroxycitric acid, is the active ingredient. You need to make sure it has at LEAST 60% HCA in it – Higher is better. Also check to make sure they don’t use a lot of added ingredients – especially if they’re hard to read, nearly impossible to pronounce ingredients.
wwrecommend
We’ve looked at all the leading brands sold on Amazon. There are several that are good, and dozens that are garbage.
The best quality we found that also has a good price is NewLifeBotanical’s Garcinia Cambogia.
If you find it more convenient, you can get it on Amazon

[product_category category=”garcinia-cambogia-2″ columns=”3″ per_page=”6″ orderby=”menu_id” order=”desc”]

Reasons why we recommend it:

  • Has 90% HCA!
  • No filler ingredients – all natural only
  • 600mg per capsule
  • Has been PROVEN to be effective
  • Has NO additives, fillers and other low-quality ingredients

 

PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES HATE GARCINIA CAMBOGIA

According to this article in Washington Post, it cost between $800 million and $2.6 BILLION to bring a new prescription drug to market.

Once they start clinical trials, the pharmaceutical company only has 20 years of patent protection to recoup that cost, so they have to charge exorbitant prices to make that back and pay their shareholders a good return on their investment.

Of course they don’t want potential customers to think a natural product that cost a tiny fraction of what they charge can be effective at all.

Hence pharmaceutical manufacturers often fund research studies they hope will cast the competition in a bad light. A few million dollars to fund a study on a competitor is nothing compared to the billions it cost to develop a drug.

For example, this meta-review that examines existing clinical studies on Garcinia Cambogia is funded by GlaxoSmithKline, the manufacturer of the prescription weight loss pill Orlistat, marketed under the name Alli.

For reference, Alli cost $60 for 120 capsules! The literature claims it can block 25% of the fat you eat from being absorbed.

Not surprisingly, the research they pay for often finds mixed results, with some studies showing positive effects for Garcinia Cambogia and some not.

The academic editor for that meta review was also the lead author for a few of the studies that found Garcinia to be ineffective. He also was the lead author for several studies that showed positive results for Orlistat (1,2,3).

[box] Conclusion: Big Pharma spends hundreds of millions of $$$ funding research to cast doubt on the effectiveness of natural weight loss products like Garcinia Cambogia.
[/box]

HOW DOES IT HELP WITH WEIGHT LOSS?

Garcinia Cambogia is somewhat unique in that there are 2 pathways the HCA utilizes to help with weight loss

1. It May Help Reduce Hunger

too hungry

Studies with rats have shown those given Garcinia Cambogia tend to eat less than those in the control group(11, 12).

How it works isn’t fully known, but those studies seem to indicate it increases levels of serotonin in the brain. (13, 14).

Likewise, some clinical studies with humans has shown it tends promote feeling of satiety (fullness), so you eat less. (15, 16, 17, 18, 19).

Serotonin is the “feel good” hormone that promotes feelings of satisfaction and is well known to be an appetite suppressant. (20).

Those studies are in contrast to some others that found no benefit for suppressing appetite vs those given placebo. (21, 22, 23, 24). Its not clear why studies have shown such a difference and more study is needed.

Conclusion: Some studies have shown garcinia cambogia increases serotonin to suppress appetite, but there have been other studies that could not replicate this effect.

2. It May Block Fat Production and Reduce Belly Fat

The effect HCA has on fatty acids in the bloodstream is the most important factor in its ability to aid weight loss.

Human and animal studies has shown HCA helps lower levels of triglycerides in the blood, reducing the oxidative stress throughout the body. (25, 26, 27, 28, 28).

It is even more attractive as a weight loss aid as it helps reduce belly. (29).

Another study gave moderately obese individuals 2,800 mg of garcinia cambogia daily for eight weeks (30).
After completion, participants had dramatically lower markers of metabolic disease such as:

  • 6.3% LOWER Total cholesterol levels
  • 12.3% LOWER LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol levels
  • 10.7% HIGHER HDL (the “good”) cholesterol levels
  • 8.6% LOWER Blood triglycerides

This is due to the inhibition of the enzyme citrate lyase, which signals the production of fat in the body (32, 33, 34, 35, 36).

By inhibiting citrate lyase, garcinia cambogia is thought to slow down or block fat production in the body. This may reduce blood fats and lower the risk of weight gain, two major disease risk factors (37).

Conclusion: Garcinia cambogia blocks the production of new fats in the body, and has been shown to lower cholesterol levels and blood triglycerides in overweight people.

OTHER HEALTH BENEFITS

Animal and test-tube studies suggest that garcinia cambogia may also have some anti-diabetic effects, including (38, 39, 40):

  • Decreasing insulin levels
  • Decreasing leptin levels
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Improving blood sugar control
  • Increasing insulin sensitivity

Garcinia cambogia may also have benefits for the digestive system. Animal studies have suggested it helps protect against stomach ulcers and reduce damage to the inner lining of the digestive tract (41, 42).

However, these effects need to be studied further before firm conclusions can be drawn.

Conclusion:Garcinia Cambogia may help lower blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity to combat diabetes

 

SIDE EFFECTS

Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS)
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Garcinia Cambogia is recognized as GRAS by the FDA, meaning it has “been adequately shown to be safe under the conditions of its intended use”.

There have been several studies to test the effectiveness of these products and in these controlled quantities there were no significant side effects.

This meta-analysis examined all published research on Garcinia Cambogia, and found garcinia to be free from any major side effects when taken at dosages up to 2800 mgs per day (with 60% HCA)

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WHO SHOULD NOT TAKE GARCINIA CAMBOGIA

garcinia warning

It  IS safe for most people. But there are a few cases where you wouldn’t want to take it:

  • Pregnant
  • Breastfeeding
  • Alzheimers or dementia

Garcinia Cambogia boosts serotonin levels in the brain (which triggers the satisfied, full feeling that helps suppress appetite).

For this reason, it is not advised for patients with neurological disorders such as Alzheimers, Parkinsons, or other forms of dementia.

DOSAGE AND WHEN TO TAKE IT

Dr Harry Preuss is  a researcher and pathologist at Georgetown University past president of the American College of Nutrition who has led 2 of the studies on HCA that showed the best results (43,44)  He says:

“YOU HAVE TO TAKE THE RIGHT DOSE OF THE RIGHT PRODUCT, AND YOU HAVE TO TAKE IT PROPERLY.”

The 4 studies that were included in the meta-analysis referenced above noted that 1 to 2.8 grams daily were used in testing, and that 2.8 grams seemed more effective (45)

Different studies that have been performed to focus on side effects found no major side effects at dosages up to 2.8 grams daily (46).

Dosage recommendations from those studies are:

  • 500 to 1000mg capsules
  • 70% or higher HCA
  • 3 times a day
  • 30-60 minutes before meals
  • taken with 8 ounces of water

70% HCA means that the manufacturer has standardized the extract to be 70% Hydroxycitric Acid by volume.

50-60% was the highest purity commercially available until recently, so has been the standard used for testing.

The higher percentage provides more total HCA per capsule, but is not more effective otherwise.

In other words, the higher HCA % is not “better”,  you just need less of it.

For proper dosage, you should lower the quantity if you use a product with HCA % higher than the 60% used in studies.

For example, the maximum recommended dosage of 3 grams per day of a 60% HCA product would yield 1800 mg of pure HCA – the same as 2 grams of 90% HCA.

[box]**** DAILY MAXIMUM RECOMMENDED DOSAGE ****

3,000 mg  x 60% HCA =   1800mg  pure HCA
2,000 mg  x 90% HCA = 1800mg  pure HCA[/box]

BUYING ON AMAZON – BEWARE THE SCAMS

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With any popular diet product, there are lots of scams that sell crappy product at ridiculous prices, and some that disappear with your money.

You might want to review some guidelines by the FTC in spotting the crooks.

It is becoming more common now with Garcinia, so beware, and read some of our reviews of brands like Ultra, Extreme, Purely Inspired, Miracle, Whole Body, Natural, and Pure Garcinia Cambogia.

Amazon is super convenient, and great at making sure you get what you order. But they don’t do anything to ensure the quality of a product.

Any brand that just popped up yesterday and will be gone tomorrow is NOT concerned with quality.

DR OZ WARNS ABOUT FAKE PRODUCTS

There are now dozens of new “Brands” of Garcinia Cambogia sold on Amazon that just make up a name and throw a label on some garbage product. And, they LIE about what is in the bottle!

The following quote is directly from the Dr Oz website where they warn about such deceptive marketing.

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This doesn’t mean all products sold on Amazon are bad. It just warns that products sold ONLY on Amazon are a much higher risk for being very poor quality.

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Conclusion: Beware any Brand or Product that is sold exclusively online and not in a brick in mortar store. Those that exist only on Amazon and do not even have a website of their own are very likely to sell a very poor quality product.
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WHAT WE RECOMMEND

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CONCLUSION

For Weight Loss, we are convinced that:

The Ketogenic Diet(47,48), preferably combined with Intermittent Fasting is the most effective way to lose weight.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) can greatly increase your metabolism to make weight loss easier and faster.

