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Weight Loss
Dan Milosevich, C.N.

Let's face it: if I had the exact secret of how to make people lose weight, I would be fabulously wealthy, and I would not be sitting here troubling my addled brain in front of this computer, but would be relaxing under a cabana on Maui, sipping a Margarita and getting a back rub from a slender (of course!), bikini-clad Hawaiian lovely. Well... that's the image we're sold, right? It's estimated that Americans spend more than $30 billion annually on diet and weight-loss aids, due to both the seriousness of obesity as a health problem, and to the frenzy of vanity caused by media and societal forces.

It's also well-known that losing weight too fast or incorrectly almost always results in regaining the lost-weight or even more. The Framingham Heart Study showed that weight fluctuation may pose as severe a risk of heart disease and premature death as being overweight. It's clear that to lose weight and keep it off involves a change in life habits, including increased exercise and/or activity, diet improvements, and attitude change.

Having learned that much from people who have successfully shed excess pounds, we can also make use of nutritional substances and ideas that assisted them. None of these things are a "magic bullet", but when used as part of a well-conceived long-term plan, their inclusion can make the difference between success and failure.

Arginine-Ornithine were first publicized when Sandy Shaw and Durk Pearson came out with their book, Life Extension. Their studies showed Arginine-Ornithine promote the secretion of growth hormone, decreasing body fat. It is now recommended to take Lysine along with Arginine, to prevent the outbreak of latent herpes, to further promote growth-hormone release, and to otherwise balance amino acids.  (top)

Vitamin C can greatly benefit and support immune response. Especially when working-out intensely as part of a weight-loss program, Vitamin C (with bioflavonoids) helps alleviate the heavy stress on the body, speeding recovery from workouts and prevent bruising. It also promotes the release of subcutaneous water, and can help speed up a slow metabolism.

L-Carnitine helps transport cellular fat, speeding the fat-burning process. It also helps sustain energy. Often when people exercise while including carnitine in their program, they report that their weight remains stable, but their clothes fit better as they convert stored body-fat to lean muscle tissue.

Chromium helps the cell to handle sugar in the system. It does this by binding the hormone insulin to the cell wall to perform its functions. Insulin is also necessary for normal brain function, wound healing and immune response. This function of chromium helps reduce sugar cravings, promoting normal food-intake and normalization of weight.
The Western Journal of Medicine (Jan.'9O ) reported "Supplemental chromium is associated with improvements of risk factors associated with maturity-onset diabetes and cardiovascular diseases." Some symptoms of chromium deficiency are impaired glucose tolerance, impaired growth, decreased fertility and sperm count, and nerve damage.

CoEnzyme Q-10 is an important vitamin-like nutrient that is of great interest to researchers studying heart disease, aging, cancer, obesity, athletic performance and other problems associated with its deficiency. CoQ-10 resembles vitamin E and vitamin K in chemical structure. It functions biochemically much like vitamin E in that it participates in antioxidant and free radical reactions. However, CoQ-10 has a special biochemical role of major importance, involving the production of energy in cells, including heart cells.

DHEA, besides it's apparent effectiveness in reversing the biological and subjective signs of aging, has been shown in studies to decrease the percentage of body fat, in part by blocking an enzyme that produces fat tissue.  (top)

Essential fatty acids have been researched for years in their role as precursors to prostaglandins, which control many functions in the body. Getting a good balance of essential fatty acids, including such oils as borage, evening primrose, black currant, flax, fish oil, and hemp, can really make a difference in how long meals keep one feeling full, as well as improve mood, skin and hair condition, and general metabolism. Although too much fat in the diet has been shown to be deleterious to health and proper weight-control, it's important to remember that there are good oils that are, as in their title, essential, meaning, needed every day.

Fiber, in the form of psyllium husk or as a combination of fibers that give a range of solubility, can cut down hunger pangs and give a full feeling. Fiber also of course helps promote excretion; it's always good to keep things moving along. And soluble fiber can help lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar fluctuations.

Garcinia cambogia contains in it's rind a substance called hydroxycitric acid (HCA) which has been successfully tested as an effective aid to weight-loss. It not only suppresses hunger but also inhibits the action of ATP-citrate lyase, an enzyme which promotes the conversion of carbs into fat.

L-glutamine has many functions in the body. Recently it has been used to help heal leaky-gut syndrome and chronic immune problems, because of it's importance as a fuel in the mitochondria of both the gut lining and other cells in the body. Body-builders use it because it is a primary nutrient for muscle growth. Recovering alcoholics and dieters have used L-glutamine for many years as part of a program to help control sugar cravings and for mental clarity.

Lecithin emulsifies fat, helping to break it down so it can be excreted from the body.

Lipotropics, including choline and inositol, methionine, and B-6, helps the body burn fat.  (top)

Multi-vitamins, especially a good formula including minerals, shore up any nutritional deficiencies which might well be contributing to obesity and related problems such as low energy. The B vitamins are especially important, as they are involved with the functions of proper digestion, absorption, and metabolism of food, energy production and burning of calories, blood sugar control, and many others.

L-phenylalanine and a related amino acid, L-tyrosine, are precursors on the dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine pathway. As such, they have been found to be helpful for depression and similar low-energy states. Although defining "depression" apart from "low-energy" can be useful for analytical purposes, it remains true that for all practical purposes depression and low-energy go together and are often affected by the same body-mind disciplines. For instance, Andrew Weil says that the most consistently successful "natural" remedy for depression is taking a walk every single day! Many people have benefited their energy levels and mental clarity by supplementing with L-phenylalanine, L-tyrosine, or both. In addition to this natural anti-depressant effect, which can in itself help control appetite, L-phenylalanine functions directly as an appetite suppressant, signaling lack of hunger to the brain.

Spirulina contains vital unsaturated fatty acids, including gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), it has many important minerals including potassium, calcium, zinc, magnesium, selenium, iron, and phosphorus, vitamins including B-12 and others of the B-complex, E, and beta carotene, digestive enzymes, chlorophyll, and pigments that help liver function. Ounce for ounce, it provides more complete protein than meat. This 65% easily-digested protein can in itself give a boost, especially given the prevalence of high-carbohydrate diets. Since the protein in spirulina is high in phenylalanine, it has also been used as an aid to appetite suppression and weight-loss.

Enter the Zone by Professor Barry Sears, Ph.D., has recently sparked interest in how manipulating the amount of macro nutrients - fat, protein, carbohydrates - can create a balance in the body which naturally corrects obesity and even disease. Although the "science" behind Sears' theories is controversial, to say the least, one great thing about his program is that an individual can easily test this program without needing to drastically change the items he or she eats - just the balance of items at each meal, and within a few weeks should be able to get a definite sense of whether or not this approach will help. I highly recommend checking it out. We also carry Prozone by the company NutriBiotic, a delicious drink mix that has the 30-30-40 percentage of fat, protein, carbohydrates that Sears recommends.

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