Saturday, July 20, 2013

Capsaicin - 2.56mg to Keep Your Metabolism Running on a Diet. Cold Thermogenesis - 5°C for 6kcal/h. Mobile Phones - 0.853 W/kg Pulsed EMR to Mess Up Neurotransmitters

You don't have to worry, the "guidelines" do not require you to perform either your 150 minutes of moderate cardio, or your 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, and not even your two weekly full-body workouts in these shorts.
24% that's the SuppVersity Figure of the Week and it is actually not so low as I would have expected it to be, after all those 24% describe the ratio of US adults who meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for muscle-strengthening physical activity. Which guideline? Ah, you are the US guys and gals, so you should know that you are advised to
"perform muscle-strengthening activities that are moderate or high intensity and involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week, because these activities provide additional health benefit" (2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans)
Additional benefit? Well, it goes without saying that the 150 minutes of moderate aerobic training and the reduction of salt, as well as the use of healthy vegetable oils are the primary object for every 'true American'.

Not That Hot: Cold Thermogenesis

Figure 1: An avg. effect size of 6kcal/h, non-responders + "negative-responders"; it doesn't work for those past the 30y mark - how on earth is cold thermogenesis going to help us solve the obesity pandemic?
(Chen. 2013) In a single-blind, randomized crossover intervention 24 volunteers (14 men, 10 women) were exposed to a 5°C temperature reduction (from 24°C to 19°C). During that treatment they wre sitting in a whole-room indirect calorimeter to measure their energy expenditure and lay in a positron emission tomography (PET) scanner afterwards (results, see image to the right).

Now, based on previous SuppVersity articles on the matter, you'll know that it is not exactly easy to find people who actually harbor a "significant" (and in this case this means "any at all") amount of metabolically active brown adipose tissue to get the thermogenesis going.

And with 23cm³ and 35cm³ for the men and women participating in the study at hand, the amount of the "good fat" they were carrying around is still pretty stingy. No wonder ...
  • there was no thermogenic response in the male participants, but a
  • 10% increase in energy expenditure in the female participants
I already see your eyes glow in the cold, ladies, but you crow too soon - those 10% were 6kcal/h, I repeat in full words "six additional calories per hour". Or roughly as much energy as a single set of body weight squats would be burning .

If you are looking to shed 18% fat in 21 days, increase your health and your physical appearance, turn up the heat during your workouts, clean up your diet and don't move into the fridge (learn more)!
Bottom line: Against the background that there were neither significant changes in the hormonal profile (thyroid, adrenal, etc.) and considering the fact that the effect declined with age and was hardly measurable for 5 and negative (=lower energy expenditure in the cold) for 4 subjects, I stick to previous assessment: cold thermogenesis as a means of "expending more energy to get rid", is about as stupid as the whole concept of expending more energy to lose fat and it certainly does not, as the scientists state "represent a novel environmental strategy in obesity treatment".

If you want a "environmental strategy in obesity treatment", ban all the junkfood, switch off the elevators, hand out bikes and increase the health insurance cost for everyone who refuses to get his or her ass off the couch on a regular bases. Zealous? Unrealistic? Yeah, it is - but not more unrealistic than the hilarious notion that cooling the overweight majority of the inhabitants of the Western Obesity Belt down by 5°C would solve the obesity problem.

Mobile phones mess with neurotransmitter levels

Andreassen et al. have already developed a "Facebook Addiction Scale" and found that Facebook junkies tend to be
neurotic and extraverted, but lack a reasonable amount of conscientiousness (Andreassen. 2012)
(Aboul Ezz. 2013) I am well aware that many of you don't want to hear this and will discard the results researchers from the Cairo University present in their latest paper in the European Review forMedical and Pharmacological Sciences as "just another worthless rodent study" and I freely admit, you may be right.

It is well possible that rodents are more susceptible to the pulsed electromagnetic radiation from mobile phones than humans are, but I gather you will have to agree that the chance that there are still residual effects in human beings is by no means zero... and based on my personal observations, I would even argue that you see certain abnormalities in mobile phone junkies, already. Ok, those could have psychological and behavioral roots, but ...

