Is Basis by Elysium Health a Hoax?

As we age, levels of the co-enzyme Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide NAD+ drop significantly in multiple organs, which disrupts our bodies ability to fight inflammation, disease, and physiological decline  (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 Sinclair  of Harvard stunned researchers by showing 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.

Since then, dozens of other studies have been published investigating the efficacy of supplementation with NAD+ precursors such as NMN and Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) in treatment and prevention of a wide range of disease including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimers, Parkinsons, and more (5,6,7,9,10,11,13,14,15,16,23).

BASIS USES NICOTINAMIDE RIBOSIDE

NR and NMN are precursors that are used by our bodies to replenish NAD+ levels.

In 2004 Dr Charles Brenner published a paper showing that the enzyme Nrk1 can catalyze NR directly to NMN (100) which might make it a much more effective precursor to NAD+.  Although NR is unstable by itself, Dartmouth University has patented production methods that combine it with Chloride which makes it stable.

Chromadex has licensed this technology and has been selling NR commercially since 2014 under the brand name “Niagen”.

Basis is the brand name used by Elysium Health to market their Nicotinamide Riboside product.

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+ 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

WHAT WE RECOMMEND

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NOBEL PRIZE WINNING ADVISORS

1000s of articles have teased us with the possibility that taking Niagen could halt or maybe even actually reverse some of the signs of aging. Of course there is a lot of skepticism with such claims.

Chromadex has been producing the only commercially available form of Niagen and supplies it to 20 or more different companies that put their own brand name on the bottle and sell to customers.

Elysium Health is only one of these sellers, although they have fairly deep pockets and extensive connections among top researchers in the field.

They have also enlisted 6 Nobel Laurete scientists to serve as advisors to the company, which lends a great deal of credibility.

However, these scientists have had no significant role in researching,creating or testing Basis or either of the ingredients used.

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Elysium Health makes a change to the formula for Basis


Basis contracted to buy Nicotinamide Riboside Chloride (often referred to as NR, or the brand name Niagen), and combine it with another off the shelf product from Chromadex, Pterostilbene.

But in June 2016, Elysium got into a contract dispute with Chromadex and later sued Chromadex for abusing the patent process.

Their goal seems to be to invalidate Chromadex patent(s) so they could produce their own version, which appears to be what they are doing now.

Elysium has changed the product information on their website to list “Nicotinamide Riboside”, without the Chloride.  A key patent Chromadex has licensed the rights to involves adding the Chloride to make it more stable.

This new ingredient used by Basis likely has the same effects in the human body, but we don’t really know for sure.

It seems Elysium Health plans to go forward with this revised formula for now, and continue to use previous test results obtained with their prior  formula that used Chromadex Nicotinamide Riboside Chloride.  It will be interesting to see how that strategy holds up going forward.

Elysium Health has some very slick Marketing people

So now they have changed their product to use a slightly different ingredient, but want to smooth it over and not cause customers to worry about it.

Their answer is to portray the change as something they did on purpose – to MAKE THE PRODUCT BETTER.

When a customer questioned the change, this is how they answered on their Facebook page:

Hi Anne–

Thank you for reaching out to us with your questions. I’d be happy to provide additional information for you here!

From the start, Elysium has always been committed to bringing superior, high-quality supplements to market. As part of that effort, we have established a new supply chain, located in the United States, that utilizes a proprietary process to produce Nicotinamide Riboside — the first of its kind for the production of Basis, and this does fully meet the GMP standard as outlined by the FDA. We believe our vertically integrated supply chain benefits our customers as it enables us to better manage manufacturing, packaging, shipment and eventually the expansion of our new product line.
While the specific Basis formulation and the amount of each ingredient have not changed, this new production process has allowed us to take an exceptional product and make it even purer. This reflects our ongoing commitment to being a trusted source for our customers by continually exceeding the highest standards in the industry.

In regard to your question about GMO’s, this does not apply to Basis as we don’t have food products in our ingredients eligible for genetic modification. Basis is produced by nature identical synthesis, meaning that the active molecules are constructed to be nature identical. This process is preferable to attempting to distill down the ingredients from food as the final product is purer than what the bi-product would be via distillation.
If you have other questions or if there is anything we can do to help, my team can be reached directly here or by email at care@elysiumhealth.com or phone at 888-220-6436.

Pretty slick, I thought. No, they didn’t substitute something they just threw together to get around the patent and supply problem – they made something more pure and trustworthy.

I don’t know who is going to with the legal battles between Chromadex and Elysium Health, but I see Elysium as way ahead in the marketing department even if I don’t really trust their honesty.

WHY BASIS – IS IT BETTER THAN OTHER BRANDS?

Why Logo White red You’ll find very little mention of Niagen in the sales and marketing literature about Basis.

Elysium would like you to think that Basis is some exclusive formula created by their founders.

In fact, they purchase Niagen from Chromadex like several other brands.

The research and testing that has generated so much excitement has been done with Nicotinamide Riboside from Chromadex.

There has been no research published to show that Pterostibene makes Niagen work any better.

[box]Conclusion: ALL Niagen comes from Chromadex, there is no proof that Basis is any more effective than other brands of Niagen.[/box]

THE COST

dollar sign moneybagBasis is available only thru their website for $60 a bottle, which would last for one month if taking 2 pills per day (250mg of Niagen).

Recent research indicates that the optimum dosage for maximum increase in NAD+ levels is at least 250mg per day, or more.

In fact, the best evidence on recommended dosage will hopefully soon be available from a recently completed study sponsored by Elysium Health themselves.

This study of 120 elderly patients tested blood NAD+ levels of 250mg and 500mg of Elysium Health Basis vs placebo.

Once this study is published we’ll have a lot better idea if one bottle per month is sufficient

IS IT WORTH THE EXTRA COST?

If you know that Basis is Niagen + Pterostilbene, and start searching for “Niagen”, you quickly realize you can get the same thing for 1/2 the cost or less elsewhere.

Screenshot 2016-01-25 15.21.18

[box]Conclusion: Since ALL Niagen comes from Chromadex, there is no difference in the quality among brands[/box]

What does Basis do?

The field of Anti-Aging supplements is littered with scams and hoax products that are supposed to miraculously stop the aging process.

It is for that exact reason that Elysium Health DOES NOT market Basis specifically as an anti-aging pill.

Rather, they focus on some specific areas that their pill may help with such as:

— DNA repair
— Energy production
— Cellular detoxification
— Protein function

Basis – Conclusion

  • Niagen plus Pterostilbene (similar to Resveratrol)
  • Pre-eminent antiaging researcher as cofounder of company
  • 6 Nobel laureate scientists on advisory board
  • By far the most expensive Niagen on the market
  • One bottle a month may not be enough for optimum results

 

WHAT WE RECOMMEND

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References:

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Whats the TRUTH about Nicotinamide Riboside (NIAGEN)


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 demonstrated that short term supplementation with Nicotinamide MonoNucleotide (NMN) replenished NAD+ and 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 Dr Sinclairs landmark 2013 study, dozens of others have been published investigating the efficacy of supplementation with NMN and Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) 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”

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).

WHAT IS NR


NMN is the immediate precursor to NAD+ in the salvage pathway that constantly recycles NAD+.

Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) is a NAD+ intermediate that is used inside our cells to metabolize NMN and NAD. It is found in natural food sources and broken down in our bodies digestive system to NAM, NMN and other NAD metabolites.

In 2004 Dr Charles Brenner published a paper showing that the enzyme Nrk1 can catalyze NR directly to NMN (100) which can make it a more effective precursor to NAD+ than the previously known NAM, NA, or Tryptophan.

Although NR is unstable by itself, Dartmouth University has patented production methods that combine it with Chloride which makes it stable.

Chromadex has licensed this technology and has been selling NR commercially since 2014 under the brand name “Niagen”.

Tru Niagen is the brand name used by Dr Brenner’s company ProHealthSpan to market their Niagen product.

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 further down the page.

* 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

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 can bypass the Nampt bottleneck, but is not normally available in the bloodstream (see below)

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

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).

Quotes from some studies are below:

“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)

“oral NR dosing increased circulating NAM ~40-fold while NMN remained unchanged” (97)

“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)

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

ORAL NR SUPPLEMENTS NOT DETECTABLE IN BLOODSTREAM

In both mice and humans, studies repeatedly failed to find any NR in the bloodstream at any time, even after very high dosages of NR (97,98,99).

Finally, this 2017 study did find a trace of NR in the bloodstream briefly, 100 minutes after oral gavage of 200mg/kg.

