Fat loss is a constant, ongoing battle of trying to burn more than you store. So while it’s a good idea to use supplements that can free up more fat and burn it up, you should also consider using supplements that decrease the amount of fat your body stores.
CLA is a naturally occurring group of healthy omega-6 fats. Numerous research studies confirm that CLA enhances fat loss while simultaneously boosting muscle growth and strength. The main way it works is by inhibiting the enzyme lipoprotein lipase (LPL). LPL allows fat cells to take up fat from the bloodstream and store it as body fat. By inhibiting LPL, CLA prevents the body from storing fat and instead encourages it to burn fat.
Sometimes an increase in caloric burn isn’t enough to ensure that it all gets torched for good. The fat has to get to the tiny power plants, known as mitochondria, located in the body’s cells where it will be burned up as fuel. But fat isn’t allowed to pass into the mitochondria at will, it must be carried in. Fat transporters can help to maximize the amount of fat that gets in. L-carnitine is an effective supplement for increasing the transportation of fat to be burned by the cells mitochondria.
The more we learn about nutrition and nutritional supplements, the more we realize that nutrients can affect our genes in some profound and surprising ways. Fat burning is one such case. Fish oil as a source of essential omega-3 fats provides both eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These omega-3 fats have recently been found to turn on genes that increase fat burning while turning off genes that allow fat storage.
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Benefits of Increased Testosterone
• Increased Muscle Mass
• Increased Strength
• Reduced Soreness and Recovery Time
• Enhanced Sexual Function
• Reduced Body Fat
• Increased Energy Levels
D-Aspartic Acid (DAA) is a naturally occurring amino acid found in the human reproductive organs, hypothalamus and pituitary gland. D-aspartic acid is formed when the enzyme aspartate racemase converts L-aspartic acid into D-aspartic acid in the testes and other glands within the body. D-aspartic acid plays a vital role in the manufacturing of sperm cells and sex hormone production. DAA is a very potent sexual performance stimulator, enhancing libido, erection quality, and heightening of orgasms and the quality of sexual activity.
Human studies have shown a correlation between a significant increase in luteinizing hormone (LH), a messenger hormone which signals the testes to produce more testosterone, and higher testosterone levels in men when supplementing D-aspartic Acid. DAA also induces potent elevation of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and GABA, which are responsible for its memory enhancing, anti-depressive and neurotropic effects.
The amino acid Sarcosine works synergistically with D-Aspartic Acid to greatly enhance its activity at the receptor site. The use of Sarcosine infused DAA leads to a greater elevation of testosterone peaks compared to the usage of DAA alone.
Ursolic acid is derived from the skin and tissues of many edible plants and fruits. Recent scientific studies have shown Ursolic acid to be a powerful anabolic substance. Recent research has suggested Ursolic acid can be a potent muscle builder and fat burner. Ursolic acid was shown to block muscle wasting caused by undernourishment. Ursolic acid was also shown to accelerate muscle growth by as much as 15% when fed to normal mice. Interestingly, fat loss occurred simultaneously and at a rate practically inversely proportional to muscle gain.
Ursolic acid’s anabolic mechanism is enhancing the expression of IGF-1. The local production of IGF-1 in muscle initiates the key steps of satellite cell recruitment into new myonuclei and protein synthesis; new muscle signaling.
Ursolic acid has been shown to shrink fat cells. It is believed that it achieves this by both enhancing lipolysis (fat burning) and blocking fatty acid synthesis. It may also affect fat stores by blocking cortisol activation. Ursolic acid is also an effective blocker of the enzyme aromatase, so it has the potential to control estrogen production while maximizing testosterone release.
Tribulus contains an extract of Tribulus terrestris herb (aerial parts – leaves and stems) and contains steroidal saponins, mainly furostanol glycosides (including protodioscin and protogracillin) and small quantities of spirostanol glycosides, sterols and other compounds. The compounds in Tribulus work together not to induce the production of testosterone but rather to increase luteinizing hormone (LH) which converts free testosterone into useable anabolic hormone.
Maca Root Extract contains plant sterols which can block and control the production of estrogen and boost testosterone levels. In studies, Maca increased total testosterone indirectly by increasing sex hormone binding globulin which increases free testosterone levels.