As for Garcinia Cambogia, the evidence shows that:

  • Garcinia Cambogia is NOT A MAGIC PILL that will melt the fat off
  • Garcinia Cambogia CAN HELP you lose a few more pounds a month

Can NMN really reverse Aging? (backup)

As we age, our levels of the Co-enzyme Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide NAD+ drop significantly in multiple organs in mice and humans  (5,8,10).

NAD+ decrease is described as a trigger in age-associated decline(23), and perhaps even the key factor in why we age (5).

In 2013, research published by Dr David Sinclair demonstranted that short term supplementation with Nicotinamide MonoNucleotide (NMN) reversed many aspects of aging, making the cells of old mice resemble those of much younger mice, and greatly improving their health (8).

 

The quotes below are directly from that research:

NMN was able to mitigate most age-associated physiological declines in mice”

“treatment of old mice with NMN reversed all of these biochemical aspects of aging”

Since that landmark 2013 study, dozens of others have been published investigating the efficacy of supplementation with NMN in treatment and prevention of a wide range of disease including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimers, Parkinsons, and more (5,6,7,9,10,11,13,14,15,16).

According to Dr Sinclair:

enhancing NAD+ biosynthesis by using NAD+ intermediates, such as NMN and NR, is expected to ameliorate age-associated physiological decline

WHAT IS NAD+

NR benefits chartNAD+ is a key co-enzyme that the mitochondria in every cell of our bodies depend on to fuel all basic functions. (3,4)

NAD+ play a key role in communicating between our cells nucleus and the Mitochondria that power all activity in our cells (5,6,7)

NAD+ LEVELS DECREASE WITH AGE

NAD+ levels decreaseAs we age, our bodies produce less NAD+ and the communication between the Mitochondria and cell nucleus is impaired. (5,8,10).

Over time,  decreasing NAD+ impairs the cell’s ability to make energy, which leads to aging and disease (8, 5) and perhaps even the key factor in why we age (5).

NAD+ METABOLISM IN HUMANS


NAD+ can be synthesized in humans from several different molecules (precursors), thru 2 distinct pathways:
De Novo Pathway

  • Tryptophan
  • Nicotinic Acid (NA)

Salvage Pathway

  • NAM – Nicotinamide
  • NR – Nicotinamide Riboside
  • NMN – Nicotinamide MonoNucleotide

The NAD+ supply is constantly being consumed and replenished through the Salvage Pathway, with approximately 3g of NAM metabolized to NMN and then to NAD 2-4 times per day (14).

  • The salvage pathway sustains 85% or more of our NAD+ (14)
  • Nampt is the rate-limiting step in the salvage process (97).
  • As we age, Nampt enzyme activity is lower, resulting in less NAM recycling, less NAD+, more disease and aging (97,101).

ALL PRECURSORS BOOST NAD+ SIGNIFICANTLY IN LIVER

NAM, NA, NMN, NR, and Tryptophan ALL elevate levels of NAD+ significantly in the liver, which has many benefits for metabolic health.

This chart from the Trammell thesis shows the impact on liver NAD+ for mice given NR, NAM, and NA by oral gavage 0.25, 1, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 12 hours before testing.

Charts showing NMN impact on NAD+ levels in the liver are below.

* Note:  These charts are somewhat deceptive. It shows NAM (green bar) elevated NAD+ nearly as much as NR (black bar)

However if they used equal mg of each supplement, which is how people actually purchase and use them, it would show NA about equal with NR and NAM far effective than NR at elevating NAD+ in the liver.

Mice in these experiments didn’t receive equal WEIGHTS of each precursor. Instead researchers chose to use quantity of molecules, which makes NR look “better” by comparison.

In this case, “185 mg kg−1 of NR or the mole equivalent doses of Nam and NA”(16).

Molecular weight for NR is 255 grams, NAM is 122 grams, and NA 123 grams.  So this chart used a ratio of  255 grams of NR to 122 and 123 grams of NAM and NA.

NMN

  • “NMN makes its way through the liver, into muscle, and is metabolized to NAD+ in 30 minutes” (R)

NR

  • Is much slower, taking 8 hours to reach peak NAD+ in humans (R)

NAM

  • Has very similar NAD+ profile to NR, taking 8 hours to reach peak NAD+ in humans (R)
  • Has been shown to increase NAD+ level in liver (47%), but was weaker in kidney (2%), heart (20%), blood (43%) or lungs (17%) (R)

NA (Niacin)

  • Elevates NAD+ to peak levels in liver in 15 minutes (R)
  • raised NAD+ in liver (47%), and impressively raised kidney (88%), heart (62%), blood (43%) and lungs (11%) (R)

TRYPTOPHAN

  • In the liver  tryptophan is the preferable substrate for NAD+ production (R)
  • Administration of tryptophan, NA, or NAM to rats showed that tryptophan resulted in the highest hepatic NAD+ concentrations(R)

ONLY NMN BYPASSES THE NAMPT BOTTLENECK IN TISSUES THROUGHOUT THE BODY

Restoring NAD+ to youthful levels in ALL CELLS throughout the body is the goal.

However, many tissues cannot utilize NAD+ directly from the blood as NAD+ cannot readily pass through the cellular membrane.

Muscle tissue, for example, depends on cells internal recycling of NAD+ through the salvage pathway which is controlled by Nampt.

To restore depleted NAD+ levels in such cells, a precursor must:

  • Be available in the bloodstream
  • Once inside a cell, be able to bypass the Nampt bottleneck

NA and Tryptophan
NA and Tryptophan act through the De Novo pathway, which supplies a small percentage of our NAD+, primarily in the liver

NAM
NAM is abundant in the blood and easily carried into such cells throughout the body, but  depends on Nampt, which is the rate limiting enzyme in the salvage pathway.

NR
When taken orally as a supplement, most NR does not make it through the digestive system intact, but is broken down to NAM (97,98,99).

For more info on how NR is converted to NAM in the body.

NR can bypass the Nampt bottleneck, but is not normally available in the bloodstream

After oral NMN supplementation, levels of NMN in the bloodstream are quickly elevated and remain high longer than NAM, NA, or NR (18,22,97,98,99)

Oral NMN supplements:

  • Make their way intact thru the digestive system (22)
  • Quickly elevates levels of NMN in the bloodstream for use throughout the body (22)
  • Quickly elevates levels of  NMN in tissues throughout the body (22)
  • Quickly raises levels of NAD+ in blood, liver and tissues  through the body (22,23)
  • Remain elevated longer than NAM, NA, or NR (18)

Only NMN is readily available in the bloodstream to all tissues, and bypasses the Nampt bottleneck in the Salvage pathway

ORAL NMN IS READILY AVAILABLE THROUGHOUT THE BODY

The chart at right shows levels of a double labeled NAD+ (C13-d-nad+) in liver and soleus muscle at 10 and 30 minutes after oral administration of double labeled NMN.

This clearly shows that NMN makes it way through the liver intact, through the bloodstream, into muscle, and is metabolized to NAD+ in 30 minutes (22) .

This quote below is directly from that study.

Orally administered NMN is quickly absorbed, efficiently transported into blood circulation, and immediately converted to NAD+in major metabolic tissues (22).

NMN QUICKLY RAISES NAD+ IN LIVER AND BLOOD

mouse-single-dose
In this 2016 study, mice were given a single dose of  NMN in water.

NMN  levels in blood showed it is quickly absorbed from the gut into blood circulation within 2–3 min and then cleared from blood circulation into tissues within 15 min

 

 

 

NMN INCREASES NAD+ and SIRT1 DRAMATICALLY IN ORGANS

In this 2017 study, NMN supplementation for 4 days significantly elevated NAD+ and SIRT1, which protected the mice from Kidney damage.

NAD+ and SIRT1 levels were HIGHER in OLD Mice than in YOUNG Mice that did not receive NMN.

LONG TERM SUPPLEMENTATION WITH NMN

mouse-long-term-research

In a long-term experiment documented in the 2016 study (22) , mice were given 2 different doses of NMN over 12 months.

Testing revealed that NMN  prevents some aspects of  physiological decline in mice, noting these changes:

  • Decreased body weight and fat
  • Increased lean muscle mass
  • Increased energy and mobility
  • Improved visual acuity
  • Improved bone density
  • Is well-tolerated with no obvious bad side effects
  • Increased oxygen consumption and respiratory capacity
  • Improved insulin sensitivity and blood plasma lipid profile

Here are some quotes from  the  study:

NMN suppressed age-associated body weight gain, enhanced energy metabolism, promoted physical activity, improved insulin sensitivity and plasma lipid profile, and ameliorated eye function and other pathophysiologies

NMN-administered mice switched their main energy source from glucose to fatty acids

These results strongly suggest that NMN has significant preventive effects against age-associated impairment in energy metabolism

NMN effectively mitigates age-associated physiological decline in mice


LOWER FAT AND INCREASED LEAN MUSCLE MASS

Researchers found that NMN administration suppressed body weight gain by 4% and 9% in the 100 and 300 mg/kg/day groups.

Analyses of  blood chemistry panels and urine did not detect any sign of toxicity from NMN.

Although health span was clearly improved, there was no difference in maximum lifespan observed.