The Trammell thesis shows that the liver quickly processes any NR to other metabolites such as NAAD, NAM, NaAd, but also failed to find any trace of NR in the bloodstream.

Here are some quotes in the 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”

This research found  that:

  • NR is found in small quantities in the liver
  • NR is normally not detectable in bloodstream
  • Oral supplementation with NR did not show any increase in NR in the body
  • Injection (IP) of NR does result in a detectable increase of NR in muscle and Liver
  • Oral NR does not result in increased NAD+ levels in organs beyond the liver

Any NR supplements that do make it to the blood are quickly cleared by the liver so it is very rarely detected in the bloodstream, and then only at trace levels.

ORAL NR IS NOT AVAILABLE  TO TISSUES BEYOND THE LIVER

The charts below are from this 2016 study which used mice that have had the gene for Nampt “knocked out” in quadricep muscle, so are unable to process NAM. As a result, the NAD+ levels drop to 15% of normal.

These mice were fed 200mg/kg bodyweight of double labelled NR to track the movement of the NR through the body.

Any NR that makes it through digestion intact would be incorporated as double labelled NAD (M+2). NR that has been metabolized to NAM loses 1 heavy tracking molecule and would be found as M+1.


Chart D shows both single and double labelled NAD+ (green and red) are abundant in roughly equal amounts in the liver.

Chart C shows quite a lot of single labelled NAD+ in the muscle.

This is from labelled NR that has been metabolized to NAM and then NMN (likely in the liver) then traveled through the bloodstream to the muscle where it is incorporated to single labeled NAD+

We know this NAD+ was metabolized as NAM and then NMN because these mice lacked Nampt, so can not process NAM.

At the same time, there is only a tiny fraction of double labelled NAD+ in the muscle.

This demonstrates that NMN, but not NR was readily available for use in the Salvage Pathway inside the muscle.

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
screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-2-22-48-pm

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 125mg capsules of 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.

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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References:

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14 Best Foods for Weight Loss

We chose 14 fairly common foods that research proves can be helpful for weight loss.

Some, like Eggs, Greens, Salmon and Almonds are recommended for nearly all diets.

Others like Oats, Apples, or Chia seeds are great choices for many people, but are fairly high in carbs so don’t fit well in Low CarbPaleoMediterraneanNordicAtkins, or Keto diets.

Anyways, here’s our list and some of the science behind how they can help you  lose weight fast without depending on fad diet pills like Garcinia Cambogia.

I hope this gives you some good ideas.

1. Eggs

girl eating eggsGovernment guidelines that once slammed the cholesterol in eggs now admit they were wrong.

Dietary cholesterol does NOT raise your cholesterol levels, and in fact are very nutritious. (12).

In fact, eggs are one of the very best foods for weight loss.

A large egg is about 70 calories, 5 grams of fat, 6 protein, and no carbs (3).

The balanced protein and saturated fats  them very filling, and are nearly perfect for low carb dieters.

With no carbs, the score a zero on the glycemic index, so won’t raise blood sugar levels.

Simply eating eggs instead of bagels resulted in  significant weight loss for participants in this eight week study (4).

Another study showed that eating eggs instead of bagels increased feeling of fullness (satiety), and resulted in less calories consumed  later in the day (5).

[box] Conclusion: Eggs are a very nutritious high protein food that are also very filling and can result in fewer calories consumed throughout the day. [/box]

2. Kefir

KefirDepending on the type of milk used, 6 ounces of milk kefir  contains approximately

  • Calories – 100
  • Protein – 6 grams
  • Carbohydrates – 7-8 grams
  • Fat – 3-6 grams

(http://www.caloriecount.com/calories-liberty-kefir-plain-i84981)

After the fermentation process, Kefir is much lower in Carbs and Glycemic Index than milk.

It contains more than 20  different strains of friendly bacteria, including many lactobacillus and bifodobacteriam strains which are  beneficial (6).

Kefir also has beneficial yeasts which combat intestinal parasites like E. coli.

The fatty acids in Kefir are between  80-95% CLA – Conjugated Linoleum Acid  (7).

CLA helps glucose fill muscles cells more effectively,  preventing glucose from being converted to fat.

A review of 18 different clinical studies have shown CLA helps reduce body fat (8)

[box]Conclusion: Kefir is well balanced in Proteins, Carbs, and Saturated Fats, high in many beneficial probiotics, and CLAs which have been shown to aid weight loss.[/box]

3. Avocados

avocadoLike eggs, Avocados have gotten a bad rap from (faulty) mainstream nutritionists until just recently.

Now that we know that “eating fat doesn’t make you fat”,  attitudes are changing and Avocados are recognized as a very healthy diet choice.

A medium Avocado has:

  • Calories – 322
  • Carbohydrate – 17 grams
  • Fiber – 13 grams
  • Sugars – 1 gram
  • Fat – 29 grams
  • Protein – 4 grams
  • Glycemic Index – not measured

(http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1843/2)

Avocados are very high  in a particular kind of fat – monounsaturated oleic acid.

Oleic acid has been linked to reduced inflammation and been shown to have beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer (11121314).

Oleic acid is converted in the body to CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid), which  we mentioned for Kefir that CLA  has been shown to help reduce body fat (15)guacamole-variations-06

With only 1 gram of carbohydrates as sugar and the rest being fiber which slows the absorption tremendously.

In fact, the glycemic index of Avocados is so low that the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition doesn’t even bother to calculate it (16).

High fats and fiber give Avocados a high satiety index, which was proven by research.

A study found that compared with other foods, subjects given Avocados  were  23% more satisfied and were 28% less likely to  eat for the next 5 hours (17).

They also contain nearly 20% of the RDA for potassium – an important mineral that  most people need a lot more of (18).

[box] Conclusion: Packed with beneficial fats and fibers, Avocados are very filling and hunger satiating.  For Keto dieters, a perfect compliment for Eggs in the morning. [/box]

4. Greens

leafy greens1Leafy greens such as spinach, chard, collard greens and Kale are very nutrient dense, but low in calories for volume and high in fiber.

Most leafy greens have fewer than 10 calories per cup  which make them one of the very best foods for weight control.

Research proves that  including very low in energy density foods result in fewer overall calories consumed and  has been proven in many  (19).

Full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients that combat  diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer (20),

[box] Conclusion: Low in calories and high in nutrients make leafy greens another no-brainer for weight loss.  Nearly all diet plans recommend eating as much leafy greens as you wish [/box]

5. Wild Salmon

salmonFish are very high in protein, so are recommended by nearly all diet plans.

But some fish are more healthy than others, with Salmon, mackerel, trout, sardines and other oily fish being at the top of the list.

Salmon in particular is  high in  Omega-3 fat which has numerous health benefits besides combating metabolic disease (2122).

One study found eating farmed Salmon 2 times a week resulted in 50% higher levels in the blood of the important Omega 3 fat DHA (23).

Nutrients in Fresh vs Farmed Salmon

There are noticable differences in Wild vs Farm-raised Salmon, as this table shows.

According to the  USDA, wild Salmon has 130 less calories than farm raised Salmon per serving.

These calories are mostly from fat, but not the good Omega 3 fats that we need more of (24).

Unfortunately, farm raised Salmon are much higher in Omega-6 fats.

They also have 3 times as much saturated fat.  Not terrible, but not as beneficial as Omega 3 fats.

Those on a Ketogenic diet might actually prefer the higher fat content of farm raised Salmon.  Others would probably prefer the lower calories of Wild Salmon.

[box] Conclusion: All fish are excellent sources of protein, but the Omega 6 fats in Salmon put it at the top of the list for weight loss. [/box]

6. Grapefruit

Pink-GrapefruitA medium sized red grapefruit has:

  • Calories – 97
  • Fiber – 4 grams
  • Protein –  2 grams
  • Carbohydrates – 26 grams
  • Fat – 0 grams
  • Glycemic Index – 29
  • Vitamin A (79% RDA)
  • Vitamin C (107% RDA)
  • Vitamin A (79% RDA)
  • Pantothenic acid (14.% RDA)

As fruit go, they are fairly low in calories,  with an excellent Glycemic Index, but it isn’t obvious why Grapefruit has been so popular with dieters for decades now.

The answer rests on AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), an enzyme that  helps muscles use stored sugar and fat for energy.

AMPK activity  is increased by exercise, but can also be activated by certain food substances such as Polyphenols and Capsacin.

Another such substance is Nootkatone,   a component found in grapefruit has been shown to significantly increase AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activity (25).