Testofen is an extract of fenugreek seed containing the steroidal saponins, sapogenins and furostanol saponins, which are important precursors for the synthesis of a number of sex hormones. The extract has been suggested in human studies to raise free testosterone, the only type of testosterone to actually enter the muscle cell and cause positive results in
Cold Filtered, Micro Filtered, Ultra Filtered, Ion Exchange – Whey Protein Processing Methods Explained
Whey protein is a by product of cheese manufacturing. During the process casein coagulates and separates leaving raw whey on top of the casein.
The whey undergoes various processing steps and it is these processing steps which determine the quality of the whey protein in the end product.
Two main methods are used to separate the protein from the rest of the whey, namely, filtration or ion exchange.
Ion exchange, proteins are separated based on their electrical charge. Hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide are used during this process. Because of this, whey protein fractions that are sensitive to pH are denatured, e.g. glycomacropeptides, immunoglobulins, lactoferrin, and alpha lactalbumin. This means that the structure of the protein is changed, so that its biological activity is reduced or completely eliminated.
Maintaining the natural undenatured state of the protein is essential to its immune-modulating activity. The protein must be processed under low temperature and/or low acid conditions as not to “denature” the protein. Keep in mind that the functional aspect of the protein is unchanged. The Ion Exchange process does not change the number of grams of protein in the product. From a physique or athletic standpoint you will not notice a difference in a protein that is denatured from one that has its biological factors intact.
Whey Concentrate is the least processed form of whey, and is 35-80% protein by weight. The processing of whey concentrate removes the water, lactose, ash, and some minerals. In addition, compared to whey isolates whey concentrate typically contains more biologically active components. The higher the protein content on a gram per gram basis, the more processing (filtering) is needed.
Whey protein concentrate goes through the ultra-filtration process, where the membranes of the filters are about one micrometer, which is amazingly small. To make whey protein isolate, you take the ultra-filtrated whey protein concentrate and you filter it again through micro-filtration, where these filters are 4 times smaller than the ultra-filters. Whey Protein Isolates will yield a protein content from 80-95% protein by weight.
Perhaps the most familiar micro filtered isolate would be CFM®. Although the term “cross flow micro filtered” is something of a generic term for several similar ways of processing whey, the CFM® processing method uses a low temperature micro filtration technique that allows for the production of very high protein contents which can be slightly above 90%, the retention of important sub fractions, extremely low fat and lactose contents, with virtually no undenatured proteins. CFM® is a natural, non-chemical process which employs high tech ceramic filters.
Another less popular process you may have heard of is Hydrolyzation. Hydrolyzed proteins can be processed using an acid process that can denature the biologically active parts of the protein. Hydrolyzation is a “pre-digestion” process which breaks proteins down into smaller chains. Some companies have started using a method for Hydrolyzing whey protein that uses an enzymatic process that does not denature the protein.
Recent studies have demonstrated that the makeup of your intestinal flora (bacteria in your gut and intestines) can have an impact on your weight, and your ability to gain or lose weight.
Research also suggests that as much as 20 percent of the weight loss achieved from gastric bypass, a popular weight loss surgery, is actually due to shifts in the balance of bacteria in your digestive tract.
To investigate the potential link between gastric bypass surgery and changes in gut flora, fattened-up mice were divided into two groups. The test group underwent gastric bypass surgery while the control group received sham surgery. After the sham surgery, the controls were further divided into two groups: One received a fatty diet; the other a weight-loss diet.
In the group who received the bypass surgery the microbial populations quickly changed following surgery, and the mice lost weight. In the control group, the gut flora didn’t change much, regardless of their diet.
Previous research has also shown that lean people tend to have higher amounts of various healthy bacteria compared to obese people. For example, one 2011 study found that daily intake of a specific form of lactic acid bacteria could help prevent obesity and reduce low-level inflammation.
In this study, rats given the bacterium while in utero through adulthood put on significantly less weight than the control group, even though both groups of rats ate a similar high-calorie diet. They also had lower levels of minor inflammation, which has been associated with obesity.
Similarly, gut bacteria have also been shown to impact weight in human babies. One study found babies with high numbers of bifidobacteria and low numbers of Staphylococcus aureus — appeared to be protected from excess weight gain.
This may be one reason why breast-fed babies have a lower risk of obesity, as bifidobacteria flourish in the gut of breast-fed babies. Probiotics also appear beneficial in helping women lose weight after childbirth when taken from the first trimester through breastfeeding.
