Saturday, November 24, 2012

Get Lean & Stay Lean Quickie: OTC Fat Loss Supps Under Scrutiny. Sleepless Yet Lean in India?! Sesamine - Falsely Forgotten? High Carb Nighttime Snacks for Fridge Raiders?

Without an optimized dietary routine, a sound training plan and tons of discipline no fat burner is going to get you abs like these (suggested read: The SBSG Fat Loss Support Routine)
I suppose by today, the last remnants of your turkeys should be gone and you and your relatives ~0.5kg heavier (Hull. 2006). Against that background it appears only logical to turn this week's installment of On Short Notice into another Get Lean & Stay Lean Quickie. Moreover, with the 0.5kg the average American gains in the course of the Thanksgiving holidays, I already have my (or should I say your? Be honest ;-) figure of the week, so that there is actually no reason why we could not dive right into the science of fat loss.

As you are about to see, this installment has more ineffective than effective fat loss treats. Why? Well, maybe due to the fact that it harbors two studies on commercially available supplements? But whom am I telling this... you already know that the main benefits of these so-called "thermogenics" are actually related to their appetite suppressing and stimulating effects, which can help you stick to your diet and workout regimen, and not to their ability to actively "burn" body fat.

Apropos stimulant: Were you aware that there could be methamphetamine in a common ingredient of some thermogenics? No? I'd suggest you check out the last news of this Get Lean & Stay Lean Quickie first, then. If you are not interested in "scandalous" revelations of which you don't even know if they have a bearing on the extracts that are used in your favorite Acacia rigidula supplement (I would actually hope you don't have one, but anyway), you may obviously start at the top, as well:
  • Weight loss stack fails to produce results: Caffeine + BCAA + CLA + Green tea = soy bean oil placebo (Thomas. 2012) At the 9th Annual ISSN Conference and Expo, Daniel Thomas and his co-workers  presented a study in which they investigated the effects an commercially available multi-ingredient dietary supplement containing 99mg of caffeine and a proprietary blend containing 1510 mg of CLA, green tea extract (45% EGCG), L-leucine, L-iso-leucine and L-valine in 22 obese volunteers (placebo arm: age, 34 ± 12; BMI, 34.1 ± 6.1; active arm: age, 36 ± 11.1 years; BMI, 30.0 ± 4.9).

    The supplement / placebo had to be taken with breakfast and lunch (with two pills per serving this would amount to 400mg of caffeine per day and an undisclosed amount of CLA, green tea and BCAAs, of which you can yet probably safely assume that they were underdosed). Body composition and android fat (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry), waist and hip circumferences, blood pressure and heart rate were measured at baseline and after 8 weeks of supplementation. Aside from taking the supplement the participants were advised to stick to their regular dietary and activity patterns. Against that background it is not exactly surprising that the 'wonder pills' did not bring about any changes in body composition, android fat, waist or hip circumference; and in contrast to the acute effects of the  "hardcore" competition about which you can read in the last post of today's Get Lean & Stay Lean Quickie the product did not even increase the heart rate and blood pressure of the subjects.
  • Blood sugar levels of Indian adolescents are not associated with insufficient sleep and yet not sleeping enough still takes its toll (Patel. 2012) -- You've read more than enough about the importance of sleep on the SuppVersity within the past couple of months (e.g. The SuppVersity Circadian Rythm Series) to be surprised by what Patel et al. conclude in the abstract of  their latest paper:
    "The current study indicates that inadequate sleep duration at night (<7 hrs) does not affect the blood glucose level of the Gujarati Indian adolescents of age group 13-20 years." (Patel. 2012)
    Unfortunately, this is yet again an instance where cursory skimming the abstract provides a  skewed image of the actual study results, which - as you can see in my plot of the actual results - did very well confirm previous observations of the same authors and the findings of the majority of studies which investigated the effects of insufficient sleep on body composition in Western adolescents.

    Figure 1: Body fat (%), fat free mass (FFM) and waist circumference in Indian adolescents (Patel. 2012)
    Statistically significant were the respective differences only in the male part of the study population. That's yet probably just a result of the low number of female participants which was not only significantly smaller (N=95 vs. N=237), but also very unevenly distributed as far as the ratio of female adolescents with adequate (N=90) and inadequate sleep (N=5) are concerned. Against that background you should also exert some caution with respect to the fat free mass values in the N=5 short sleepers. It would probably suffice to have one muscular athlete in this group to skew the whole results.

