Fat cells in obese people behave differently from those in lean individuals.
In the obese, fat cells have less-than-optimal functioning of an enzyme that is required to help break down stored fat and burn it for energy.1,2
As individuals become more overweight, the less effective their cells are at removing stored fat, making it harder for them to lose weight.3 This is likely to feel familiar to anyone who’s ever tried to permanently shed fat pounds.
A series of discoveries reveal that biologically active flavonoids from a blend of Mediterranean citrus fruit and South American seed extracts initiate a chain of events that help support the function of a fat-removing enzyme called hormone-sensitive lipase.4,5
In one human study, those taking the blend of this citrus fruit/seed extract saw body fat reduction of 15.6% and weight loss averaging almost 12 pounds.4
In another human study, citrus fruit/seed extract-supplemented subjects shed 9.73% of their white abdominal fat stores, compared with baseline. This nearly 10% loss of inflammation-generating abdominal fat led to remarkable drops in markers of inflammation in the blood.
Data from these human trials demonstrate healthy weight loss, especially from difficult-to-lose belly fat stores.4 Proper use of these nutrients can help jump-start a weight-loss program and reduce the chronic inflammation induced by surplus fat cells.4,5
How Fat Produces Inflammation And Decreases Insulin Sensitivity
Fat cells, especially the “white adipose tissue” found in abdominal fat, are a massive factory for inflammatory signaling molecules.6-8
The steady outpouring of these molecules from belly fat cells results in low-grade body-wide inflammation,9,10 which is a primary instigator of chronic
Pro-inflammatory molecules emitted from fat cells interfere with normal insulin function, which results in the state known as insulin resistance.6 Resistance to insulin increases the amount of glucose in the blood, where it further damages tissues and eventually contributes to still greater problems managing weight.
It has recently been discovered that the white adipose tissue in obese people behaves differently from that in lean individuals. Obese people’s fat cells have less than optimal functioning of hormone-sensitive lipase. This enzyme is responsible for breaking down complex fat molecules and freeing them for burning for energy.1,3,13
Without sufficient hormone-sensitive lipase activity, obese people may have more trouble getting access to the energy stored in their fat cells, possibly making it more difficult to lose weight.
A ray of hope has recently emerged from the endless cycle of more and more obesity. A blend from Mediterranean citrus fruit and a South American seed has been shown to increase hormone-sensitive lipase activity in white adipose tissue cells, restoring their ability to free up-and burn off-their stores of excess energy. (Note: Fat is often medically defined as “stored energy.”)
Lethal Impact Of Surplus Body Fat
This year, 400,000 Americans are expected to die from the effects of excess body fat.22 That’s almost as much as tobacco-related deaths.
Excess body fat is a leading contributor to cardiovascular and liver disease, diabetes, and cancer.22
If you look at 10 average American adults today, three of them are obese.23 That works out to about 100 million people whose health is threatened purely by the amount of unnecessary and dangerous body fat they carry.23,24
This problem is not limited to adults; 17% of children and teens are obese in the US,24 indicating that the problem extends well into the next generations.
Repairing The Broken Biology Of Obesity
Scientists familiar with the inner workings of human fat tissue have developed a novel approach, one that shifts the impaired biology of fat cells in obesity back to its normal function, as found in lean people.
Rather than relying on side effect-laden drugs, this discovery utilizes extracts derived from citrus and guarana fruit seeds to exert beneficial effects on fat metabolism.1,4 The end result has been shown to be the shrinking of white adipose (fat) tissue.11,12,14,15
The impact of these beneficial biochemical changes can be seen in a number of animal and laboratory studies. When human white fat cells in culture were exposed to this citrus/guarana seed extract, their rate of fat breakdown (lipolysis), was 6-fold that of untreated control cells.4
In animal models, citrus flavonoid supplements thwarted fatty liver disease, blood liver disturbances, and insulin resistance by preventing new fat production and storage in the liver, while increasing fat breakdown and fat burning.14
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These extracts promote significant weight loss in obese laboratory rats and mice, accompanied by reductions in fasting blood sugar and blood lipids, which are risk indicators for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.16-21
Stopping The Fat Cycle
- If you are an adult American, you face a three-in-10 chance of being overweight or obese.
- Fat tissue, especially the white adipose tissue found in abdominal fat stores, pumps out a massive flow of inflammation-promoting substances that leads to life-shortening chronic diseases.
- Fat cells in obese people cannot process fat normally, leaving them to accumulate it much more extensively than lean people, while being unable to burn it off.
- Flavonoids derived from citrus fruit and guarana seed extracts are capable of making fat cells from obese individuals function more like those of lean people, which can shed fat and burn it for energy.
- Laboratory and clinical studies confirm that consuming these extracts as a nutritional supplement not only reduces body weight, but more importantly, shrinks body fat stores in the crucial abdominal region.