Two other studies found that obese individuals had about 20 percent more of a family of bacteria known as firmicutes, and almost 90 percent less of a bacteria called bacteroidetes than lean people. Firmicutes help your body to extract calories from complex sugars and deposit those calories in fat. When these microbes were transplanted into normal-weight mice, those mice started to gain twice as much fat. This is one explanation for how the microflora in your gut may affect your weight.
Another study from 2010 showed that obese people were able to reduce their abdominal fat by nearly five percent, and their subcutaneous fat by over three percent, just by drinking a probiotic-rich fermented milk beverage for 12 weeks. Given that the control group experienced no significant fat reductions at all during the study period, this is one more reason to consider probiotics.
Probiotics have also been found to benefit metabolic syndrome, which often accompanies obesity. This makes sense since both are caused by a diet high in sugars, which leads to insulin resistance, fuels the growth of unhealthy bacteria, and packs on excess weight.
Creatine enables muscle cells to contract more often by providing the cells with more molecular energy. Sodium bicarbonate neutralizes lactic acid and delays the moment at which muscle cells start to function less efficiently as a result of a higher degree of acidity. Sports scientists have tested both substances exhaustively and demonstrated their effectiveness independantly.
It would seem obvious then that it’s worth combining sodium bicarbonate with creatine. The combined supplement was found to work better than creatine on its own. Peak power increased by a significant amount in the combined group but not in the creatine only group. The relative peak power [peak power per kg bodyweight] is maintained better in the combined group than in the other test groups as well.
Try Titan Nutrition’s Kre-Ex pre-workout which includes creatine and sodium bicarbonate as well as an array of other compounds designed to improve performance.
Gluten is a protein in grass-type grains such as wheat, barley and rye. It gives food a stretchiness and stickiness and it’s in much of what Americans eat. It’s in the obvious things like bread, pasta and crackers but it’s also in sauces, medications, lipstick, imitation crabmeat and other items not normally associated with grains. Unfortunately more and more people are finding their body might not tolerate gluten products very well. Gluten intolerance can run a whole range in severity from minor symptoms when a person eats grain-based foods to Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that prevents the gastrointestinal system from properly absorbing nutrients.
Normally, people can tolerate these proteins, but if you have Celiac disease they cause the gaps between the cells in the small intestine to open too wide and allow toxins and gluten fragments into the bloodstream. These particles are seen as alien invaders by the body, and are therefore attacked.
The normal small intestine features small hair like projections along its length known as villi which increase the surface area and therefore assist in the absorption of the nutrients that the body needs to stay healthy. The autoimmune response causes so much damage to these villi (in some cases flattening them entirely) that they are no longer effective. Changing over to a gluten free diet will allow your body to repair itself, and your health will improve tremendously.
Gluten intolerance can be diagnosed with a blood test, antibody screening or biopsy. Many people simply take gluten out of their diet for a month to see if it alleviates symptoms.
Gluten Free Supplements
The following is a list of some of the gluten free supplements available at Performance Nutrition: Forzagen Protein, Intek Protein, all Irwin Naturals products, MRM Proteins, NOW Foods proteins, most NOW Foods vitamins and supplements.
Endurance athletes who use creatine recover faster from their training efforts according to Sports scientists at the Graduate Institute of Nutritional Sciences and Education in Taiwan. Creatine supplementation reduces damage caused by endurance exertion to muscle fibers, write the Taiwanese.
Not an awful lot is known about the effect of creatine on the metabolism of endurance athletes, so the Taiwanese carried out an experiment with 12 well-trained male students. The students took 12 g creatine every day for 15 days and ran before and just after the supplementation period for 60 minutes at 65-70 percent of their maximal heart rate.
The researchers then repeated the procedure on another occasion, but gave the students a placebo.
Before, during and after the session the researchers analyzed the students’ urine and blood. This is how the Taiwanese discovered that creatine supplementation kept the concentration of 3-methylhistidine and urea nitrogen low. 3-Methylhistidine and urea are indicators of muscle breakdown.
If the body burns protein the concentration of ammonia in the blood rises. The body neutralizes this through a reaction in which glutamate is converted into glutamine. Because the researchers found less glutamine in the athletes, they suspect that creatine supplementation helps the muscles of endurance athletes to burn less protein during exercise.