Researchers found that study participants given 1/2 a  grapefruit  or the same quantity of juice before meals lost an average of  3.5 pounds over 12 weeks (26).

3.5 pounds isn’t huge, but that was from eating just 1/2 a grapefruit with no other changes.  Participants also had lower blood glucose and insulin sensitivity.

[box] Conclusion: Eating Grapefruit or grapefruit juice before meals helps your body store more calories in muscle, leaving less for fat storage and results in modest weight loss [/box]

7. Apples 

applesA medium Apple has:

  • Calories – 95
  • Carbohydrate – 25 grams
  • Fiber – 4 grams
  • Fat – 0 grams
  • Protein – 0 grams
  • Glycemic Index – 29

http://nutritiondata.self.com/topics/glycemic-index

Apples are all carbs, with no fat or protein, which normally isn’t great for weight loss.

However, the do have a very low Glycemic Index, are very high in Antioxidants, dietary fiber, flavonoids, and often make most lists of Top Healthy Foods

The antioxidants and nutrients may help reduce risks of hypertension, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease (27).

For weight loss, a 12 week study showed women that added  one and a half large apples daily to their diet lost  on average about 3 pounds (28).

The  fiber in apples is Pectin, a soluble fiber that has been shown to  increase satiety, improve metabolic health, and decrease caloric intake, weight gain, adiposity (30,)

This low energy density,  glycemic index, and soluble fiber make it an excellent food for weight loss for most people, although the 25 grams of carbohydrate is problematic for those on Low Carb or Ketogenic diets.

[box]Conclusion: Apples are a great portable, nutritions snack food that can alleviate a craving for sweets, while giving a little boost to your  weight loss efforts.[/box]

8. Oatmeal

oatmeal_bellyfillingA cup of rolled oats contains:

  • Calories – 300
  • Fats – 5 grams
  • Carbohydrates – 56 grams
  • Fiber – 8 grams
  • Protein – 11 grams
  • Glycemic Index – 55

Oatmeal is fairly high in calories and carbs.  But they do have a fairly low glycemic index of 55 so the calories are absorbed fairly slowly.

They contain the soluble fiber beta gluten, which has been shown to increase feelings of satiation, and fight insulin resistance and hypertension (31).

Studies show that compared with standard breakfast cereals of the same calorie count, oatmeal provides more protein and fiber, less sugar, and induced greater satiety (32).

In another study published in 2013, subjects who consumed oatmeal for breakfast over 12 weeks had reduced weight, BMI, and waist to hip ratio.

A 2013 issue of Plant Foods and Human Nutrition published a study that showed oat cereal consumed for 12 weeks did associate with reduced body weight, body mass index, body fat and waist-to-hip ratio (33)

** Before I went Keto and had to cut the oatmeal, one of my favorite tricks was mixing it with Cottage Cheese.  Tastes yummy and gives you a nice balance of carbs and proteins.

[box] Conclusion:  Studies confirm what every oatmeal eater knows – they are very filling and slowly absorbed to keep hunger at bay for many hours.  While they are too high in carbs for some diets, they can aid weight loss, especially when eaten in place of commercial cereals.  [/box]

9. Beef

Grilled New York strip steak
Grilled New York strip steak

We could list Chicken and Pork here as well, but are focusing on Beef to also address what we feel is some unfair criticisms Beef suffers from.

Research shows that eating red meat does not increase risks of diabetes, hypertension, or heart disease  (3435).

Other studies  show no increase in cancer risks for women from consuming red meats, and only a very minute increase in risk for men  (3637).

Studies show there are many benefits for eating beef, as a high protein diet can increase metabolism to burn up to 100 calories more each day (3839).

Other research demonstrates that increasing  protein to 30% of total calories can cut hunger and result in weight loss of a pound a week  (4041).

[box] Conclusion: Sufficient protein is key to weight loss.  Adding whole, unprocessed beef to you diet can result in significant weight loss [/box]

10. Coconut Oil

coconut-oilCoconut oil is composed almost entirely of Saturated Fats, which faulty advice has caused many people to fear unjustly.

This very healthy oil is unique in that it is nearly all  Medium Chain Fatty Acids (42).

Unlike all other fats, Medium Chain Fatty Acids  bypass the digestive system and go straight to the liver to be used for energy or  ketone bodies.

Studies show that consuming coconut oil increases metabolism  compared to equal calories of other fats (4344).

Another study showed taking 2 tablespoons of MCT  fats per day increased energy consumption (fat burning) by 120 calories per day  (45).

Coconut oil also helps suppress appetite.

Studies show that eating MCT fats cut hunger and participants consumed less calories throughout the day – up to 250 less in one study  (4647).

[box] Conclusion: Right behind Olive Oil in overall health benefits, Coconut oil can also aid weight loss when used in place of other fats for cooking or baking recipes [/box]

11. Goji Berries

goji-berries

One ounce of dried Goji Berry contain:

  • Fiber – 2 grams
  • Carbohydrates – 6 grams
  • Protein – 3 grams
  • Calories – 23
  • Fat – 0
  • Glycemic Index – 29

(http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/custom/280160/1)

Goji Berries are harvested from the Lycium Barbarum plant, from the box thorn family.

They are native to southern Europe and Asia, but most commercially produced Goji is from China, where it is also known as Chinese Boxthorn or Wolfberry.

Goji have a very good nutritional profile that includes high level of antioxidants, especially zeaxanthin (48)

  • 11 essential and 22 trace dietary minerals
  • 6 Vitamins
  • 18 amino acids
  • beta-sitosterol and other phytosterols
  • 5 carotenoids, including beta-carotene and zeaxanthin, lutein, lycopene and cryptoxanthin

They have a lot of protein, high dietary fiber and  low glycemic index which makes them filling without raising blood sugar levels.

Goji berry is an adaptogen that is claimed to reduce stress levels and lowers cortisol levels which promote weight gain (49).

The ORAC value of Goji Berry, which measures antioxidant levels, is about 10x higher than other fruits like Oranges or Blueberries, and is comparable to Acai (50).

A 2011 double blind study with Rodents given Lycium Barbarum extract showed increased metabolic rate and reduced waist size compared to placebo (51).

In 2008, a 14 day study of adults given Lycium Barbarum showed improved Energy Level, athletic performance, quality of sleep, and gastrointestinal function (52).

One downside of Goji Berries is the cost – they are fairly pricey.

[box] Conclusion: Packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber, with low glycemic index, Goji Berries make a handy and healthy snack for a little weight loss boost [/box]

12. Almonds

almonds-master_0One ounce of Almonds  contains:

  • Calories – 160
  • Fat – 14 grams
  • Carbs – 2.5 grams
  • Fiber –  3.5 grams.
  • Protein – 6 grams.
  • Vitamin E: 37% of the RDA.
  • Manganese: 32% of the RDA.
  • Magnesium: 20% of the RDA.

https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3667

Almonds are high in protein and  fiber which  has been shown to promote satiety and result in lower overall calorie consumption (53).

The also have a very low glycemic index which means those calories are absorbed very slowly, making them an approved food source for diabetics (5455).

Nearly all of the fats in Almonds are  mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are known to have positive effects on heart disease (56).

Research has shown consuming almonds can lead to improved metabolism, lower blood sugar levels and weight loss (575859)

Almonds are fairly high in calories, so should not be consumed in massive quantities, but rather serve as a handy snack between meals to alleviate hunger.

[box] Conclusion: High in protein and fiber, and low in carbs, Almonds make a great between meal snack, especially for Low Carb dieters. [/box]

13. Chia Seeds

Chia-Seed-Diet

One ounce of Chia seeds  contains:

  • Calories – 137
  • Fat – 9 grams
  • Carbs – 12 grams
  • Fiber –  11 grams.
  • Protein – 4 grams.

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3061/2

Chia seeds contain 12 grams of carbohydrate per ounce, which is fairly high, but 11 of those grams are  soluble fiber.

This makes chia seeds a low-carb friendly food, and one of the best sources of fiber in the world

This soluble fiber makes Chia seed much like Glucomannan, in that they absorb more than 10x their weight in water, and turn into a gel in your stomach (61).

Not only is this very filling, but the soluble fiber acts as a prebiotic for the beneficial bacteria in your gut – the Probacteria that have weight loss benefits  as well  (626364656667).

The 9 grams of fat is mostly Omega 3 fats, which have tremendous  benefits for heart health.

Chia seeds are also high in  Vitamins A, B, E, and D,  iron, magnesium, iodine, niacin, thiamine, and many antioxidants (68).