These results suggest that NMN administration can significantly suppress body weight gain without side effects

INCREASED OXYGEN CONSUMPTION AND RESPIRATORY CAPACITY
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Oxygen consumption significantly increased in both 100 and 300 mg/kg/day groups during both light and dark periods (Figure 3A).

Energy expenditure also showed significant increases  (Figure 3B).

Respiratory quotient significantly decreased in both groups during both light and dark periods (Figure 3C),

This suggests that NMN-administered mice switched their main energy source from glucose to fatty acids.

The mice that had been receiving NMN for 12 months exhibited energy levels, food and water consumption equivalent to the mice in the control group that were 6 months younger.

NMN administration has significant preventive effects against age associated physical impairment

HUMAN STUDIES – LONG TERM SUPPLEMENTATION WITH NMN

The first clinical trial of NMN in humans is currently underway by an international collaborative team between Keio University School of Medicine in Tokyo and Washington University School of Medicine (33).

Participants are 50 healthy women between 55 and 70 years of age with slightly high blood glucose,BMI and triglyceride levels.

Using a dose of 2 capsules of 125mg NMN per day over a period of 8 weeks, researchers are testing for:

  • change in insulin sensitivity
  • change in beta-cell function
  • works to control blood sugar
  • blood vessels dilate
  • effects of NMN on blood lipids
  • effects of NMN on body fat
  • markers of cardiovascular and metabolic health

According to the study:

“Data from studies conducted in rodents have shown that NMN supplementation has beneficial effects on cardiovascular and metabolic health, but this has not yet been studied in people”

Testing of metabolic parameter will continue for 2 years after supplementation has ended, so final results will not be published for some time yet, but preliminary results are expected to be announced in early 2018.

FOODS THAT CONTAIN NMN

NMN is found in many food sources such as edamame, broccoli, cucumber,cabbage, avocado, tomato, beef and shrimp.

As such, it is likely free from serious side effects in humans, and has been available for purchase commercially for over 2 years.

DOSAGE

In the long term (12 month) 2016 mouse study (22), both 100 and 300mg/kg per day improved oxygen consumption, energy expenditure, and physical activity more.

According to the FDA guidelines, an equivalent  would be about 560 mg for a 150lb human.

It should be noted that NMN administration did not generate any obvious toxicity, serious side effects, or increased mortality rate throughout the 12-month-long intervention period, suggesting the long-term safety of NMN.

The current Human study uses a dosage of 2 capsules of 125 mg, which seems to be the most commonly used dosage.

SUMMMARY

NAD+ levels decrease throughout the body as we age, contributing to disease and aging.

Restoring NAD+ levels can ameliorate many age released health issues.

All the NAD+ precursors are effective at raising NAD+ levels in the liver.

Raising NAD+ in the liver has many benefits, but is not effective in tissues and organs that cannot access NAD+ directly from the bloodstream and so depend on internal cellular NAD+ recycling.

For these tissues, utilizing each cells internal Salvage Pathway is necessary to restore NAD+ levels.

NR is not stable in the body and not normally found in the bloodstream, so is not readily available as NR to many tissues. Once metabolized to NAD+ it cannot enter cells. If metabolized to NAM it cannot bypass the Nampt bottleneck.

NMN is the only precursor that is stable and available to cells through the bloodstream, and can bypass the Nampt bottleneck to quickly restore NAD+ throughout the body.

NMN IS THE WHOLE BODY NAD+ BOOSTER

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OTHER RESEARCH WITH NMN

Aging

Head to Head Comparison of Short-Term Treatment with the NAD(+) Precursor Nicotinamide Mononucleotide (NMN) and 6 Weeks of Exercise in Obese Female Mice (Uddin, 2016)

NAD(+) levels were increased significantly both in muscle and liver by NMN
NMN-supplementation can induce similar reversal of the glucose intolerance
NMN intervention is likely to be increased catabolism of fats
NMN-supplementation does mimic exercise

DNA Damage

A conserved NAD+ binding pocket that regulates protein-protein interactions during aging (Sinclair, 2017)

This study showed supplementation with NMN was able to repair the DNA in cells damaged by radiation.

the cells of old mice were indistinguishable from young mice after just one week of treatment.”


Diabetes & Metabolic disease

Nicotinamide Mononucleotide, a Key NAD+ Intermediate, Treats the Pathophysiology of Diet- and Age-Induced Diabetes in Mice (Yoshino, 2011)

NMN was immediately utilized and converted to NAD+ within 15 min, resulting in significant increases in NAD+ levels over 60 min

administering NMN, a key NAD+ intermediate, can be an effective intervention to treat the pathophysiology of diet- and age-induced T2D

Surprisingly, just one dose of NMN normalized impaired glucose tolerance

Declining NAD+ Induces a Pseudohypoxic State Disrupting Nuclear-Mitochondrial Communication during Aging (Gomes, Sinclair,2013)

raising NAD+ levels in old mice restores mitochondrial function to that of a young mouse

treatment of old mice with NMN reversed all of these biochemical aspects of aging

restore the mitochondrial homeostasis and key biochemical markers of muscle health in a 22-month-old mouse to levels similar to a 6-month-old mouse

CardioVascular Disease

Nicotinamide mononucleotide, an intermediate of NAD+ synthesis, protects the heart from ischemia and repercussion (Yamamoto, 2014)

NMN significantly increased the level of NAD+ in the heart

NMN protected the heart from I/R injury

Nicotinamide mononucleotide supplementation reverses vascular dysfunction and oxidative stress with aging in mice (de Picciotto, 2016)

NMN reduces vascular oxidative stress
NMN treatment normalizes aortic stiffness in old mice
NMN represents a novel strategy for combating arterial aging

Short-term administration of Nicotinamide Mononucleotide preserves cardiac mitochondrial homeostasis and prevents heart failure (Zhang, 2017)

NMN can reduce myocardial inflammation

NMN thus can cut off the initial inflammatory signal, leading to reduced myocardial inflammation

Nicotinamide mononucleotide requires SIRT3 to improve cardiac function and bioenergetics in a Friedreich’s ataxia cardiomyopathy model

Remarkably, NMN administered to FXN-KO mice restores cardiac function to near-normal levels.

restoration of cardiac function and energy metabolism upon NMN supplementation
remarkable decrease in whole-body EE and cardiac energy wasting

Neurological Injury

Nicotinamide mononucleotide attenuates brain injury after intracerebral hemorrhage by activating Nrf2/HO-1 signaling pathway (Wei, 2017)

NMN treats brain injury in ICH by suppressing neuroinflammation/oxidative stress

NMN treatment protects against cICH-induced acute brain injury
NMN treatment reduces brain cell death and oxidative stress
These results further support the neuroprotection of NMN/NAD+

Alzheimers

Effect of nicotinamide mononucleotide on brain mitochondrial respiratory deficits in an Alzheimer’s disease-relevant murine model (Long, 2015)

We now demonstrate that mitochondrial respiratory function was restored

Nicotinamide mononucleotide protects against β-amyloid oligomer-induced cognitive impairment and neuronal death (Wang, 2016)

NMN could restore cognition in AD model rats.
The beneficial effect of NMN is produced by ameliorating neuron survival, improving energy metabolism and reducing ROS accumulation.
These results suggest that NMN may become a promising therapeutic drug for AD

Nicotinamide mononucleotide inhibits JNK activation to reverse Alzheimer disease(Yao, 2017)

NMN Treatment Rescues Cognitive impairments
NMN Treatment Improves Inflammatory Responses

Kidney Disease
Nicotinamide Mononucleotide, an NAD+ Precursor, Rescues Age-Associated Susceptibility to AKI in a Sirtuin 1-Dependent Manner (Guan, 2017)

Supplementation with NMN restored kidney SIRT1 and NAD+ content in 20-month-old mice and protected both young and old mice from acute kidney injury.

References:

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Nicotinamide Riboside Optimum Dosage

dosageNicotinamide Riboside (NR) is a form of vitamin B3 closely related to Niacin that is showing great promise for it’s ability to raise  NAD+ levels in older humans, back to the levels normally found in youth to prevent and repair damage to various organs in the body.

NAD+   is a key co-enzyme that enables the mitochondria to power and repair damage in every cell of our bodies.

WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM SAFE DOSAGE

There have been numerous studies of NR and NMN in mice that showed no negative side effects in Human Equivalent Dosages (HED) of 2.1 to 17 grams per day

The FDA recently granted GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status on the basis of this clinical study, which showed “no observed adverse effect level was 300 mg/kg/day.”

screen-shot-2016-10-17-at-2-25-43-pmUsing the chart here from the  FDA guidelines for calculating this to HED of 2880 mg for a 130lb person.

With the FDA required 10x safety factor, that would equate to a dose of 288 mg per day for a 130lb human.

That is likely the limit on what sellers will recommend, but many people have been taking 500-1,000mg a day with no noticeable side effects.

[box]The 10x safety factor required by the FDA results in a safe dosage of 288 mg a day, although many people take much more and few if any side effects are reported at 1,000 mg a day or less[/box]

WHAT DOSAGE IS MOST EFFECTIVE

FIRST PUBLISHED RESEARCH ON NR IMPACT TO NAD+ IN HUMANS

The first published research to date that measures the NR supplementation increase in NAD+ levels in humans by Dr Charles Brenner is also documented in the Phd dissertation by Samuel AJ Trammel at the University of Iowa.