- Furthermore, as weight and fat are shed, inflammation-promoting disease markers also fall away, further improving risk factors for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and other chronic disorders.
Normalizing Fat Cell Behavior
It has long been suspected that citrus fruit and guarana carry benefits in relation to excess body fat. A large-scale, epidemiological study of Brazilians who regularly consumed guarana showed that they had lower rates of obesity, hypertension, and metabolic syndrome than did those who never consumed it.25 In fact, men who consumed guarana regularly had lower waist circumferences than non-consumers, while women had lower total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol compared with controls.
Two human studies have illustrated the weight-loss impact of utilizing standardized extracts from these plants.
In the first study of overweight volunteers, half received a placebo while the other half received the citrus/guarana extract blend. The supplement was standardized to contain 20% total flavanones.4 Subjects used the supplement for four and 12 weeks at a dose of 1.4 grams per day.
After four weeks, the supplemented group’s total body fat content had fallen by 5.53%, and average weight loss was 6.6 pounds. By 12 weeks, there was a 15.6% reduction in body fat and 12 pounds of weight lost. Placebo recipients had no significant losses of either body fat content or body weight.
In a second study, 47 people received the flavanone-rich supplement, at 450 mg, twice daily (at breakfast and lunch) for 12 weeks, while 48 control subjects received a placebo.5 Placebo subjects lost no significant amount of body weight or body fat, whereas the supplemented group lost 5.8 pounds from baseline. Supplemented people lost 6.6% of their total body fat, a significant difference from the placebo group.
This study demonstrated improvements in other parameters associated with long-term, fat-related disease risks. Mean waist and hip circumference, which are strongly correlated with cardiovascular risk, fell about two inches from baseline in the supplemented group. The supplemented subjects also shed 9.73% of their white abdominal fat stores, compared to when they started (baseline).
In response to this reduced abdominal fat mass, there were significant reductions in inflammatory blood markers. C-reactive protein (CRP) dropped by nearly 23% and fibrinogen fell nearly 20% from baseline. When compared to the placebo group, these changes amounted to 85% reduction in CRP and 18% reduction in fibrinogen.
It is very difficult to lower these inflammatory markers in obese individuals. Yet study subjects using this citrus/guarana-based supplement daily for three months lost nearly 7% of their total body fat, nearly 10% of abdominal white adipose tissue, and saw meaningful reductions in their inflammatory parameters.
We don’t yet have long-term results on these individuals, but it is safe to assume that such dramatic changes in their fundamental biology will lead to longer, healthier, more productive, and more active lives.
Defining Overweight And Obesity
Carrying too much body fat is bad for you; it produces massive outflows of inflammation,26 stresses your joints,27 and overworks your heart, kidneys, and other organs.28 In order to study these problems, scientists have developed specific definitions, using the body mass index (BMI) as a standard measure. BMI is derived from a simple formula that includes both weight and height.29
By definition, a person is overweight if their BMI exceeds 25, and obese when BMI exceeds 30. Thus, every obese person is also overweight. In practical use, however, the term “overweight” generally indicates people with a BMI of 25 to 30.30
While “overweight” is a better place to be than obese, don’t make the mistake of thinking that you are protected if you are “only” overweight. Your body still has far too much white adipose tissue, and you are being exposed to far too much chronic inflammation. Overweight or obese-if you meet either definition, it’s time to get control of your body fat.
Being overweight and/or obese is now an undeniable global health problem, which scientists are calling “globesity.” These conditions are now recognized as genuine disease entities, not as failures of self-control or character flaws, because of their tremendously complicated biology and their major contributions to chronic disease and premature death.
Breakthroughs in molecular biology have revealed that the white adipose (fat) tissue cells of obese people behave differently from those in lean individuals. Obese people’s fat cells simply cannot liberate their massive fat contents to be used for energy; as a result, those cells continue to accumulate fat, with all of its inflammation-promoting properties.
Flavonoid components of citrus fruit and guarana seeds, however, act synergistically to counteract this obesity-induced defect. By restoring ailing fat cells to the healthier, more responsive functions of lean tissue, these extracts help normalize those cells and give them the ability to release and burn off excess fat, rather than continuing to accumulate it.
Laboratory and clinical studies demonstrate both the mechanisms and effects of these extracts. In clinical studies, obese subjects not only shed significant body weight of up to one pound per week, but also reduced total body fat content by up to nearly 16%,4 with concomitant reductions in known disease risk factors such as waist and hip circumference, as well as blood markers of inflammation.
Almost everyone past the prime of their youth carries excess white body fat, and suffers the consequences of its massive outpouring of inflammatory mediators.
Reprinted with kind permission of Life Extension
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- Titta L, Trinei M, Stendardo M, et al. Blood orange juice inhibits fat accumulation in mice. Int J Obes (Lond). 2010 Mar;34(3):578-88.
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