Before I digress even further into the abyss of the "I cannot live without my mobile" virus that has already befallen many of my real world students, let's rather take a look at the outcome of Aboul Ezz et al.'s latest experiment.

Table 1: While the first six are actually the TOP (=low SAR) phones that are currently on the market, the others are random picks of mine from the data on SARdatabase.com
In the course of the latter, the scientists exposed a group of adult rats to the pulsed electromagnetic radiation of a mobile phone having a power density of 0.02W/cm² and an average specific absorption rate (the notorious SAR-value) of 0.843W/kg for 1h/day (that happens to be a little less of what your neat iPhone5 is pumping into your brain day in and day out) and measured the monoamine levels after one, two and four months, as well as on a follow-up one month after the last exposure and found:
The exposure to EMR resulted in significant changes in DA [dopamine], NE [norepenephrine] and 5-HT [serotinine levels] in the four selected areas of adult rat brain" (Aboul Ezz. 2013)
And the Egyptian researchers add, these chance could well explain the adverse effects that have been reported in conjunction with chronic "low level" exposure to pulsed electromagnetic radiation, which are usually related to memory problems and chronic stress.

What they don't mention in the abstract though is that the changes were not really consistent. It appeared as if there was some cyclicity involved with an initial increase in 5HT, a concomittant decrease in dopamine a newly established "balance" between the two leading to an increase in norepinephrine (=chronic stress) in months four.

Bottom line: That being said, I can only repeat that even in the absence of direct physiological effects of the EMR exposure, the constant state of "being available" to whoever wants to reach you, as well as the addictive potential of being in contact with all your (often fake) facebook friends alone should be reason enough to re-evaluate your own mobile phone use.

Capsaicin keeps fatty acid oxidation & total energy expenditure up, when you're dieting

No this is not Liza Oz after taking Mehmet's beloved RK supplements - and it is not one of the subjects from the "Kitchen Sink Approach to Fat Loss study"... although, who knows? (learn more about that study)
(Janssens. 2013) Right from the Department of Human Biology, School for Nutrition, Toxicology and Metabolism (NUTRIM) at the Maastricht University in The Netherlands comes a new study that confirms that capsaicin a long-touted "fat burner" and anti-obesity agent  that's also turning up your heat, when you consume hot peppers, will maintain your energy balance and fatty oxidation rates in the normal zone, when you are dieting.

The 15 healthy Caucasian subjects underwent four 36 h sessions in a respiration chamber, which allowed the scientists to accurately measure their energy expenditure, the ratio of glucose / fat oxidation and blood pressure after receiving a dose of 2.56mg (1.03g of red chili pepper worth 39,050 Scoville heat units (SHU)) with every meal.

Now, this wouldn’t be something we have not seen in previous studies, already. With the study at hand, however, the capsaicin intake, was not the only controlled variable. In addition to simply checking what happens, when you consume one serving of capsaicin with each meal, the scientists also assessed the influence of the baseline energy intake of the subjects, with them being randomly assigned to receive adequate amounts of energy (= 100% of the daily energy requirements), or a calorically reduced diet (=75% of the daily energy requirements) during the tests.
 
The first noteworthy observation the scientists made is the adaptiation induced amelioration of the energy deficit. Contrary to what the simply calories in vs. calories out equation would suggest, the participants who received 25% less energy than they would need ended up having an effective energy deficit of only 20.5% - in other words, the missing 4.5% were simply conserved by the dreaded metabolic downregulation that’s one of the most important reasons for weight loss plateaus.
Figure 2: Changes in energy expenditure at rest, during sleep in response to food intake and activity, as well as substrate oxidation in 15 healthy Caucasian subjects (seven women, eight men) during the supplemented (CAP) and non-supplemented (PLA) energy sufficient (100) and restricted (75) conditions (Janssens. 2013).
Now this is where the capsaicin comes into play, as the results of the study at hand clearly demonstrate, the additional provision of 2.56 mg of the hot spice with every meal can negate the reduction in diet-induced thermogenesis and restore the lowered sleeping metabolic rate the 25% caloric reduction has brought about.