Studies show consumption of  chia seeds suppress  appetite, but so far they are inconclusive at proving weight loss (6970).

[box] Conclusion: Packed with vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, protein, Omega 3  fats, and fiber make Chia seeds one of the most nutritious foods on earth.  Although short term weight loss benefits are unproven, they are filling and do suppress appetite.  [/box]

14. Chili Pepper

chili peppersThe “hot” in chili peppers is from a substance called capsaicin,

Numerous research studies and clinical trials  have shown capsaicin  gives a boost to metabolism to  increase fat burning, and also helps suppress appetite (717273).

However, one study shows that the increased fat burning and hunger suppression is more effective for those who are not used to consuming capsaicin, and the effects diminish over time (74).

Besides weight loss, Capsaicin is believed to have these additional health benefits

  • Aid digestion
  • Reduce pain from Migraine headaches
  • Sooth aching joints
  • Support Detox

Amazon has over 1500 products that include capsaicin in the form of Cayenne (a type of chile pepper)

[box] Conclusion: Adding Cayenne or other chili peppers to your food wherever you can is a simple way to add some pep to your weight loss efforts. [/box]

Final Thoughts

None of these are miracle foods that you can use to reach your weight loss goals all by themselves.

But they are all healthy choices and do have modest benefits for weight loss, proven by research.

Incorporate as many of these foods as you can into your diet in place of less healthy alternatives and you will see results.

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Lactobacillus Gasseri – the Weight Loss Probiotic?

GUTBACTERIACover1
There are millions of bacteria that inhabit our guts.  Most are beneficial, and are referred to as Probiotics.

A healthy and diverse population of these good bacteria are key to proper functioning of our digestive and immune systems, greatly impacting our physical and mental health. (1234).

We can improve the population of good bacteria in our guts thru proper nutrition, and by taking Probiotic supplements.

Research has shown this can relieve many chronic health problems.  While not as strong as Garcinia Cambogia, some Probiotics may also help us lose weight and belly fat.

Probiotic Strains that may help lose weight and belly fat

650x600_lactobacillus_finalStudies have found that certain strains of the Lactobacillus family can help you lose weight and belly fat.

In one study, eating yogurt with Lactobacillus fermentum or Lactobacillus amylovorus reduced body fat by 3–4% over a 6-week period (21).

Another study of 125 overweight dieters investigated the effects of Lactobacillus rhamnosus supplements on weight loss and weight maintenance (22).

During a 3-month study period, the women taking the probiotics lost 50% more weight compared to the group taking a dummy pill (placebo). They also continued to lose weight during the weight maintenance phase of the study.

Note that in these 2 studies mentioned above subjects were provided with Prebiotics along with the LG (Yoghurt and Inulin) which is thought to improve the effectiveness.

Lactobacillus Gasseri

Lactobacillus gasseri is generating the most excitement and further research for its  effects on weight loss.

There have been several mouse studies that showed positive results for weight control (25262728).

Human studies are also promising.  Most recently,  a 2 week study of 30 healthy men in 2015.

Subject were given a glass of fermented milk to drink every day, with half including Lactobacillus gasseri in their drink and the other half not.

Testing of fecal samples before and after the study showed those receiving Lactobacillus gasser had a higher amount of fat in the feces after the 2 weeks, while the control group did not (29).

lactobacillus gasseri and weight loss

Effect of intake of fermented milk containing Lactobacillus gasseri on fecal fat excretion in humans.

This proved that not only does the Lactobacillus gasseri survive the digestive process, but that it had an effect on the metabolism, resulting in less fat being absorbed.

This study demonstrates the mechanism for how Lactobacillus gasseri can effect the system.

An earlier Japanese study showed Lactobacillus gasseri can effectively reduce waist size, BMI and the dangerous visceral fat that accumulates around the organs (30).

A Korean company has patented a form of LG derived from mothers milk they call Lactobacillus gasseri BNR17, and been granted a certificate of Functional Ingredient for Body Fat reduction  (31)

Some strains of the Lactobacillus family have been shown to reduce weight and belly fat. Lactobacillus gasseri appears to be the most effective.

Natural Food Sources of Lactobacillus Gasseri

probiotic foodsLactobacillus bacteria is the most commonly used for fermentation.

Most fermented foods naturally contain Lactobacillus gasseri bacteria.

Kombucha, Kefir, yoghurt and pickled vegetables like kimchi, sauerkraut are good sources of a wide variety of Lactobacillus strains.

Some fermented meats like salami and chorizo also contain lactobacillus bacteria.

You can also ferment foods yourself at home, but be sure to do it properly. I recommend starting with these recipes for kefir, kimchi or sauerkraut.

Lactobacillus gasseri is also found naturally in breast milk, which is thought to help the development of an infant’s immune system.

Where to buy Lactobacillus Gasseri

amazon cartLactobacillus Gasseri is the most effective probiotic strain for weight loss identified so far.

There are several brands on Amazon that include some L Gasseri in combination with 10 or more other strains.

These are the only 2 we have been able to find that primarily use L Gasseri.

Swanson  – A single strain – Lactobacillus Gasseri –  3 billion CFUs.

Phillips Colon Health  – 3 different strains including Lactobacillus Gasseri –  1.5 billion CFUs.

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics are bacteria (biotic)  we eat that are beneficial (pro) to our bodies.

We humans carry around 10 times as many microorganisms with us as we have cells in our body.  (5).

what are probiotics
They are most prominent in  the stomach and intestinal tract where they aid nutrient absorption and  immune system and are referred to as our gut flora or gut microbiome.

There are hundreds  of strains   of these friendly bacteria that aid digestion and produce important nutrients, including B and K vitamins.

Antibiotics we sometimes use can  kill or inhibit the growth of the “good”  bacteria in our gut as well as the the “bad” bacteria which can seriously impact our health (6).

By adding more probiotic foods into your diet, you could reap the following health benefits:

  • Stronger immune system
  • Healing leaky gut syndrome and IBS
  • Improved digestion
  • Increased energy
  • Weight loss
  • Healthier skin

 Damage to our Digestive Systems

Probiotics-vs-Antibiotics-1Modern agricultural practices including  rampant use of pesticides, chlorine soaking,  preservatives and refrigeration   leave our foods have very little probiotics today.

In fact, some foods now have dangerous antibiotics that destroy the bacteria in our digestive system.

In addition to the problems with our foods, we also encounter many toxins in our environment that harm our digestive system, resulting in chronic inflammation that is the root cause of many diseases and chronic health issues
Damaged from:

  • Antibiotics
  • Processed Grains
  • Sugar
  • Emotional Stress
  • Chemicals and medications

Too many of us are subjected  to many of these everyday.  If they’re not addressed, the population of good bacteria is decimated  and you gut can become a breeding ground for bad bacteria, parasites, yeast and fungi.

Our foods, environment, stresses and medicines can all damage the biology in our guts and wreak havoc on our health.

How does Gut Bacteria affect weight

woman-eating-yogurt-with-berries-flaxThe biology of our guts is not static, and can be changed by diet and outside environmental factors(12).

Bacteroidetes and firmicutes are the 2 main families of bacteria that are important for regulating bodyweight by digesting  fatty acids and dietary polysaccharides.

Imbalance of these ratios (gut dysbiosis)  affect weight loss or gain.
The functions of the hundreds of different strains of bacteria are complex and not entirely understood, with some disagreement among researchers (78).

Some bacteria help digest  fiber into beneficial fatty acids  butyrate (9).

Prevotella  is a enterotype, or  family of bacteria strain that help digest carbohydrates and are more prevalent in people who consume a lot of carbohydrates.

Bacteroides are another family of bacteria that is more prevalent in people who consume significant amounts of animal protein.

Increasing the population of certain strains of bacteria is now thought to effect how our bodies process and store food, which can affect weight.

weight-loss-research-scientists-mouseAn early sign of this was a study where gut bacteria from obese mice that are transplanted into the guts of normal weight mice result in those mice soon becoming obese (13).

Minimising low-grade inflammation, one of the main drivers behind metabolic disease, is the primary suspect (141516).

In people, studies show that those who are overweight  have much different populations of bacteria  than people of normal weight (1718).

This lead to further studies to see which strains of bacteria were different.

Those studies show normal weight people have more bacteroidetes, and fewer firmicutes than overweight people. (1920).

Several studies have demonstrated regular use can increase number and diversity of bacteria microbiota, and provide relief from colitis, diarrhea, and improve immune system response (32,33,34,35,36,37)

These results opened up some very exciting possibilities for weight loss to see how much we can alter our gut bacteria to help cure obesity.