“In terms of metabolism, creatine supplementation possessed the advantages of decreasing muscle glycogen and protein degradation, especially after endurance exercise”
For those worried about weight gain sticking to a low creatine dose will usually prevent any unwanted gain in body weight.
Creatine can also be combined with other supplements to increase its effect on performance. When combined with glycerol creatine boosts hydration levels, and that can help endurance athletes who have to perform at high temperatures. When combined with beta-alanine, creatine improves endurance capacity. Creatine can also enable muscle cells to absorb more glucose.
A cocktail of resveratrol and leucine may be able to help you lose weight faster. Nutritionists at the University of Tennessee write in Nutrition and Metabolism that this combination boosts fat and glucose burning in cells.
The amino acid leucine and its metabolite HMB not only stimulate the production of muscle fiber, they also reduce fat mass. This is probably because both compounds enhance the activity of the enzyme in the nuclei that enables cells to repair themselves. Because this repair process requires energy it is thought that this leads to the burning of glucose and fats. This enzyme called Sirt 1 also plays a key role in energy metabolism by being involved in the production of mitochondria, which enable cells to burn glucose and fatty acids, thus generating more energy. Sirt1 becomes more active when you consume substances like resveratrol.
The researchers also wondered whether a combination of leucine and resveratrol would have an enhanced effect on fat burning vs. each compound individually. To determine this they did experiments with mice that had been fattened for 6 weeks. The animals were then given food for another six weeks, which had been enriched with nothing [the control group], resveratrol, leucine, HMB or combinations of these.
At the end of the experiment the animals in a resveratrol-leucine group had 35 less fat than the mice in the control group. The combination of leucine and resveratrol boosted the burning of fatty acids in the mice’s cells.
In the animals that had been given both leucine/HMB and resveratrol, the insulin level went down and the muscle cells’ glucose uptake increased.
Lactose is the natural sugar found in milk and milk products. Approximately 30 to 50 million Americans are lactose intolerant according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. This condition is caused by a deficiency of an enzyme called lactase. Prior to absorption into the bloodstream, milk sugars are broken down into simple sugars by the enzyme lactase which is naturally produced in the small intestine.
Lactose is present in two large food categories— dairy products, and as a food additive in dairy and non-dairy products. During cheese manufacturing, a curdling process is initiated to separate the curd from the whey. After this process, lactose is found in the water based portion along with whey and casein. A process called ultra-filtration makes it possible to remove lactose as whey protein is filtered to higher protein concentrations.
When it comes to whey protein powders, there is always a slight chance that there are low levels of lactose in whey protein concentrate, however it is relatively safe to determine that whey protein isolates are free of lactose as they have been concentrated to the highest possible level of protein and were processed with the highest degree of filtration for effective lactose removal. For those with high sensitivities to lactose, it is best to stay away from protein blends that may include milk proteins and various types of whey that have not been filtered to the same degree as whey protein concentrate 80% and whey protein isolate 90%. A digestive enzyme product that contains the enzyme lactase can also be used to help breakdown and digest products with lactose more effectively.
Individuals who eat excess calories who want to keep their weight under control may benefit from taking Grape Seed Extract before meals. Dutch researchers at the University of Maastricht published an article in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition showing Grape Seed Extract helped to reduce the number of calories that individuals consumed.
Grape Seed Extract is a supplement with wide ranging benefits. It can improve blood circulation; animal studies have shown that it reduces the chance of prostate cancer, and studies have shown that it reduces the chance of skin cancer. In-vitro studies have shown that it can halt the conversion of testosterone into estradiol by the enzyme aromatase.
In test tube studies Grape Seed Extract also stimulates lipolysis: the release of fatty acids by fat cells into the bloodstream. [Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2000 Mar; 24(3): 319-24.] This may mean that Grape Seed Extract suppresses the appetite, and to find out whether this is the case the Dutch researchers did an experiment with 51 test subjects aged from 18-65. The researchers let their test subjects eat as much as they wanted during a three-day stay in a laboratory. About 30 to 60 minutes before their breakfast, lunch and dinner the subjects took a supplement containing 100 mg Grape Seed Extract. A couple of weeks later the researchers repeated the experiment, but gave their subjects a placebo.
In the subjects with an above average energy consumption Grape Seed Extract did reduce energy intake. The average energy intake of this group was 2030 kcal per day.
Among the people who consumed large amounts of calories the Grape Seed Extract supplement reduced their energy intake by 96 kcal per day.