Suggested read for those looking to stacking different ingredients to propel their weight loss efforts: "Forgotten Dieting Aids: Choline, Carnitine, Caffeine and the Anti-Weight-Loss Plateau Effects of Sugar and Phosphates" (read more)
Bottom line: In view of the fact that the capsaicin supplement also increased the fat oxidation during both the calorically reduced and the normal dieting conditions, it may in fact be that we've hot a pretty "hot" fat burner here... unfortunately, just with any other "fat burner", you still got to give your body the chance to actually burn the fat. Without sweat and a slightly reduced energy intake (25% does by the way make a good rule of thumb) this is yet not going to work.

Moreover, it is also questionable, whether the effects will be that noticeable after 1-2 weeks of chronic usage. I'd bet money they will either disappear completely or be drastically reduced, but that would be the topic for another study ;-)

All that's left are... *drumrolls* the Facebook news and an awesome weekend!

You know what's coming now, right? Correct, first I will enumerate a couple of Facebook News you may or may not have seen on the SuppVersity Timline (ha! I did not write "wall", am I now going to be rewarded, Mark Zuckerberg?)
  • SuppVersity Highly Suggested Read - Part II of Sean Casey's summary of the ISSN conference | read more...
  • Science for Science Sake - In the current scientific environment many scientists turn to biased reporting, intrinsically flawed study design & the like to produce "break through" results that are at best irrelevant, in the worst case threaten the live of participants in follow up studies | learn more... 
  • Moderate Drinking Probably Lacks Life-Extending Effects - Sociologists argue: The lifestyle and not the booze of moderate drinkers is what prolongs their lives | learn more...
  • Barefoot Running is Good for Your Knees: Take your shoes off to reduce patellofemoral joint stress during running | read more ...
  • Can Supplements Precipitate Headaches? At least in a recent study from China the researchers observed correlations between isoflavone-supps in men and B-complex, vitamin C and green algae supplements in women | read more...
And afterwards I am telling you to have a nice weekend and reminding you of the fact that Sunday is no "off day" here at the SuppVersity ... although, for many of you it appears to be, which is why I am actually thinking about dropping the Sunday posts completely. Whatever... enjoy your weekend!

References:
  • Aboul Ezz HS, Khadrawy YA, Ahmed NA, Radwan NM, El Bakry MM. The effect of pulsed electromagnetic radiation from mobile phone on the levels of monoamine neurotransmitters in four different areas of rat brain. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2013 Jul;17(13):1782-8.
  • Andreassen CS, Torsheim T, Brunborg GS, Pallesen S. Development of a Facebook
    Addiction Scale. Psychol Rep. 2012 Apr;110(2):501-17.
  • Chen KY, Brychta RJ, Linderman JD, Smith S, Courville A, Dieckmann W, Herscovitch P, Millo CM, Remaley A, Lee P, Celi FS. Brown fat activation mediates cold-induced thermogenesis in adult humans in response to a mild decrease in ambient temperature. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Jul;98(7):E1218-23. 
  • Janssens PL, Hursel R, Martens EA, Westerterp-Plantenga MS. Acute effects of capsaicin on energy expenditure and fat oxidation in negative energy balance. PLoS One. 2013 Jul 2;8(7):e67786.
     

4 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Under the topic, “Capsaicin keeps fatty acid oxidation & total energy expenditure up, when you're dieting”, you mentioned “Moreover, it is also questionable, whether the effects will be that noticeable after 1-2 weeks of chronic usage. I'd bet money they will either disappear completely or be drastically reduced” What would cause the effects to be reduce after chronic use?

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  3. I appreciate your Sunday posts :)

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    1. good to hear although I post them on Saturday :-)

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