There is wide variation in the population of bacteria in each persons gut. Research shows it is influenced by out diet, and these bacteria play a powerful role in controlling weight

Final Thoughts

Besides weight loss, a healthy microbiome can have improve digestive health, reduce inflammation, improve cardiovascular risk factors and even help fight depression and anxiety.

Proper diet is the best way to improve your gut flora.

Probiotic Supplements can also increase the number and diversity of your gut flora.

Research indicates probiotics can help some people lose belly fat and weight.

The effects are minor though, along the lines of what you might expect from using Cumin
or Niagen.

On the plus side though, Probiotics do not have the side effects
of strong diet supplements.

As always, we recommend a low carb diet and more exercise as the most effective way to lose weight.

Are Artificial Sweeteners good for weight loss?

artificial sweeteners lady reaction
Excessive sugar consumption is now recognized as being a major contributor to increasing rates of obesity (1), metabolic syndrome (2), diabetes(3), high cholesterol, heart disease (456), and even cancer (789,10).

In response, many people turn to artificial sweeteners  for use in soft drinks, candies, baked goods, ice cream and other sweet foods.

Since artificial sweeteners are near to  zero calorie, you might think  they would clearly aid weight loss, but that is debatable (11)

Besides weight loss, many Doctors and Nutritionists believe artificial sweeteners are  in fact very bad for your health (12,13).

We do not cover the  natural low-calorie sweeteners such as stevia,  xylitol, erythritol, sorbitol and mannitol in this article.

Artificial Sweeteners and Appetite Regulation

hypothalamusSweet foods activate pathways in our brains that cause the release of  hormones.  This  is known as the “food reward” pathways (141516).

The satisfied feeling we get after eating sweets is due to this release of hormones, which is similar to other addictions like drugs (171819).

Artificial sweeteners fool our taste buds, but do not activate the same pathways in our brains to trigger the food reward.  As a result, cravings for more sugary foods is increased (20).

The hypothalamus is the appetite regulator in the brain.  Magnetic imaging shows decreased activity in the hypothalamus after consuming sugar drinks (21).

This decreased activity in the hypothalamus is not seen after consuming aspartame, indicating the food reward pathways have not been as fully activated.

The sweet taste is rewarding, but without the satiety it may be that you continue craving and end up consuming more calories.
[box style=”rounded” border=”full”]Conclusion: It is possible that artificial sweeteners do not fully satisfy our cravings for sweets as well as sugar or other natural sweeteners that have calories.[/box]

Different Types of Artificial Sweeteners

2010-08-03-pie_chart_sweeteners_v21. Aspartame – (NutraSweet, Equal)
The FDA approved aspartame over 35 years ago. Today it’s found  in over  6,000 foods and drinks.  It isn’t heat-stable, so is not used in baked foods.

2. Sucralose (Splenda)
Sucralose is 600 times sweeter in sugar.  It is used in tabletop sweeteners and a variety of beverages, dairy products, fruits, syrups, and baked goods.

3. Acesulfame K (ACE, Sunette, Sweet ‘N Safe)
Acesulfame K is used in sugar-free chewing gum, candy, dairy products, and alcoholic beverages.  It’s also increasingly popular as a “flavor enhancer.”

4. Saccharin (Sweet ‘N Low)
In the 1970s, saccharin was thought to  cause  bladder cancer.  This has since been disproven and the FDA has rescinded warning about it. Currently it’s used to sweeten children’s medications such as chewable aspirin, cough syrup, and other  medications.
[box style=”rounded” border=”full”]Conclusion: There are many different artificial sweeteners, with the most common being aspartame, saccharin, sucralose , and cesulfame potassium[/box]

Increased  Sugar Cravings

sugar-cravings-diagramOpponents of artificial sweeteners sometimes argue that they increase sugar cravings (22).

The reasoning is that the option of a zero calorie diet soda causes people to drink more sodas than if the only option is a sugar filled 200 calorie soda.

There are no calories, and they satisfied their craving, so isn’t that a good thing?

Well, we know that our tastes are trained so we prefer more of things we eat regularly (23).

The more sweets we eat or drink, the more sweets we crave.

The reverse is also proven to be true.  For example, reducing salty or fat foods for a few weeks lowers our cravings for salty or fat foods (2425).
[box style=”rounded” border=”full”]Conclusion: Overindulging in sweets because they have no added sugar calories just reinforces our cravings for sweets.[/box]

Artificial Sweeteners and Metabolic Health

Are-artificial-sweeteners-bad-for-diabetesH Some studies suggest frequent use of artificial sweeteners actually increase the risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes (26)

One study found that they increased  risk of metabolic syndrome by 34% (27).

Another study found that diet sodas increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 121% (28).

How these increased health problems occur may be explained by a recent study that shows zero calorie diet sodas alter the bacteria in our stomach (gut microbes) and induce glucose intolerance (29).

These gut microbes are key as there is evidence that many chronic metabolic diseases begin in gut, and that probiotics supplements can help weight loss  (3031).
[box style=”rounded” border=”full”]Conclusion: Artificial Sweeteners may affect the millions of bacteria in our guts that direct our metabolism and influence a wide range of health problems, but the connection is difficult to prove and needs further study.[/box]

Artificial Sweeteners  aid Weight Loss

burn-fat-fast-waysIn studies where caloric intake was closely monitored and controlled, it is clear that use of artificial sweeteners instead of sugar does aid weight loss (3233).

Reviews of dozens of clinical trials found use of artificial sweeteners instead of sugar resulted in weight loss of about just under 2 pounds on average  (343536).

The largest study tracked 641  children of 4-11 years for 18 months.

Every day at lunch they were given 8 ounces of a high calorie sugary drink or a zero calorie artificially sweetened drink.

Those assigned to the  zero calorie drink gained on average 2.2 pounds less than the group that consumed the sugar drink (37).
[box style=”rounded” border=”full”]Conclusion: In studies where portions are controlled and artificial sweeteners are used in place of sugar, they do have a modest effect on weight loss.[/box]

Final Thoughts

Artificial Sweeteners might not be as effective in satisfying cravings for sweets, and may even increase the cravings.

They may also contribute to health problems such as leaky gut syndrome, although no definitive proof yet exists.

However, if portions are controlled and they are simply used to replace a sugar filled  soda or fruit juice, and do not encourage greater consumption, then  artificial sweeteners have a slight positive effect in aiding weight loss.

The weight loss benefits are not overwhelming so the choice of sugar or artificial sweeteners is not critical for weight loss success.

The research IS overwhelming that excessive sugar consumption leads to myriad health problems, so your best bet is to avoid sweet foods and drinks  as much as possible.

[box style=”rounded” border=”full”]Other Topics you might be interested in:

  • After being laughed or scoffed at for decades, ever since Dr Atkins popularized it, there are dozens, if not hundreds of different takes on the low carb diet now.
  • We’ve been huge fans of Berberine for multiple health benefits. It’s now being included in weight loss products are well.
  • Probiotics are much like Berberine – just now becoming known to the mainstream, and also showing promise for weight loss.
  • Cumin is very well known as a spice that studies are showing can aid dieters drop a little extra weight.
  • Niagen is being called the “God Vitamin” by some for its anti-aging and health regeneration properties.
  • The best known diet pill of the last few years is still the king, but so many scammers selling worthless Garcinia Cambogia on Amazon have definitely hurt its reputation.
  • [/box]

Is Green Tea an effective diet aid ?

Girl-Drinking-Tea-WebGreen tea is one of the healthiest drinks known to man.

It is jam-packed with  antioxidants that have been proven to be  beneficial to the body in preventing skin damage, improving brain function, lower risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes and more (1,2,3,4)

The benefits of green tea are not dependent on drinking it in tea. It is just as effective in extract form.

In fact, if you read the label of any fat burning product (5,6,7) and their is a high probability that it includes some Green Tea Extract.

Substances in Green Tea help boost metabolism

Boost-MetabolismTheir are several bioactive substances from the leaves of green tea that have been shown in research studies to have some small beneficial effect on weight loss for obese individuals (8,9)

When you drink the tea, these substances are readily absorbed by you body (10).

The most well-known of these substances is caffeine. A single serving of green tea only has about 40 mg of caffeine, whereas the same amount of coffee holds well over 100 mg.

However, it is still enough to have a slight effect on your system.

Caffeine is well-known to be effective in fat burning, and studies have shown it to enhance performance in physical exercise (1112).

Caffeine is not the only star of green tea. It  is full of catechins, a potent antioxidant (13). The most important catechin is Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is a powerful substance that aids in boosting metabolism (14).