    Apropos "short sleepers": Can you imagine that only 14% of the male and 5% of the female Indian Gujarati adolescents actually didn't get their share of 7h+ sleep per day!? Makes me wonder about the number of smartphones, Playstations and cable TV channels in the Anand district where the 332 Gujarati adolescent school and and college students came from - the same goes for the respective interactions between nutrient quality, sleep duration and family income.
  • Study shows addition of fish oil accentuates sesamin's 'fat burning effects' (Ide. 2012b) In what could be considered a follow up to the results of a previous study in which Ide et al. were able to show that the addition of arachidonic acid (ARA) to sesamin supplemented chow augmented body fat loss, and increased the expression of enzymes that are involved in the oxidation of fatty acids, Takashe Ide has just published another study, which shows that high dose fish oil (15-20g/kg chow) will illicit similar, if not even more pronounced effects on the expression of Carnitine palmitoyltransferase 2, which is necessary to transports fatty acids into the mitochondria, and the alpha and beta subunit of the trifunctional enzymes that are involved in their subsequent oxidation.

    Figure 2: Effects of Sesamin (SES) + fish oil or arachidonic acid (ARA) on mRNA expression of CPT, trifunctional enzymes alpha & beta, as well as serum lipids in rodents after 15/16 days on respective diets  (Ide. 2012a & 2012b)
    As the data in figure 2 goes to show you, these increases were accompanied physiologically relevant decreases in the concentrations of triglycerides, cholesterol and phospholipids in the blood of the 5-week old male Sprague Dawley rats, Ide used in his latest study. Moreover, the observation that the supplementation regimen enhanced increases in mRNA of the peroxisomal enzymes involved in fatty acid oxidation and
    a membrane protein (peroxin-11α) associated with peroxisomes without affecting enzymes associated with mitochondria and microsomal cytochrome P-450 4a1 expression indicates the "existence of a mechanism independent of PPARα to specifically induce the gene expression of peroxisomal proteins." (Ide. 2012b)  That's an unquestionably interesting observation; also because it could open up new avenues for the development of anti-diabesiety drugs or the identification of herbs and natural "fat burners".
  • More scientific evidence: Eating carbs in the evening does not necessarily make you fat - even if you eat them instead of protein! (Eddy. 2012) While I would still be hesitant to recommend the ingestion of maltodextrin instead of casein or whey protein as a pre-bed snack, the results of a recent study by Eddy et al. clearly show that the sugar load right before bed did not have negative effects on the 59 sedentary, overweight and obese volunteers who were randomly assigned to ingest isocaloric amounts of maltodextrin (PLA), casein (CAS) or whey (WP) max. 30min before bed.
    Carbs Before Bed: What's good for overweight Israeli police cannot be bad for overweight Americans, can it? (photo by Mark Probst)
    "No significant group differences existed at baseline. There were no group x time interactions for RMR, hunger, satiety, desire to eat, fat mass, lean body mass, or weight (P< 0.05), although RMR displayed a trend towards significance with the PLA group decreasing by 74.3 ± 94.5 and WP and CP increasing by 235.73 ± 84.5 and 51.7 ± 79.4kcal/day, respectively (P=0.0559). Significant time effects were measured for satiety (pre: 31.5 ± 2.3, post: 40.6 ± 2.3, P< 0.008) and LBM (pre: 51.8 ± 0.1, post: 52.3 ± 0.1, P< 0.0001)." (Eddy. 2012)
    In view of the fact that it cannot be said if the absence of negative effects on hunger, satiety, desire to eat, fat mass, lean body mass, or weight was related to the obligatory supervised exercise sessions (3x/week; 2 days of resistance exercise and 1 day of high-intensity cardiovascular exercise) all participants had to attend, it does yet remain to be seen if similar results would be observed in obese (or lean?) subjects in the absence of a supervised resistance training and HIIT workouts. That said, as "non-significant" as the previously cited trend in resting metabolic rate ((RMR) may be, the increase in the amount of energy the obese subjects spent sitting around in both protein groups and the contrasting decrease in the maltodextrin group, is something to keep in mind .
    Ok, nighttime snacking increases LDL, but if you measure it in the morning after a high carb + high fat  snack that alone can contribute to the statistically "significant", but physiologically irrelevant LDL increase of 7mg/dL the scientists observed in their 11 healthy participants.
    Midnight snacking (Hibi. 2012): Whether eating right before bed is a good idea at all was not addressed in the study at hand and according to an even more recent paper by Hibi et al., postponing your 10am 192kcal snack (mean protein : fat : carbohydrate ratio of 5:50:45) to 11PM will significantly decrease fat oxidation (daytime snacking: 52.0 ± 13.6 g/d; nighttime snacking: 45.8 ± 14.0 g/d; P = 0.02) and increase total and LDL cholesterol significantly. How bad that actually is, is however likewise questionable, after all the blood glucose and insulin levels, snack and total energy intake, body weight, and energy expenditure of the 11 healthy women (age: 23±1 y; body mass index: 20.6 ± 2.6 kg/m²) who participated in the randomized-crossover trial were not affected by the switch from the daytime to the nighttime snack.
    Irrespective of any trends and non-significant differences, eating a heap of pure sugar (~35g - this is based on the assumption that the amounts were identical to another recent study by the same group which tested the acute effects of carbs and protein, cf. Kinsey. 2012) before going to bed has little to nothing to do with having a whole meal, with or without carbohydrates before bed -- and that this can increase not hamper weight loss, is something you as a SuppVersity reader are well aware of (see "Carbs after 6PM Will Make You Lean" & "Carbs After 6PM Reloaded").
  • Figure 3: According to a somwhat dubious study Acacia rigidula contains more than 44 "toxic amines and alkaloids" (data in ppm; Clement. 1998)
    Hi Tech Pharmaceuticals sponsored trial finds: Fastin RX is better than only two of its ingredients (Jacobs. 2012) -- I guess you won't be surprised to hear that the addition of  methlsynephrine, 1,3 dimethylamylamine ("geranium extract"), yohimbine HCL, naringen and theobromine to caffeine and Acacia rigidula extract potentiates the effects of either 300 mg caffeine (C) or 250 mg Acacia rigidula (AC) alone or in combination, right?