Experiment #1
In the first experiment, one Human subject was given a single dose 1,000 mg of NR each morning for 7 days. Blood levels of NAD+ and metabolites were 9 times the first day and every 24 hours thereafter.

screenshot-2016-09-08-09-20-24

From the results shown in chart above, we see NAD+ levels did not rise until 4 hours after ingesting, peaked at around 8 hours,  and remained elevated up to 24 hours.

Experiment #2
The second experiment involving human subjects included 12 individuals that were given 100,300, or 1,000 mg of NR with a washout period of 7 days between doses. Blood levels of NAD+ were recorded at 1, 2, 4, 8, and 24 hours.

nr_nad_24-hours

nr_nad_chart

100 mg per day
This chart shows 100mg per day (purple) elevates NAD+ levels around 4 hours, dropping significantly by 8 hours and continuing to decline throughout the 24 hours.

300 mg per day
The numbers in this line (red) are slightly elevated at 8 hours, then continue rising to 24 hours.

It appears that a dosage of 300mg achieved the same NAD+ increase as 1,000 mg at the 24 hour mark.

1,000 mg per day
This line (black) looks very similar to the first test with one subject given 1,000 mg daily.

Increased NAD+ noted at 4 hours, with maximum increase reached around 8 hour. It appears NAD+ levels remain at that maximum through 24 hours.

We can see that at all dosages the NAD+ levels were elevated somewhat within 4 hours.

It does appear an upper limit was reached after which, additional NR did not raise NAD+ any further.

Dr Brenner points to the increased NAAD levels that coincide with the peak of NAD+ and suggest NAAD acts as an “overflow pool”, that may later be converted to NAD+ if needed.

Do other Metabolites of NAD+ matter?
The author notes that supplementation with Nicotinamide Riboside elevates the level of many NAD+ metabolites at different rates:

“Because every NAD+ metabolite can be converted to one or more other metabolites, snapshots of the levels of NAD+ , nicotinamide (Nam) or any other NAD+ metabolite without assessment of the NAD+ metabolome on a common scale has the potential to be misleading.”

NAAD is much higher in the 1000mg subjects. However, the first study implies there is a limit to the possible increase of NAD+. Despite repeated usage over seven days, NAD+ tops out.

The second study shows that at 24 hours, NAD+ is elevated by approximately the same amount in the 300mg and 1,000mg test subjects.

[box]Conclusion: The maximum effect appears to be achieved at some dosage around 300mg per day.

Note: Subjects in this study were healthy and between 30-55 years of age. Older, sicker subjects might benefit from higher dosages. The Elysium Basis testing with older individuals (below) will hopefully shed more light on this.[/box]

SECOND STUDY OF NR EFFECT – ELDERLY PATIENTS TAKING ELYSIUM HEALTH BASIS

niagen_basis_elysiumResearch to prove Benefits and Safety for Elysium Health Basis brand of Nicotinamide Riboside

This recently complete, but not yet published study tracked 120 elderly subjects (60-80yrs age) over 8 weeks monitored blood and heart parameters to ensure safety.

They also measured NAD+ levels and several physical performance tests.

Completed in July 2016 but not yet published, it was sponsored by Elysium Health, manufacturer of Basis Nicotinamide Riboside.

A single capsule of BASIS is 125 mg of Chromadex NIAGEN brand of Nicotinamide Riboside, along with 50 mg of Chromadex Pterostilbene.

Participants received either placebo, 1, or 2 capsules of BASIS

Elysium Health did issue a press release that states that 125 mg of NIAGEN resulted in a 40% increase in blood NAD+ levels that was maintained throughout the 8 weeks of the study.

The 250 mg dosage resulted in an increase that was “significantly higher” than the 125 mg dose, and reached 90% at one of the 4 checkpoints (4 weeks).

Since the increase from the 250 mg dosages reached a plateau at 4 weeks, and dropped afterwards, implies that a higher dosage probably would not be any more effective.

This rather speculative interpretation agrees with the results in Study #1 that the most effective dosage is higher than 125 mg, but has peaked out at 250mg a day

[box]Conclusion: Most people will likely get the maximum NAD+ increase at 250mg per day
[/box]

 

NAD+ METABOLISM IN HUMANS

NAD+ is synthesized in humans by several different molecules (precursors), thru 2 different pathways:
De Novo Pathway

  • Tryptophan
  • Nicotinic Acid (NA)

Salvage Pathway

  • NAM – Nicotinamide
  • NR – Nicotinamide Riboside
  • NMN – Nicotinamide MonoNucleotide

The NAD+ supply is not stagnant – it is constantly being consumed and replenished, with the entire NAD+ pool being turned over 2-4 times per day (14).

This recycling is through the salvage pathway, where the enzyme Nampt catalyzes NAM to NMN, which is then metabolized to NAD+.


Nampt is the rate-limiting step in the salvage process (97).

Many studies have confirmed the importance of Nampt in maintaining sufficient NAD+ levels, such as the quote below from a 2016 study that used mice lacking Nampt in muscle fiber:

“NAD content of muscle was decreased by ~85% confirmed the prevailing view that the salvage route of NAD synthesis from NAM sustains the vast majority of the NAD” (97)

These mice exhibited normal muscle strength and endurance while young, but deteriorated rapidly as they aged which confirmed Nampt is critical to maintaining NAD+ levels.

As we age, Nampt enzyme activity is lower, resulting in less NAM recycling, less NAD+, more disease and aging (97,101).

NMN and NR SUPPLEMENTS CAN BYPASS NAMPT

NR had been known for decades, but was not thought to be that important until 2004 when Dr. Charles Brenner discovered the enzyme NRK1 can phosphorylate NR directly to NMN, bypassing the Nampt “bottleneck” (100).

This newly discovered “shortcut” in the NAD+ salvage pathway found that NR can be metabolized directly to NMN to boost NAD+ levels more effectively than NAM.

MOST NR IS FIRST METABOLIZED TO NAM

When taken orally as a supplement, most NR does not make it through the digestive system intact, but is broken down to NAM (97,98,99).

Even when taken at very high dosages, NR has not been detected in the bloodstream in any research (97,98,99).

“This evidence indicates that NR is converted to NAM before absorption occurs and that this reaction is the rate-limiting step ” (98)

“NR has been shown be converted to Nam before being absorbed or reaching tissues” (99)

“we were surprised to find that NR exerts only a subtle influence on the steady state concentration of NAD in muscles. Our tracer studies suggest that this is largely attributable to breakdown of orally delivered NR into NAM prior to reaching the muscle. ” (97)

Note:NAM does elevate NAD+, but is on the “wrong” side of the Nampt bottleneck, which limits it’s effectiveness

HUMAN STUDY ON NR BIOAVAILABILITY

The following five charts are all from the thesis published by Samuel Alan Trammell in 2016 under supervision by Dr Brenner:

Nicotinamide riboside is uniquely and orally bioavailable in mice and humans


This chart above shows the impact on NAD+ metabolites over time for a 52 year old human after ingesting 1000mg of NR daily for 7 days.

NAD+ levels begin to rise at 4.1 hours, and peak at 8.1 hours.

NAM levels double at .6 hours and have a second peak at 7.7 hours, long before NAD+ levels are elevated.

This chart at right shows metabolites found in urine of the subject from the same experiment as above.

The red box shows NAM  is elevated more than 10x baseline at the same time point that NAD+ is elevated, which implies that NR has elevated NAM to such an extent that excess NAM is excreted in urine.


This chart a left shows impact of NR, NA, and NAM supplementation on blood plasma NAD+ (b), and NAM  (d) levels in 12 human subjects.

The red line at 2 hours shows NR supplementation increases NAM perhaps 3x (d), but has not yet elevated NAD+(b).

The 2 hour mark also is the point at which NAM supplementation begins to increase NAD+ levels (b).

The blue line at 8 hours is when both NR (b) and NAM (d) supplementation reach peak NAD+ increase.

Lastly, the green bar and black bar in chart b show that NAM elevates NAD+ slightly less than NR.

NR elevated NAD+ slightly more than NAM, but is much slower acting

MOUSE STUDIES ON NR BIOAVAILABILITY


The chart above shows the result on NAD+ metabolism of 15 mice fed NR by oral gavage at a dose of 185 mg/kg of bodyweight.

The NR was synthesized with heavy atoms of deuterium at the ribosyl C2 and 13C on the Nam side, to allow tracking.

The measurement at 2 hours shows 54% of the NAD+ has the single heavy molecule (white bar, M+1). This 54% was likely broken down to NAM first, losing the second labelled heavy atom.

At the same time point, 5% of the NAD+ had both labels (Grey bar, M+2).

This 5% of NR made it through the digestive tract intact and was metabolized through the shortcut from NR -> NMN -> NAD+, vs 54% that had been through NR -> NAM -> NMN -> NAD+.

The chart above shows the impact of the same double labeled NR on mouse liver, but this time after IP (Intraperitoneal) Injection.