Green tea contains bioactive substances such as caffeine and EGCG,  which have many beneficial effects including boosting metabolism

Helps Cells Release Fat

brain to fat cellsTo burn body fat, it must first be broken down within the cell and then moved into the bloodstream.

Green tea’s active compounds aid this process by enhancing the effects of fat-burning hormones within the body.

For instance, the antioxidant EGCG helps by inhibiting the enzyme that breaks down norepinephrine (15).

When this occurs, norepinephrine increases (16). The nervous system reacts to this hormone increase by signaling the fat cells to break down their fat reserves.

On top of this, the naturally occurring EGCG and caffeine in green tea may have a synergistic effect as caffeine enhances steps along the same signal path (17).

This results in the cells breaking down and releasing more fat into the bloodstream, where it is then used by the body as energy.

The healthy substances found in green tea increase the hormones that signal the body to break down fat in its cells, where it is released to become energy.

Targets harmful Visceral Fat

visceral-fatGreen tea has only a modest effect on total pounds lost. Two studies reviewing controlled trials of weight loss with green tea show an average of three pounds per person, on average (1819).

However, it is important to note that all types of fat are not the same.

Subcutaneous fat is fat which is stored under the skin.

Visceral fat is the much more dangerous abdominal fat that builds up around the organs.

It is this visceral fat that causes insulin resistance and inflammation, which are two leading causes of many serious conditions, including diabetes, metabolic syndrome and heart disease (20).

While the weight loss effects of green tea may be humble, the good news is that a notable portion of the fat that is lost is that dangerous visceral fat around our midsections (212223).

The unhealthy visceral fat around the midsection is reduced most with use of Green Tea

Burns Fat much more effectively when combined with Exercise

exercise cartoon
In one particular study on the subject, some men took green tea extract while others did not.

Both groups exercised, but those who were given the extract burned a whopping 17% more fat than those who did not (24).

Another study performed over an 8-week period showed that green tea was not only an effective fat burner during exercise, but at rest as well (25).

Several other studies have backed this claim. It seems that green tea promotes fat burning in general, which can lead to reduced fat stores over time (2627).

Numerous studies have shown the efficacy of green tea in burning fat in the body, and this effect is further increased when exercise is included.

Boosts Metabolism and Helps Burn Calories 24/7

huge.0.1565
Studies show that green tea increases the body’s ability to burn calories even when it is at rest. This is generally around 3-4%, however, may rise as high as 8% in some cases (282930).

These studies were short, but there is evidence outside of them to suggest the metabolism-boosting effects occur over the long-term (3132).

In one such study, 60 obese individuals were tracked over a period of three months. Half of the participants were given green tea extract, the rest placebo.

Those receiving Green Tea Extract lost on average 7.3 more pounds and after the three months were burning 183 more calories a day than those who received placebo. (33).

Not all studies show such positive results from Green Tea. It seems to be highly dependent on the individual.(34).

Studies have shown the metabolism-boosting effects of green tea, which can increase caloric burn 3-4% a day.

Final thoughts

Green tea provides a slight increase in fat burning and metabolism.

Although it doesn’t seem to be as effective as Garcinia Cambogia, it does help target the worst belly fat, and when combined with other weight loss strategies like low carbohydrate diets, eating more protein, and getting more exercise it is very effective.

Green tea is good for you in other ways beyond just losing weight. Read more about the benefits of Green Tea here.

Many of these same health benefits are being proven for the recently discovered Anti-Aging Vitamin Nicotinamide Riboside.

Is Fruit Juice good for weight loss?

girl drinking juiceThere are many  popular detox, cleanse, and other liquid diets that utilize  fruit juices as a primary source of calories

The lemon cleanse diet is typical.  For 10 days you have a lemonade drink, saltwater, and an herbal tea laxative.  Participants do lose weight as they are taking in very few calories, but also lose muscle.

It is debatable if the lemon juice helps or the 10 day  fast works just as well with other liquids.

The popularity of such diets is partly  because people believe all fruit juices are healthy since they are “natural”, and full of  vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants

However, many people do not recognize that fruit juice sometimes contains just as much, if not more, sugar and calories than sugar-filled soft drinks (1).

While fruit juices do have many nutrients, they are not magical, and for weight loss purposes they do not outweigh the negative effects of the sugar content.

Do NOT assume it that all fruit juices are healthy drink choices, especially for weight loss

Processed Fruit Juice Isn’t the Same as Fresh Squeezed

fresh squeezedWhile fruit juice is in fact made with fruit, the manufacturing process removes much of the fiber and some nutrition (2,3).

Even juices that are labelled “Not From Concentrate” or “100% Juice” have additional additives and flavor enhancers, and manufacturers often use deceptive labeling.

Fruit juice is not often packaged and sold immediately after being squeezed from the fruit. It may sit in an oxygen-depleted holding tank for up to a year before it is put in a package and ends up in stores (4).

Much of the flavor is lost during this storage period so manufacturers enhance their products with “flavor packs” which is not noted on the label (5).

Even high quality juices are a far cry from fresh squeezed.

Inexpensive juices are even worse, as many of those are just sugar-filled water with a little fruit flavoring.

Even the highest quality juice goes through a manufacturing process that causes it to lose flavor which requires producers to add “flavor packs” to restore its natural flavor.

More Sugar than Soda

fruit-juices-vs-soda1

The high sugar content of fruit juices is often overlooked, and  people consider them to be a healthier choice than sodas, but this is not always true.

8  ounces of Coca Cola classic contains 97 calories and 27 grams, or 7 teaspoons, of sugar.

In comparison, an 8 ounce serving of grape juice contains 152 calories and 36 grams, or 9.8 teaspoons, of sugar!

From this chart, Pineapple, Cranberry, and Apple Juice all have higher calorie and sugar content than Coca Cola

Some Fruit juices contains just as much or more sugar and  calories than soda.

Liquid Calories are Uniquely Fattening

liquid caloriesWhile all foods contain calories, our bodies do not process them the same.

Different foods are processed differently and have differing effects on the hunger hormone levels, feelings of hunger, and the metabolic centers of the brain (67).

Our body has a naturally set weight point, and the brain adjusts feelings of hunger in relation to consumption of solid foods around this (8).

Liquids have a very different effect on our bodies response than solid foods.  They do not promote feelings of fullness or satiety.

Since they do not contribute to feelings of satiety, the brain continues to send messages of hunger and we actually consume more calories than we need (9,10).

This is one of the reasons sugar-filled, high-calorie drinks are often to blame for obesity.

One study showed that a child’s risk of obesity increased by 60 percent for every serving of sugary drink they consumed (11).

Other studies have also proven that overconsumption of fruit juice increases the risk of obesity and Type II diabetes (121314).

Controlled studies proved that consuming sugar in liquid form can cause insulin resistance, raise triglyceride levels, negatively impact LDL cholesterol, and cause accumulation of belly fat in as little as ten weeks (15).

Fructose can be the worst form of sugar

glucose vs fructose

Many people assume Fructose is better for you than the Sucrose in soda since it comes from fruit and  is more “natural”

Actually, Fructose is worse if you consume more than your body needs

Glucose:

Your body burns Glucose for energy, and it is easily stored in muscle cells or as glycogen in the liver.

Your pancreas produces insulin in response to excessive blood glucose levels to signal transport of the glucose to muscles, glycogen storage in the liver, and lastly as storage in fat cells.

Insulin also regulates the production of the “hunger hormone” Leptin, which signals satiety, or fullness to the brain so you stop eating.

Sucrose:

Sucrose is about 50% glucose and 50% sucrose (16).

When sucrose is consumed it is easily metabolized to fructose and glucose.  The body uses the glucose for energy and the fructose is metabolized by the liver.

Fructose:

Your pancreas  does not produce insulin  in response to consumption of fructose (17).

Insulin regulates production of the “hunger hormone” Leptin.  Lower levels of Leptin lead to  overconsumption (18).

Fructose is only metabolized in the liver where it is converted into glucose, glycogen, lactate, and triglyceride (19).

About 50% of fructose is converted in liver to glucose for use as energy, with about quarter converted to lactate. 18%  to glycogen, for storage in the liver and 1% to triglyceride.

Too much fructose  can lead to fatty build-up in the liver which can hinder liver function and has been shown to increase risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes (20,21222324).

This effect is even more pronounced for people who are overweight or already suffer from metabolic disorders (2526).

In another study done with actual fruit juice, participants were asked to drink just 16 ounces of grape juice a day for three months.