    Fine, 'cause this leaves more room for the important question, whether an additional increase in heart rate of 6.9 and 6.0bpm 2h and 3h after the ingestion of the extended release "fat burner" Fastin RX, a significant increase in systolic blood pressure of 33%, 26% and 19%, as well as increases in diastolic blood pressure that were 16.6%, 2.9% and 15% higher than in the caffeine (only) trial have any bearing on the efficacy of this product, when the 10.1%, 10.0% and 4% greater VO2 consumption (compared to AC and C, only) in the first three hours after the ingestion of the diet pill did no not show any significant main or interaction effects on resting metabolic rate? Probably not? Yeah... I would guess so, as well.
That's it for today... aside from the advice not to freak out over whatever amount of weight you may have gained in the past couple of days, I shold say: Trust me, it's not worth stressing yourself this is just going to make things worse. Just return to your regular nutritional habits, keep working out and it will be gone in no time. I'd also suggest you check out the latest  SuppVersity Facebook News on
  • Aqueous dried barberry extract as a treat for acne vulgaris (learn more)
  • Zinc + phytoestrogens vs. osteoporosis - a double- yet dull-edged sword  (learn more)
  • Cold-water immersion beats passive recovery and contrast water therapy for recovery after an intense American football training (learn more)
  • Study from the Boston University School of Medicine says: Female adolescents don't eat enough meat. (learn more)
and the other news I posted today and am going to post in the course of the next 24h. I guess that should suffice to bridge the time until I post tomorrow's full-length SuppVersity article. I'll see you tomorrow, then!

  • Clement BA, Goff CM, Forbes TDA. Toxic amines and alkaloids from acacia rigidula. Phytochemistry, Volume 49, Issue 5, 5 November 1998, Pages 1377–1380. 
  • Hibi M, Masumoto A, Naito Y, Kiuchi K, Yoshimoto Y, Matsumoto M, Katashima M, Oka J, Ikemoto S. Nighttime snacking reduces whole body fat oxidation and increases LDL cholesterol in healthy young women. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2012 Nov 21.
  • Hull HR, Hester CN, Fields DA. The effect of the holiday season on body weight and composition in college students. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2006 Dec 28;3:44.
  • Ide T, Ono Y, Kawashima H, Kiso Y. Interrelated effects of dihomo-γ-linolenic and arachidonic acids, and sesamin on hepatic fatty acid synthesis and oxidation in rats. Br J Nutr. 2012a Feb 28:1-14.
  • Ide, T. Fish oil at low dietary levels enhances physiological activity of sesamin to increase hepatic fatty acid oxidation in rats. Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition. 2012b; 51(3):241–247.
  • Jacobs PL. Acute physiological effects of the commercially available weight loss/energy product, Fastin-XR®, in contrast with the individual effects of caffeine and acacia rigidula. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2012, 9(Suppl 1):P10.
  • Kinseyet al.: The effect of acute ingestion of a protein beverage consumed late in the evening on metabolism, appetite, mood state, and blood lipid in overweight and obese adults. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2012; 9(Suppl 1):P16.
  • Patel MC, Shaikh WA, Singh AS. Association of sleep duration with blood glucose level of gujarati indian adolescents. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 2012; 56(3):229–233.
  • Thomas DD, Rawal S, Kinsey AW, Eddy WE, Fisher N, Spicer MM, Ormsbee MJ. The combination of green tea, caffeine, conjugated linoleic acid and branched chain amino acids have no effect on body composition and abdominal fat changes in overweight and obese men and women. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2012; 9(Suppl 1):P29