Note the dramatic difference in the ratio of labelled M+2 over M+1. IP results in much higher levels of intact NR (M+2) being metabolized to NAD+, whereas Oral NR shows far more M+1 labelled NR to NAD+.

This different behavior in IP vs oral NR supplementation also implies oral NR is partially metabolized to NAM before conversion to NAD+.

The above chart shows the resultant increase in select NAD+ metabolites of mice fed NR (unlabeled) at 185 mg/kg of bodyweight.

As noted by the authors, NR and NAR are the only NAD+ precursors tested that did NOT result in elevated levels of the precursor in the liver.

Here is one last quote in discussion section from the Trammell thesis:

“NR has not been detected in the blood cell fraction nor in plasma …NR varied and displayed no response to NR administration … but was detected after IP of double labeled NR in liver (Figure 5.7) and muscle (Figure 5.9), revealing NR does circulate”

They are saying that NR is found in small quantities in the liver, but is not detectable in bloodstream.  Oral supplementation with NR did not show any increase in NR in the body.  However, Injection (IP) of NR does result in a detectable increase of NR in muscle and Liver. So NR does circulate in the bloodstream when injected, but has not yet been detected upon oral supplementation.

The timing and amplitude of the increases in metabolites noted above imply that:

  • Oral NR does not result in a detectable increase of NR in the body
  • It’s likely a majority of the increase in NAD+ is due to NR->NAM->NAD+.

Note: NAM does elevate NAD+, but is on the “wrong” side of the Nampt bottleneck, which limits it’s effectiveness

DOSAGE – SUMMARY

Further testing with larger sample sizes and more data points is underway that will give a much better estimate on the most effective dosage. For now, some conclusions on dosage we see are:

  • A single dose of NR does increase NAD+ levels
  • NAD+ levels remain elevated 24 hours after a single dose.
  • There is an upper limit on the increase of NAD+ levels with NR supplementation
  • Maximum NAD+ elevation is maintained at a dosage higher than 125 mg per day – likely close to 250mg per day
  • It appears that a single daily dose may be just as effective as 2  smaller dosages.

Most NR ends up as NAM after digestion, so is much slower and less effective than NMN.

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References:

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Supplementation to correct NAD+ deficiency repairs vision damage in Mice

diabeticretinopathy1

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is a coenzyme found in the cells of all living creatures (3,4) and is critical for communication between the cell nucleus and the mitochondria that power the cells (5,6,7)

LOWER NAD+ LEVELS AS WE AGE

Everyone experiences lower NAD+ levels throughout the body as we age, effecting the communication within every cell of our bodies.

Scientists have known for some time that this loss of NAD+ leads to many different age related diseases as the cells lose ability to perform basic tasks and repair damage due to oxidative stress. (8)

HEALTH ISSUES RELATED TO DECLINING NAD+ LEVELS

  • Neural cognitive dysfunction (1,2,3)
  • Decreased Energy and muscle strength (23,24)
  • Higher Blood Sugar Levels and Increased Insulin resistance (20,21,22)
  • Chronic Inflammation resulting in hypertension and heart disease( 12,13,14)
  • Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD and AFLD)(15,16,17)
  • Increased belly fat (18,19)

[box]Conclusion: Declining NAD+ levels are implicated in many age related disease and chronic conditions[/box]

NAD+ DEFICIENCY IMPLICATED IN RETINAL DISEASE

In addition to the chronic age related diseases found to be related to declining NAD+ levels, the study below finds impaired NAD+ biosynthesis in many diverse retinal diseases among young and older mice.

NAMPT-Mediated NAD+ Biosynthesis Is Essential for Vision In Mice

This study published in cell magazine published sep 27, 2016 found that

  • Limiting the natural NAD+ synthesis in the photoreceptors in Mice results in loss of vision
  • Supplementation to increase NAD+ reverses the damage and restores vision
  • Mouse models of retinal dysfunction exhibit early retinal NAD+ deficiency
  • NAD+ deficiency causes retinal metabolic dysfunction

Vision depends on the 2 classes of photoreceptors the rods and cones. Many different diseases such as Retinitis Pigments (RP), Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), Rod and Cone Dystrophies, and Leber Congenital Amaurosis (LCA) all attack the photoreceptors thru diverse pathways that lead to photoreceptor death and blindness.

Photoreceptors are known to have high energy requirements, but limited reserves so are dependent on constant synthesis of NAD+ to meet energy needs. (Ames et al., 1992, Okawa et al., 2008)

The authors theorized that NAD+ biosynthesis plays a key role in healthy vision. They noted that the leading cause of blindness in children, LCA, is caused by a mutation in the enzyme NMNAT1 which results in impaired synthesis of NAD+.(Falk et al., 2012, Koenekoop et al., 2012, Sasaki et al., 2015)

In mammals, NAM is catalyzed by nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) as the first step in biosynthesis of NAD+.

In this study, researchers created knockout mice that lack NAMPt in rod photoreceptors which disrupts the normal NAD+ biosynthesis, resulting in a 26-43% reduction in retinal NAD+ levels.

Within 6 weeks, these mice exhibited significant photoreceptor death and vision loss. The results very closely matched the degeneration seen in patients with Retinitis Pigments and other degenerative vision disease.

According to the authors:

NAD+ deficiency caused metabolic dysfunction and consequent photoreceptor death…these findings demonstrate that NAD+ biosynthesis is essential for vision

SUPPLEMENTATION TO INCREASE NAD+ PREVENTS PHOTORECEPTOR DEGENERATION AND RESTORES VISION

screen-shot-2016-10-04-at-10-16-05-am
To confirm the cause of vision loss, researchers supplemented knockout mice with daily injections of NMN, bypassing the need for NAMPT in the first step of NAD+ synthesis. Those mice receiving NMN experienced significant recovery of retinal function.
(Figures 3A–3C).

These data clearly demonstrate that NAMPT-mediated NAD+ biosynthesis is necessary for the survival and function of both rod and cone photoreceptors, as promoting NAD+ biosynthesis in the retina with NMN supplementation can compensate for Nampt deletion, thereby reducing photoreceptor death and improving vision.

NAD+ DEFICIENCY IS COMMON IN MANY RETINAL DISEASES

screen-shot-2016-10-04-at-10-15-02-am

Researchers were able to determine that NAD+ deficiency is common in many vision problems.

Mice subjected to light exposure retinal damage had significant reduction in NAD+ levels (Figure 3H)

Similar reductions in NAD+ levels were found in mice with streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic retinal dysfunction compared to non-hyperglycemic controls (Figure 3I).

Lastly, they compared 18-month-old vs 6 month old mice. As with the light exposed and diabetic induced mice, the older mice exhibited diminished vision along with decreased retinal NAD+ levels (Figure 3J).

These findings support the idea that NAD+ deficiency may be a shared feature of retinal dysfunction.

SUPPLEMENTATION TO INCREASE NAD+ PROTECTS VISION

screen-shot-2016-10-04-at-10-12-49-amAfter demonstrating that light induced retinal dysfunction was linked to decreased NAD+ levels, researchers were able to show that supplementation to increase NAD+ could protect against retinal damage.

Mice that were given injections of NMN for 6 days prior, and 3 days after light exposure exhibited improved retinal function vs those that did not receive NMN injections (Figures 4A–4C).

[box]Conclusion: Results from this study suggest that supplementation to increase NAD+ deficiencies can help repair macular damage and may be an effective treatment for many common degenerative vision problems.[/box]

IMPLICATIONS FOR HUMANS

David_Sinclair_solo_mid_0_0_4_1
This study was very specific for the impact of NAD+ on Retinal disease in Mice, but is also further evidence that the absence of sufficient NAD+ has dire consequences, and that replacement of NAD+ can repair damage.

Researchers are experimenting with various techniques for raising NAD+ levels in mice and humans such as:

NMN
The 2013 study by Dr David Sinclair that demonstrated increased levels of NAD+  reverses age related degeneration in mice also used injections of NMN (25).

You can read more about Nicotinamide Mono-Nucleotide (NMN) here.

NICOTINAMIDE RIBOSIDE
Other studies with mice and human subjects use supplementation with Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) to raise NAD+ levels.

NR is a precursor the body can use to manufacture NAD+. It has been shown to be safe and effective at raising NAD+ levels in humans in dosages of around 250mg a day.

CD38
Another approach to boosting NAD+ levels is preventing the drop in NAD+ levels in the first place.

Recent studies have demonstrated that the enzyme CD38 becomes elevated as we age, possibly in response to increasing inflammation levels, and corresponds with declining NAD+ levels.

QUERCETIN
Flavonoids such as Quercetin are proving effective at lowering CD38 levels which results in higher circulating levels of NAD+ in the bloodstream.

Dr Sinclair recently published this article on CD38 and concluded that:

    • Combating the rise of CD38 is a promising approach to protect NAD+ levels.
    • The efficacy of NAD+ precursors may be enhanced by co-supplementation with CD38 inhibitors
Conclusion: Inhibiting CD38 to prevent NAD+ destruction AND supplementing with NAD+ precursors so the body can create more NAD+ is a promising new avenue in the anti-aging battle

Coconut Water Or Gatorade


There are many health claim benefits that the coconut water producing companies are touting. Among the claims are: it will boost circulation, lower blood pressure, boost the immune system, raise the metabolism, treat kidney stones, reduce the risk of cancer and stroke, has anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties, helps to carry nutrients and oxygen to cells, removes toxins from the body, aids with digestion and prevents constipation.