In that short amount of time, researches noticed increased insulin resistance and waist circumference (27).

A third study showed that drinking 2 or more 8 ounce servings of fruit juice a day more than doubled the risk of gout in women (28).

Consuming too much fructose can be hard on the liver, and  lead to insulin resistance, metabolic problems, and weight gain.

Whole fruit is much more filling

fiber fruit
Drinking a glass of fruit juice prompts VERY different response in our bodies  compared to eating a whole piece of fruit.

While fruit juice does contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants necessary for good health, it is not as nutrient-rich as whole fruits or vegetables.

For example, orange juice contains Vitamins C and B1, folate and potassium (29) along with healthy antioxidants (3031).

However, it contains none of the fiber of an orange which makes it a poor choice compared to whole oranges or  vegetables (32).

Fruit takes more effort to chew and swallow, and whole fruit is hard to overconsume since it is very filling (33).

The sugars in fruit also break down during digestion more slowly than those in fruit juices since  the pulp contains a lot of fiber.

Because fruit juice has no fiber and is easy to consume in larger quantities than whole fruit, many people ingest too much sugar.

Whole Fruit Good – Fruit Juice, not so much

Fruit-Salad-BowlDespite the fact that nutrition guidelines state that a serving of fruit juice counts towards the daily recommended allowance of fruit, in many cases it is not a good choice.

While it may seem healthy because it contains fruit, fruit juices are actually more similar to sugary sodas and should be enjoyed only in very small quantities, if at all.

Whole fruit contains more fiber and nutrition, is more filling, and always a better choice than juice.

You might also want to read about Dried Fruit – is it good for weight loss.

 

Protein at breakfast increases Weight Loss

girl eating eggsProtein is a crucial part of a weight-loss plan.

In fact, increasing your protein intake is more effective than taking Garcinia Cambogia for weight loss.

Research demonstrates that eating protein keeps you feeling fuller for a longer period of time, preventing you from consuming extra calories (123).

Because of that, adding protein to the first meal of the day can help you lose weight.

Is Breakfast Really Necessary?

People often think that skipping breakfast will make them gain weight.

While current research shows that eating breakfast doesn’t affect your weight (1), it may be important for improving mental clarity in some people (45).

Of course, the foods that you eat for breakfast are key.

Eating a conventional sugary cereal may taste good and fill you up, but consuming a high-protein meal may help you lose weight.

Researchers say not to worry about skipping breakfast when it comes to weight loss. However, they may not be factoring in the weight-reducing benefits of a high-protein meal.

How You Can Lose Weight by Eating Protein

High-Protein-ContentOne of the best things you can do to lose weight is eat protein.

Your body burns more calories to process protein than it does to metabolize fat or carbohydrates (6).

Eating protein also prevents you from getting hungry soon after you’ve eaten.(7)

Studies show that eating protein can help reduce total calorie consumption and late-night snacking (8).

One study with had women increase their protein intake from 50-30% of their total calories for a 12 week period.  This resulted  in them consuming 441 few calories, and losing 11 pounds on average (9).

Consuming protein can also help you keep the weight off once you have lost it.  This study found that dieters regain 50% less weight just by increasing protein up to  18% of calories  (10).

Increasing your protein intake is very likely to help you lose weight and keep it off

Eat More Protein in the Morning to Eat Less in the Afternoon

hormones-appetite-hunger-humanMany researchers are investigating the ways in which eating protein early in the day influences calorie intake later on.

Some results indicate that eating more protein for breakfast helps people eat less up to 135 fewer calories later in the day  (11)

Eating a high-protein breakfast can actually alter the motivation and reward signals in the brain, making people less likely to be driven to eat in order to feel better (12).

Consuming protein also triggers signals that control hunger, making people feel more satiated and be less inclined to snack or overeat (13).

Many studies have proven that increasing protein intake at breakfast can cause a drop in hunger  hormone ghrelin and an increase in  hormone peptide YY that signal fullness   (14).

Studies show that a high protein breakfast can influence these hormones all through the day (1516).

Protein for  breakfast has a great influence on the appetite hormones, and leads to less calories consumed throughout the day.

How You Can Lose Belly Fat by Increasing Your Protein at Breakfast

Woman's fingers measuring her belly fat
Woman’s fingers measuring her belly fat

Eating more protein, especially at breakfast, leads to decreased hunger throughout the day, and  you can lose belly fat .

Increased consumption of healthy protein is inversely related  to lower belly fat percentages  (1718).

In one study, obese teenagers lost 4% of their bodyweight over three months by eating fewer grains and more eggs during the first meal of the day compared with .2% for teens who continued to eat a carbohydrate-based breakfast (19).

Another study demonstrated that a group of participants that ate eggs for breakfast  lost  61%  more BMI  than those eating the same number of calories, but bagels instead of eggs (20).

Consuming a high-protein breakfast can play a big role in reducing body fat, especially for obese individuals

You Can Get a Metabolism Boost From Protein

Fast-metabolism1A faster metabolism helps you burn extra calories and lose weight more rapidly.

When you eat carbs or fat, your body doesn’t have to burn as many calories in order to metabolize those nutrients. You burn up to 30 percent more calories when your body is processing protein (21).

You can increase your calorie burn by up to 100 calories per day by eating more protein. You  boost your metabolism by cutting out some carbs and fat and replacing those calories with  protein. (2223).

A high protein diet can also help prevent muscle loss during calorie restriction, and partly prevent the reduction in metabolism that often comes with weight loss, often referred to as “starvation mode” (242526).

One problem with extreme calorie restriction diet is reduction in metabolism – as you eat less, your metabolism slows and you burn fewer calories(2728,)

High protein intake helps prevent muscle loss and slower metabolism that results, so you can continue to burn more calories per day (293031)

Eating more protein can preserve muscle mass and improve a sluggish metabolism when you’re eating fewer calories in an attempt to lose weight.

What Breakfast Foods are High in Protein?

omeletteIn addition to being extremely nourishing, eggs contain high levels of protein.

People who replace toast, oatmeal or cereal with eggs typically consume less over the next day and lower their BMI. (323334).

Some other great protein sources are fish, seafood, beef, chicken and some dairy products.

Some ideas that can get you started with a high-protein breakfast are:
• Scramble eggs in a healthy oil such as coconut or olive oil, and add a hearty helping of vegetables. Peppers, mushrooms, spinach and onions are nutritious and tasty options.
• Make an omelet, adding vegetables and cream or cottage cheese.
• Break up soft tofu and sauté it with spinach and kale. Add nutritional yeast and dairy-free cheese.
• Scoop Greek yogurt into a bowl with fresh or frozen berries, wheat germ, hemp hearts, chia seeds and almonds.
• Make a shake or smoothie with a frozen banana, strawberries or blueberries, and almond milk. Add a scoop of whey protein to make it a filling meal.
• Whip up some protein pancakes.

One of the easiest ways to incorporate more protein in your breakfast is to eat eggs. Other high-protein options can add variety.

Final Thoughts: Eat More Protein at Breakfast

Most people are better off eating breakfast rather than trying to skip it to save calories.

If you eat breakfast to start the day, make sure that it includes protein.

In the studies that demonstrate the benefits of eating protein for breakfast, participants ate at least 20 grams of protein during the meal.

Nordic Diet Review

vikingThe Nordic diet is one of the latest weight loss trends to hit the market.

The diet gets its name from its focus on cuisine customarily eaten in Nordic countries like Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland.

These areas generally have lower obesity rates than the US (1).

Studies have shown that this diet can help people lose weight and make some small improvements to their overall health (2, 3).

What is the Nordic Diet?

The Nordic diet was created in 2004 by a number of nutrition experts in response to the growing obesity rate and unmaintainable farming practices of the US(5).

They noticed Nordic countries did not have these same issues(6).

They created the plan based on the thought process that eating similar foods could yield the same results for Americans(7).

It also contains less sugar and fat and two times the fiber of the average Western regimen (8).

The Nordic diet focuses on sustainably sourced vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins while avoiding the processed and high fat items customarily associated with the West.

Foods Found on the Diet

diet_nordic_be_essenceThe Nordic diet concentrates on locally grown food from sustainable sources.

Participants can eat a variety of foods, and, unlike some of today’s popular whole food plans, it does not require partakers to avoid entire food groups.

The Nordic diet is somewhat similar to the popular Mediterranean diet except for its emphasis on rapseed rather than olive oil.

On this plan you eat an abundance of vegetables, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, healthy fats like nuts and seeds, and lean proteins, especially seafood.