Coconut water is the juice found in young, green coconuts. It has a sweet nutty taste. Coconut water has long been the standard drink of countries where coconut trees are abundant such as Southeast Asia, Africa, Pacific Islands and the Caribbean. Natives usually just bore a hole in a fresh nut and drink it with a straw because once the water is exposed to air it will rapidly lose most of its nutritional value and will begin to ferment. Coconut water is naturally sterile, isotonic and has the same level of electrolytes as found in human blood. It was used during WWII as a plasma replacement for wounded soldiers.

Coconut water should not be confused with coconut milk which is the high-fat emulsion of mature coconut meat. Coconut water is about 95% water and is fat-free, cholesterol-free and full of the electrolytes: sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.
Coconut water naturally contains about 11 or 12 grams of sugar, which adds up to about 50 or 60 calories per serving.

Coconut water companies main claim is that coconut water is the best drink to re-hydrate the body after exercising. Nutritional experts state that coconut water can be a good drink for hydration after normal exercising but warn that it may not be the best drink after vigorous and strenuous exercising due to the high loss of sodium in sweat. The replacement of sodium after water loss is much more important than potassium. Coconut water contains about 569 mg of potassium and 160 mg of sodium compared to Gatorade, which is formulated for athletes and contains around 52.5 mg of potassium and 192 mg of sodium. Plus coconut water contains very little protein and carbohydrates, which are essential for rapid recovery from dehydration.

Coconut water costs on average about 62 cents an ounce whereas Gatorade costs on average at retail around 24 cents per ounce. So, the choice is yours, coconut water as an expensive re-hydrating drink or as an occasional refreshing drink that may be beneficial to your health. Much like the hype over Garcinia Cambogia – it has some benefits, but is way too expensive in our opinion.

As a side note, many people order young green coconuts that come from Thailand to drink the fresh coconut water straight from the nut. Be aware that young Thai Coconuts must undergo intensive chemical treatment to assure a long shelf life.

The coconuts may be dipped in formaldehyde to help prevent molding and to keep the meat white. The formaldehyde will leech into the fruit and water. If ordering fresh young green Thai coconuts, or any other fresh young green coconuts that come from overseas markets for that matter, do your research on the company and inquire if the coconuts have been treated before buying and consuming.

Obese People’s Brains Respond Differently to Sugar

Many people believe that excessive sugar intake is one of the main reasons for the “obesity epidemic.”

This is not because sugar is high in calories. Instead, evidence suggests that sugar may increase cravings and promote higher overall calorie intake.

Recently, a team of researchers examined the effects of sugar — glucose and fructose — on brain activity in lean and obese adolescents. Here is a detailed summary of their findings.

Obese Woman Happily Eating Ice Cream Cone

Background

High intakes of sugar, especially sugar-sweetened beverages, have been associated with an increased risk of becoming overweight or obese.

The two most common forms of simple sugars (monosaccharides) in the diet are glucose and fructose. In foods, they often occur together or are combined in the form of sucrose (table sugar).

Some researchers have suggested that sugar may be addictive, similarly to some narcotic drugs, explaining its link to obesity (12).

Although several studies support this idea, strong evidence is still lacking.

Article Reviewed

This study examined the effects of glucose and fructose on blood flow in the brain of lean and obese adolescents.

Altered Brain Response to Drinking Glucose and Fructose in Obese Adolescents.

Study Design

This observational study investigated the effects of eating glucose and fructose on brain blood flow and appetite hormones in lean and obese adolescents.

A total 38 adolescents were recruited — 14 lean and 24 obese. They were 13–19 years old and apparently healthy.

On separate occasions after an overnight fast, the participants consumed 75 grams of glucose or 75 grams of fructose, dissolved in 300 ml of cherry-flavored water.

Afterwards, the researchers measured the following:

  • Brain blood flow: The researchers assessed cerebral blood flow (brain perfusion) in different brain regions, using pulsed arterial spin labeling (PASL) and functional MRI. The brain scans took an hour.
  • Glucose: Every 10 minutes the researchers took blood samples to measure blood sugar (glucose).
  • Fructose: Circulating levels of fructose were measured 20, 40 and 60 minutes after drinking the glucose and fructose beverages.
  • Appetite hormones: Ghrelin, insulin, leptin and adiponectin were also measured in blood samples.
  • Self-rated appetite: At the beginning and end of each session, the participants were asked to rate their feelings of hunger, satiety and fullness using a visual analog scale.

Bottom Line: This observational study examined the effects of eating glucose and fructose on brain activity in lean and obese adolescents.

Finding 1: Obese Adolescents’ Brains Responded Differently to Sugar

The researchers discovered that the brains of obese adolescents responded differently to sugar consumption, compared to those of lean adolescents.

In obese individuals, eating glucose or fructose reduced blood flow in the prefrontal cortex — a brain region involved with decision making and behavioral choices.

Glucose also increased blood flow in the hypothalamus — a region involved with appetite — whereas fructose increased blood flow in the ventral striatum — a brain region involved with food rewards, cravings and pleasure (3).

In contrast, when normal-weight individuals ate the same amount of glucose, blood flow increased in the prefrontal cortex, while remaining unchanged in the hypothalamus and ventral striatum.

Interpreting these findings, the authors speculated that sugar intake may reduce conscious control of sugar intake and increase brain activity involved with food reward processing. These effects might promote the overconsumption of sugar.

The results are supported by a previous study showing that obese adolescents had higher ratings of disinhibition (lack of restraint) and impulsivity (4).

Animal studies have also found that regular sugar intake may lead to binge drinking of sugar-sweetened beverages, sugar cravings and increased consumption of other foods when sugar is not available (1).

A previous study in lean adults showed that eating glucose reduced blood flow in the hypothalamus and ventral striatum, whereas fructose did not significantly affect blood flow (5).

Taken together, the results of the current and previous studies indicate that regular and excessive sugar intake might lead to sugar addiction in some people.

Bottom Line: In obese adolescents, sugar increased brain activity in regions involved with pleasure and cravings and reduced activity in regions involved with decision making.

Finding 2: Eating Sugar Increased Hunger in Obese Adolescents

Hunger ratings increased significantly after eating glucose and fructose in obese adolescents, whereas they remained unchanged in those who were lean.

However, ratings of fullness were higher among lean adolescents after drinking the fructose beverage.

These findings suggest that sugar intake may promote excessive calorie intake in obese individuals.

Bottom Line: Eating either glucose or fructose significantly increased self-rated feelings of hunger in obese adolescents. In contrast, glucose and fructose did not affect hunger ratings in lean participants.

Finding 3: Effects on Circulating Levels of Hormones and Sugar

Blood sugar (glucose) rose similarly in both obese and lean adolescents after consuming glucose. However, insulin levels were slightly higher in those who were obese.

A similar but insignificant increase in blood sugar was seen after eating the fructose.

Normally, glucose and fructose consumption reduces the levels of ghrelin — the hunger hormone. Compared to lean adolescents, this suppression of ghrelin levels was lower in obese adolescents.

These changes were associated with changes in blood flow in several brain regions — the hypothalamus, thalamus and hippocampus.

The authors speculated that changes in ghrelin and insulin may possibly contribute to the differences in brain activity. However, the role of insulin and ghrelin in obesity is still unclear.

Bottom Line: The hormones ghrelin and insulin might be involved with the glucose and fructose-related changes in brain activity. However, their exact role is still poorly understood.

Limitations

The main limitation of the current study is its assessment of brain activity. It measured neuronal activity indirectly by assessing brain blood flow (brain perfusion), a marker of neuronal activity.

Second, the study didn’t include a control group and the data was observational. For this reason, we cannot rule out that factors other than sugar affected brain blood flow.

Third, the researchers didn’t measure eating behavior directly.

Finally, the simple sugars glucose and fructose are usually not eaten in isolation. Rather, they’re found in foods or consumed together as sucrose or high-fructose corn syrup.

Summary and Real-Life Application

In short, this study showed that sugar (fructose and glucose) has different effects on brain activity in obese and lean adolescents.

Specifically, sugar intake among obese individuals was associated with increased activity (blood flow) in brain regions involved with pleasure and food-reward processing and reduced activity in regions involved with decision making.

These findings indicate that obese adolescents are more likely to succumb to cravings and eat excessive amounts of sugar. However, further studies are needed to confirm these findings by measuring eating behavior directly.

Although it’s easier said than done, limiting your sugar intake is one of the most important things you can do to lose weight.

Does Cumin REALLY help with Weight Loss?

cumin seedThough  you’ve probably heard of cumin, I bet you didn’t know that it can help you with losing weight.

Add Cumin to your diet and you’ll get an increase in your metabolism, kick your immune system into better gear, naturally detox your body on a regular basis and burn fat way faster.

Known as Jeera in India, Cumin is very common in African, Indian, Asian and Latin American dishes and offers a wide variety of health benefits… both for physical and mental health.

Weight Loss – More effective than prescription drugs!