Dieters can also eat some eggs, cheese, yogurt, and wild meats like venison(9).

Red meats and fats from animal sources should only be eaten very rarely.

Lastly, you should completely eliminate sodas, processed foods of any kind, and foods high in fat and sugar.

This fare is commonplace in Nordic countries today, but some detractors of the diet point out that the above listed foods are not traditionally from the region since many of them do no grow well in the cold climate.

This criticism is not significant however since the effectiveness of the diets stems from its focus on whole foods in general rather than foods of a specific origin.

The Nordic Diet emphasizes foods traditionally eaten in Nordic countries with the bulk of a person’s nutrition coming from sustainably farmed seafood and vegetables. Participants reap benefits by avoiding the fat, sugar, and additives commonly found in the American diet.

Impact on Weight

nordic diet amazonSeveral studies have been done on how the Nordic diet impacts weight. One study of nearly 150 overweight people found that those who adhered to the diet lost an average of 10.4 lbs over those who ate a traditional Danish diet and only lost 3.3 lbs (10).

This is highly significant considering participants did not have to count or limit calories at all.

However, most of these participants gained the weight back over the following year as is typical with many diets (11).

Another study showed that participants on the Nordic diet lost an average of 4 percent body fat, pointedly more than the participants who consumed an average diet (12).

This is likely due to the focus on lean proteins and avoidance of fatty meats and animal fats.

The Nordic diet shows significant short term weight loss that can be achieved without limiting the amount a participant eats.

Health Improvements on the Nordic Diet

The Nordic diet also improves health in other ways. Several studies showed participants had improved blood pressure but no significant improvements in cholesterol levels, blood sugar, or inflammation.

Blood Pressure

lower-blood-pressure-naturallyThe Nordic diet may meaningfully reduce blood pressure.

A 6 month study showed that participants who adhered to the diet reduced their systolic blood pressure by 5.1 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 3.2 mmHg compared to a control group (13).

Another study found this effect was more notable in people with metabolic issues (14).

Lowering blood pressure improves health by reducing the risk of serious ailments such as heart disease, heart failure, stroke, and kidney problems (15).

Cholesterol and Triglycerides

Studies showed inconsistent results on the Nordic diet’s effect on cholesterol and triglyceride measurements.

Most studies returned a decrease in triglycerides, an important measure of heart health, but an insignificant impact on LDL and HDL cholesterol (16).

One study, however, did note a mild decline of LDL-c/HDL-c and Apo B/Apo A1 ratios and non-HDL cholesterol which can reduce the likelihood of heart disease (17).

Blood Sugar Levels

While one study found a small reduction in fasting blood sugar, the Nordic diet did not prove to be notably effective at lowering overall blood sugar levels (18).

Inflammation

inflammation-1Inflammation is a normal part of the body’s immune response, but it can cause health problems when levels are too high.

Many people seek to control inflammation with diet. However, studies of the Nordic diet’s impact on inflammation yielded mixed results.

One study found a decreased presence of genes that indicate inflammation in the body’s fat cells (19), and another found a reduction in a certain inflammatory marker.

However, most studies showed no meaningful or significant results (20).

The Nordic diet is effective for lowering blood pressure but has not been proven to have an impact on other factors like cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar levels, and signs of inflammation.

The Nordic Diet and the Environment

Another important factor of the Nordic diet is its effect on the environment(21).

It concentrates on foods that are locally grown and farmed with sustainable methods.

Some proponents also stress purchasing organic foods whenever possible.

Following the Nordic Diet protects the environment, promote good health by avoiding pesticides, and benefit the local economy.

Final Thoughts:

While the Nordic diet can lead to short-term weight loss, its results are not overwhelmingly.

There is nothing special about focusing on traditional Nordic foods over the foods of any other region.

Its main benefit comes from replacing traditional American fare that is highly processed and high in sugars and fat with sustainably produced whole, single-ingredient foods like vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.

Many of today’s popular diets like Atkins, Paleo and Mediterranean diet also adhere to these principle which have been shown to improve health across the board.

Why Eggs are GREAT weight loss food

girl-holding-an-eggYou may have heard that researchers and  nutritionists have admitted they were wrong about Eggs and now say that Eggs do NOT contribute to Cardiovascular Disease and are in fact good for your health.

In fact Eggs are one of the best choices for a healthy weight loss.

They are rich in healthy fats, muscle-building protein, and are chock-full of minerals and vitamins. Eggs help you lose weight in the healthiest way.

Read more below about how eggs aid weight loss.

Low in Calories

eggsEveryone knows that reducing daily calories is the best way to slim down.  The trick is to eat foods that fill you up without too many calories

Most snack foods begin in the 100-calorie range, but a large egg is only around 80 calories. Eggs are healthier than packaged snacks; in fact, egg yolks are surprisingly nutritious (1).

Since a meal containing eggs usually made up of three eggs, you’ll be consuming a little over 240 calories, maybe 300 of you add a heaping serving of vegetables.

However, keep in mind that frying eggs in butter or oil can add around 50 calories per teaspoon.

One large egg equals 80 calories, and a complete meal of 3 boiled eggs and vegetables is only around 300!

Feel Fuller Longer

Eating-Right-SatietyBecause of high protein content, eggs are not only filled with nutrients, but they will help you feel fuller longer as well (2).

Foods that are high-protein rank highly on the Satiety Index, a scakle that evaultatues how full one feels after eating a meal (3). This means they suppress appetite and make you feel less inclined to snack.

Foods with a lower protein content often don’t leave you feeling as satisfied. In fact, several studies have showed that people eating meals with the same calorie content as egg meals report feeling less full than those who consumed a high-protein food, such as eggs ( 45).

This reduces daily thoughts about snacking by up to 60 percent, and cuts the desire for night snacking by fifty percent (67).

Eggs rank high on the Satiety Index scale and may help those who consume them feel fuller for a longer period. High-protein foods such as eggs might also banish the urge to snack less.

Speed up Your Metabolism

speed metabolism

Because eggs contain the ideal ratios of essential amino acids, your body can efficiently use egg protein for metabolic rate and body maintenance.

In fact, due to the thermic effect of food, which is the energy your body requires to break down food, eating high-protein foods can raise metabolism to the effect of 80-100 calories a day (89).

Thermic effect is higher for protein and lower for fats and carbohydrates (1011). Therefore, eggs can make you burn more calories than foods with a lower protein content.

A high-protein diet including eggs might raise your metabolism by up to 80–100 calories per day. This is because more calories are utilized to metabolism food protein.

Start Your Day the Right Way

Healthy-Egg-Breakfast-Muffins-RecipeBreakfasts including eggs are the best choice for those trying to lose weight, and studies of overweight women have shown that breakfasts including eggs aid weight loss more than other breakfasts, including those that contain the same amount of calories.

Women who consumed eggs instead of bagels felt fuller and ate less calories over the next day and a half.

A study including men showed similar results, reducing calorie intake for the 24 hours following an egg breakfast (12).In fact, eggs breakfasts can result in 65 percent more weight loss over a two-month period (1314).

Egg breakfasts also resulted in more stable blood glucose levels and the body’s insulin response. Eggs were also shown to suppress the hunger hormone known as ghrelin(15).

Yet another study, this one including 30 healthy, fit young men compared the effects of three common breakfasts types.

These three breakfasts were eggs with toast, cereal with milk and toast, and a croissant with orange juice. All breakfasts were tested during different times of the day as well.

Not surprisingly, the breakfast containing eggs led to a greater feeling of fullness, greater meal satiety, and less hunger overall.

Additionally, men who had consumed eggs for breakfast ate 270-470 calories less for lunch and dinner (16).

The reduction in calorie intake was unintentional by the men involved in the study.

Eating eggs for breakfast may subconsciously lead to healthier food choices for up to 36 hours.

Affordable and Easy

50-egg-dishesIt is easy to add eggs into your daily diet.

Eggs are sold at the vast majority of grocery stores, are inexpensive, and only take minutes to prepare.

Eggs are easy to fry, bake, boil, or prepare as an omelette, and taste great any way you make them.

In fact, a two-egg breakfast omelette containing vegetables may make for one of the best ways to enjoy a breakfast conducive to weight loss.

There are hundreds of  great egg recipes to try.

Eggs are affordable, readily available, and are easy to prepare.

Final Thoughts

  • Eating eggs is easy if you’re trying to slim down a little.
  • Eggs make you feel fuller longer and keep you from eating too many calories a day.
  • Eggs are a great source of key vitamins and minerals.
  • Eating eggs for breakfast may be the key to your weight loss.