A recent study of 78 men and women showed Cumin as effective as prescription drug Orlistat (brand names alli or Xenical) for weight loss, without the nasty side effects (1).

Over the 8 week trial, those receiving Cumin lost an average of 2-3 lbs – better than those taking Orlistat.

Another recent research study at Shahid University tested women on a controlled diet who were given cumin powder vs placebo.

The women given cumin powder lost 3 more pounds, and decreased their body fat % almost 15% vs less than 5% for the control group (2).

The dosage tested was 3 grams – or about 1 teaspoon of cumin powder daily, mixed with yogurt.

Abdominal Fat Burning

Both of these studies showed that not only is cumin great at overall helping your body not to build and store fat, but it’s specifically good at targeting your abdominal fat.

Cumin is not a magic diet pill but it does appear to be as effective for weight loss as popular prescription diet drugs

money bag

Why you haven’t heard about Cumin for Weight Loss

Its pretty simple really – Cumin is readily available at any grocery store, which means that:

1. Big Pharma companies can’t make huge dollars selling you a prescription

2. Scammers can’t tell you its a miracle pill and sell you their pills for $40 a bottle.

Its probably not as strong as Lipodrene, but research shows it is effective for weight loss, proven for thousands of years to have no bad side effects, and many other positive health benefits.

Other benefits of Cumin besides Weight Loss

heart

Besides the 2 studies mentioned above, there have been numerous studies that demonstrate positive

Lower Cholesterol and Triglycerides 

In the study at Shahid University, those taking cumin lowered their triglycerides 23 points and nearly 10 points off their LDL cholesterol levels (2).

Improve Mental Health with Cumin

Cumin is also beneficial to mental health,  and can help you improve your memory and sharpen your concentration skills (4).

Sleep

sleepCumin has been prescribed for thousands of years to help alleviate insomnia.

Recent studies suggest the anti-stress and relaxation properties probably account for the long recognized  benefits as a sleep aid (4).

Digestive system

In Indian cuisine it’s commonly combined with a number or other spices, such as ginger, fenugreek, black pepper and turmeric powder.

This helps increase the effect that it has on your digestive system and helps your body absorb more nutrients, which in turn helps prevent your body from storing fat(6)

Cumin is an amazing source of iron, which is important for ensuring a healthy digestive system. It helps your body produce energy more effectively, carry a healthy supply of oxygen to the tissues in your body, and improves your immune system.

Arthritis, Asthma, and more

Cumin has also been proven to help those who suffer from arthritis, asthma and kidney disease.

Side Effects
This study of cumin (5) with subjects taking up to 20 grams of cumin daily showed it was “well tolerated with no significant adverse side effects.

Where to Buy

Virtually any grocery store will have Cumin in their spice section.

If you don’t want to carry a bottle around with you to sprinkle on your meals, you might try taking some capsules along.

They cost more than the powdered spice, but some people find the convenience to be worth it.

We did carry Cumin capsules in our store, but they are out of stock right now. The amazon product at left is the only other source we could find.

Final Thought: Add Cumin to your diet

In one of the studies demonstrating the best weight loss results, the test subjects mixed cumin powder in their yogurt, so that is a good option for many people.

You’ll need to carry some with you during the day since it works best taking it 3 times a day.

Just remember to take 500-1,000mg 3 times a day with a full glass of water before, or with your meals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cuminum cyminum extract attenuates scopolamine-induced memory loss and stress-induced.

Effect of cumin powder on body composition and lipid profile in overweight and obese women.

Weight loss in animals and humans treated with “weighlevel”, a combination of four medicinal plants

One year sustainability of risk factor change from a 9-week 

The influence of different single dietary sources 

Methanolic extract of Cuminum cyminum inhibits ovariectomy

African Mango raised good hormone levels

Featured on Dr Oz show

Dr Oz dietOn his TV show Dr Oz featured African Mango on his popular. He called it a “breakthrough supplement” and a “miracle in your medicine cabinet”, the “#1 miracle in a bottle to burn your fat”.

  • Melts stubborn body fat
  • Miracle in your medicine cabinet
  • Decrease weight and waist circumference

Proven weight loss in University studies

According to a 2009 study on Irvingia Gabonensis (African Mango), it steps in and acts a completely natural appetite suppressant. When you take African Mango, it actually starts to interact with and help your brain send different signals about how hungry you are.

102 participants in a ten-week study were given either a placebo or 150mg of African Mango. This was done twice a day before eating a meal. Those taking African Mango capsules lost nearly 30 pounds in ten weeks, as well as more than six inches around the waist and nearly 20% body fat. LDL cholesterol levels improved, too. This was a double-blind study.

Its the seeds, not the fruit…

Dr Oz diet

The African Mango is a fruit that’s native to African rainforest. It is very different than other Mangoes, and it is actually the SEEDS, called “dika nuts” that are ground up and used to curb hunger.

Used for Centuries by natives in Africa

Dika Nuts have been used by natives in Africa for centuries, to ward off hunger on long hunting trips. Lately, it’s been studied for more than 20 years… Actually, you might be surprised to learn that it’s been studied more than ephedrine and fen-phen.

Leptin is the key

You’ve likely never heard of Leptin. It’s a hormone that plays a role in how big your appetite is and you get it from African Mango. In fact, you won’t find any other supplement proven to help give you a good, balanced level of Leptin. Mango supplements have even been shown to lower your C-reactive proteins, which is commonly just referred to as CPR. The combination of CPR and Leptin in your system will greatly help you keep your appetite under control.

African Mango key to the Superfruit Diet

Superfruit is a term used to describe fruits that have many positive health benefits in addition to aiding weight loss. The main ingredients in the Superfruit Diet are all super healthy productsrecommended by Dr Oz on his show and in magazine articles such as the one here.

African Mango is a safe, natural way to stop hunger. Combined with the other ingredients recommended by Dr Oz, the Superfruit Diet is the most powerful healthy diet aid available.

No patent, so ignored by big Pharma

Sadly, when something like this is discovered, it’s often ignored or even buried by the government and big pharmaceutical companies. There’s just not a huge profit to be made when something this powerful is naturally found in nature instead of something they can patent like the recently announced Belviq, or Qnexa. Those have multi-billion dollar investments that will be recouped thru huge profit margins, even though they are much less effective than natural products like African Mango, Raspberry Ketone, or Green Coffee Extract.


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Can the Menstralean Diet Help You Lose Weight?

The Menstralean diet is a cutting edge weight loss strategy for women.

Basically, it’s synchronized with the phases of the menstrual cycle, and scientists believe that it may be easier to adhere to than the traditional approach.

Recently, a team of researchers conducted a randomized controlled trial comparing the Menstralean diet with a conventional weight loss diet.

Here is a detailed summary of their findings.

Fit Woman Holding Gym Bag And Phone

Background

In women of reproductive age, the menstrual cycle is a recurring monthly process that prepares the body for possible pregnancy.

On average, the length of the menstrual cycle is 28 days and can be divided into three phases:

  1. Menstruation (days 1–4).
  2. Follicular phase (days 5–15).
  3. Luteal phase (days 16–28).

The menstrual cycle is characterized by metabolic changes and fluctuations in hormones. Compared to menstruation and the follicular phase, the luteal phase is associated with the following:

  • More frequent food cravings, especially for carbs and fat (12).
  • Increased calorie intake (3).
  • Increased calorie expenditure (4).

Simply put, women tend to have a greater appetite during the luteal phase, which can promote weight gain. During this phase, it may also be harder to stick to a calorie-reduced diet.

The Menstralean weight loss program is adjusted to the different phases of the menstrual cycle. Some researchers believe that this makes it easier to follow in the long-term, compared to conventional, calorie-reduced diets.

Article Reviewed

A team of Danish researchers examined the effectiveness of the Menstralean diet and exercise program on weight loss in women.

A weight-loss program adapted to the menstrual cycle increases weight loss in healthy, overweight, premenopausal women: a 6-mo randomized controlled trial.

Study Design

The purpose of this 6-month, randomized controlled trial was to examine the effectiveness of a weight loss program designed to moderate the effects of the menstrual cycle.

A total of 31 healthy but overweight, premenopausal women completed the study. None of them were taking hormonal contraceptives.

Each of the women followed an exercise program and calorie-reduced diet that provided 1,600 kcal per day.

They were randomly assigned to one of two groups:

  • Menstralean diet: This diet was tailored to the metabolic changes that occur during the menstrual cycle. It changed depending on the phase of the menstrual cycle (see chart below).
  • Control diet: This was a simple, calorie-reduced diet that contained 45–50% of calories from carbs, 15–20% from protein and 30% from fat.

All women in the Menstralean diet group started the program on the first day of their menstrual cycle.

The Menstralean diet was a 28-day plan designed to match the three phases of the menstrual cycle. Specifically, the proportion of protein, fat and carbs differed depending on the phase, as shown in the chart below:

Carbs Protein Fat By Phase

The luteal phase (phase 3) is associated with more frequent food cravings and increased calorie intake (3).

For this reason, the participants were allowed to eat an additional 200 kcal of dark chocolate per day during phase 3.

What’s more, the diet in phases 2 and 3 provided higher amounts of protein (30% of total calories) in hopes that it would reduce appetite and cravings, making the program easier to follow.

All of the participants were also advised to exercise. On the Menstralean diet, the exercise routine changed depending on the phase of the menstrual cycle:

  • Phase 1 (days 1-5): Light training once a day. This involved walking, yoga or stretching.
  • Phase 2 (days 6-14): Circuit training consisting of weight and aerobic exercises 2 days a week and cardio 2–3 days a week.
  • Phase 3 (days 15-28): Weight training 2 days a week and cardio 2–3 days a week.
  • Control (days 1-28): Vigorous exercise for half an hour 2 days of the week but moderate exercise on the other 5 days. This exercise program corresponded to Danish public health guidelines.

At the start, midpoint and end of the study, the researchers measured body weight and waist circumference.

Bottom Line: This was a randomized controlled trial examining the effectiveness of the Menstralean diet, a weight loss program that’s synchronized with the menstrual cycle.

Finding: The Menstralean Weight Loss Program Caused Greater Weight Loss

Weight loss was similar in both groups when average values were compared.

However, when participants who didn’t fully comply with the program were excluded from the calculations, those in the Menstralean group turned out to have lost significantly more weight, compared to the control group.

These findings are shown in the chart below:

Menstralean Vs Control Group Weight Loss

Simply put, those who followed the Menstralean weight loss program lost an additional 10 pounds (5 kg) over a 6-month period, compared to the control group.

Waist circumference also decreased by additional 1.1 inches (2.8 cm) in the Menstralean group, compared to the control group.

The protein content of the Menstralean diet was higher than the control group’s. Specifically, protein provided 30% of the total calories most days on the Menstralean diet but only 15–20% on the control diet.

Eating more protein is an effective weight loss strategy and may have been responsible for at least some of the differences between groups (56).

This is the first study to examine the effectiveness of a weight loss program that is synchronized with the menstrual cycle. Further studies need to confirm its findings.

Bottom Line: Those participants who managed to follow the Menstralean weight loss program lost significantly more weight than those in the control group.

Limitations

This study had several limitations.

First, it was not possible to blind the participants to their treatment. Those in the Menstralean group may have realized that they had been assigned to a new and unusual weight loss program.

As a result, they may have become more motivated than those in the control group.

Accordingly, the drop-out rate was much higher in the control group (61%) than the Menstralean group (38%).

Second, the drop-out rate was quite high, suggesting that the weight loss program may have been hard to follow and not for everyone.

Third, the Menstralean diet may not be relevant for women taking hormonal contraceptives.

Finally, the menstrual cycle is highly variable between women. Accurately synchronizing a weight loss program with the menstrual cycle may be difficult.

Bottom Line: The study’s main limitations were a high drop-out rate and indications of lower motivation in the control group.

Summary and Real-Life Application

In short, this study suggests that synchronizing a weight loss program with the phases of the menstrual cycle makes it easier to follow. This approach was called the Menstralean diet.

However, the study had several limitations that make the findings difficult to interpret.

First, the Menstralean diet provided higher amounts of protein, compared to the control group.

Second, differences in drop-out rates suggest that participants on the control diet may have been less motivated. Of course, this also supports the idea that the Menstralean diet is easier to stick to, but we do not know for sure.

Simply put, it’s debatable whether matching a diet to the phases of the menstrual cycle is more effective than a traditional approach. Further studies need to confirm the findings.

High-Protein Breakfasts Burn Calories and Reduce Hunger

Obesity is a serious health concern.

In both children and adults, it may increase the risk of several chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

For successful weight loss, multiple strategies are usually required. One effective approach may be to eat more protein  (1).

For this reason, researchers set out to see if high-protein breakfasts could help burn calories and reduce appetite in overweight and normal-weight children.

High Protein Egg Breakfast with Toast

Background

“Calories burned” refers to the rate at which the body uses energy.

In more scientific terms, it is known as energy expenditure. When energy expenditure rises after a meal, it is referred to as the thermic effect of food.

Compared to fat and carbs, protein has a greater thermic effect and is considered very weight-loss friendly (2).

Protein contains many fewer calories than fat, by weight. And, although its calorie content is equal to that of carbs, eating more protein appears to speed up our metabolism. This temporarily increases the amount of calories burned (34).

Article Reviewed

Researchers at the University of Arkansas set out to examine whether a high-protein breakfast could help burn calories and reduce appetite, when compared to a high-carb breakfast.

The results were recently published in the Journal of Nutrition:

Breakfasts Higher in Protein Increase Postprandial Energy Expenditure, Increase Fat Oxidation, and Reduce Hunger in Overweight Children from 8 to 12 Years of Age.

Basic Study Design

The study was a randomized, crossover study in normal-weight and overweight children, aged 8–12.

A total of 35 girls and boys participated, but only 29 completed the study.

The children were randomly assigned to one of two groups:

  1. High-protein breakfast: This breakfast contained 21% protein (18 g), 52% carbs and 27% fat. The calorie content was 344 kcal. It consisted of an egg, egg whites, butter, orange juice and two slices of white bread.
  2. High-carb breakfast: This breakfast contained 4% protein (3 g), 67% carbs, and 29% fat. The calorie content was 327 kcal. It consisted of a frozen waffle, butter, maple syrup and orange juice.

Since the study had a crossover design, all participants had both types of breakfast on separate occasions.

The two breakfasts had a similar calorie content. The fiber and fat content was also controlled.

Immediately after eating breakfast, energy expenditure, fat and carb oxidation, appetite and blood sugar were measured over a 4-hour period.

Additionally, food intake was estimated at the end of the testing period by providing participants with a free lunch buffet and recording how much they ate.

Bottom Line: The study was a randomized, crossover trial in overweight and normal-weight children. The study compared the effects of high-protein and high-carb breakfasts on appetite and calories burned.

Finding 1: High-Protein Breakfasts Help Burn More Calories

The high-protein breakfast increased the amount of calories burned in both the normal-weight and overweight children.

Here is an overview of the main results:

  • Fat oxidation was 16% higher after the high-protein breakfast, compared to the high-carb breakfast.
  • Carb oxidation was 32% higher 4 hours after the high-protein breakfast, compared to the high-carb breakfast.

The effect of protein on calories burned is well known. Many studies have shown that high-protein meals increase the amount of calories burned, compared to meals that are high in carbs (25).

Bottom Line: The high-protein breakfast increased the amount of calories burned after the meal more than the high-carb breakfast did. This is supported by previous studies.

Finding 2: Protein is More Filling Than Carbs

All participants were less hungry and felt more full after the high-protein breakfast, compared to the high-carb breakfast (stay away from applesauce ?).

Here are the results:

  • Hunger was 14% less after the high-protein breakfast.
  • Fullness was 32% greater after the high-protein breakfast.
  • Desire to eat was 30% less after the high-protein breakfast.

All of these differences were independent of body weight.

These results are supported by previous studies showing that eating high-protein meals may increase fullness and reduce hunger (56).

However, in the present study there was no significant difference in food intake between groups at the lunch buffet.

This is supported by one study in children who had a low-glycemic breakfast. While they remained full for a longer time, there was no effect on food intake at lunch (7).

Bottom Line: The high-protein breakfast was more filling than the high-carb breakfast, resulting in decreased hunger and increased fullness.

Finding 3: Protein Helps Burn More Calories in Overweight Children

In overweight children, the high-protein breakfast appeared to increase fat oxidation and energy expenditure to a greater extent than in normal-weight children.

After the high-protein breakfast, the energy expenditure was 4.09 and 3.68 kcal/240 min among the overweight and normal-weight children, respectively.

This indicates that protein may have stronger effects on burning calories in overweight children.

Bottom Line: The high-protein breakfast helped burn more calories in overweight children than it did in normal-weight children.

Finding 4: High-Protein Breakfasts May Help Moderate Blood Sugar Levels

Both breakfasts resulted in similar increases in blood sugar.

However, there were some differences:

  • Blood sugar levels were 10% higher 30 minutes after the high-carb breakfast, but only among normal-weight children.
  • Blood sugar levels were 6.3% higher 240 minutes after the high-protein breakfast.

These results indicate that the high-protein meal helps lower blood sugar levels and preventing large fluctuations.

This is supported by previous studies showing that diets high in protein may improve blood sugar control (8910).

Bottom Line: There were only small differences in blood sugar levels between groups. However, there were some indications that a high-protein breakfast may be better at stabilizing blood sugar levels.

Limitations

The study had a few limitations:

  • The effects of high-protein and high-carb breakfasts were examined with only one test meal for each.
  • The participants were children. It is unclear if the results can be generalized to adults.
  • The study had few participants. A greater number of participants might have given different results.
  • The overweight and normal-weight participants had breakfasts with a similar calorie content. Since overweight children presumably have higher calorie intakes, this might have affected the results.
  • The high-protein breakfast contained only 22% protein. A higher protein content could have given different results.

Summary

In short, the study shows that high-protein breakfasts can help burn calories and reduce hunger.

They temporarily cause more calories to be burned, when compared to high-carb breakfasts. Additionally, they may help reduce appetite for a few hours.

At the end of the day, adding protein to your meals may be a valuable long-term strategy against weight gain and obesity.