This website uses cookies so that we can provide you with the best user experience possible. Cookie information is stored in your browser and performs functions such as recognizing you when you return to our website and helping our team to understand which sections of the website you find most interesting. We do not share any your subscription information with third parties. It is used solely to send you notifications about site content occasionally.

weight loss

  • Most of the substances that are classified as vitamins were discovered decades ago. Required in tiny amounts for normal growth and development, vitamins must be obtained from the diet. Determining vitamin status is not quite as straight forward as this suggests, which is one reason that new vitamins on occasion still are discovered. Ergothioneine, an amino acid that is relatively abundant in certain mushrooms, currently is being proposed by a number of scientists as the latest new vitamin. Evidence includes the existence of a specific cellular transporter, accumulation of the compound in cells followed by its retention.1,2 Solomon Snyder at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine not only has suggested that ergothioneine may be a vitamin, but also has concluded that for some purposes this would-be vitamin is as potent as glutathione, one of the body's most potent endogenous antioxidants and detoxifiers.3

    Anti-Aging Potential for Heart and Mind
    Mushrooms are rich sources of both ergothioneine and the well-known nutrient, glutathione.4 The edible fungi that are high in the one have been found to be high in the other. As a dietary source of these compounds, it is significant that mushrooms remain viable sources even after cooking,something not true of many nutrient sources.

    The antioxidant functions of glutathione include recycling (reducing) the vitamins C and E as well as serving as a critical free radical scavenger to support antioxidant activity in all tissues, especially the liver and phase 2 detoxification reactions. In its reduced (non-oxidized) form, glutathione acts as a substrate in conjugation reactions. Whereas phase 1 detoxification makes fat-soluble toxins more water soluble in preparation for elimination from the body, a step that actually can increase toxicity, phase 2 detoxification binds toxins to carriers, such as glutathione, sulfate, glycine and glucuronic acid. One role for ergothioneine may be cardiovascular protection.5 This could involve amelioration of chronic inflammatory states, such as are found in heart disease and related condition.6 As part of its anti-inflammatory function, it is interesting that ergothioneine is found together with glutathione in mushroom sources. Although glutathione is often almost totally depleted in the face of oxidative stress, ergothioneine concentrations tend to remain relatively stable. "These properties suggest a role for ET [ergothioneine] as a bulwark, a final defense for cells against oxidative damage. Its stability may help mitochondria cope with otherwise overwhelming stresses encountered even during relatively physiologic metabolism."7

    mushroom types

    Ergothioneine has been shown to be involved in protecting injured tissues.8 In this and a number of other functions, there is a clear overlap with glutathione. Of particular interest is the impact on neurodegenerative diseases. As one of the primary ergothioneine researchers, Robert Beelman of The Pennsylvania State University, recently commented,

    "It's preliminary, but you can see that countries that have more ergothioneine in their diets, countries like France and Italy, also have lower incidences of neurodegenerative diseases, while people in countries like the United States, which has low amounts of ergothioneine in the diet, have a higher probability of diseases like Parkinson's Disease and Alzheimer's. Now whether that's just a correlation or causative, we don't know. But, it's something to look into, especially because the difference between the countries with low rates of neurodegenerative diseases is about 3 milligrams per day, which is about five button mushrooms each day."9

    A study published last year by researchers in Singapore adds support for Dr. Beelman's hypothesis that ergothioneine is neuroprotective. As already mentioned, the compound seems to accumulate preferentially in tissues subject to oxidative stress and inflammation. Based on this, the Singapore-based scientists looked at whole blood levels in older individuals. Their finding was that ergothioneine levels were significantly lower in those over 60 years of age. In subjects suffering from mild cognitive impairment, blood levels, again, were lower than in age-matched controls. Researchers concluded that the decline suggests that deficiency in ergothioneine may predispose individuals to neurodegenerative diseases.10

    Of common edible mushrooms, ergothioneine concentration is highest in the porcini, an Italian favorite. Also tested and found adequate as sources, descending order of richness (strongly dependent on which portion of the growth cycle is involved), are shiitake, oyster, maitake, king oyster, and then, in a dead heat, portabellas, crimini and white button mushrooms.

    Unexpected Benefits
    Let's face it, consuming mushrooms merely as sources of an arcane newly discovered vitamin is not nearly as appealing as eating your favorite fungi for properly gourmet reasons (pizza topping, steak sauce, ravioli filling, etc.) while accruing unexpected benefits, such as weight maintenance or even weight loss. Recent studies suggest that one can be both gourmand and lean.

    For instance, University of Minnesota research found that mushrooms are more filling based on roughly equal amounts of calories than is 93 percent lean ground beef.11 Thirty-two healthy participants (17 women, 15 men) consumed two servings of mushrooms or meat for ten days, i.e., mushrooms (226 grams) and meat (28 grams) eaten in a randomized open-label crossover study. On the first day, fasted participants consumed protein-matched breakfasts of containing either mushrooms or meat. Participants rated their satiety using visual analogue scales at start and at regular intervals after the meal. Three hours later, participants were served an ad libitum (eat as much as desired) lunch. Participants were given mushrooms or meat to consume at home for the following nine days. Under these conditions, mushroom eaters consumed more fiber, but there was no significant difference in calorie intake over the ten days of the trial. The findings were that consuming the mushrooms led to less hunger during the day, greater feelings of satiety after meals and less desire to eat within three hours of the mushroom meal.

    The above trial lasted only ten days. The real question is "what happens if mushrooms are substituted for meat, say, for a year?" In fact, that trial has been conducted. A one-year, randomized clinical trial conducted by researchers at the Weight Management Center at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and funded by the Mushroom Council found that substituting white button mushrooms for red meat enhanced weight loss and helped maintain that loss in among 73 obese adults (64 women and 9 men).12 Subjects substitute one cup of mushrooms per day for a protein serving while keeping the rest of their diet the same. Controls followed their normal diets. At the end of the trial, participants on the mushroom diet reported lower intakes of energy and fat, had lost more pounds and percentage body weight (an averaged seven pounds), had a lower body mass index, exhibited a smaller waist circumference (decreased by an average of 2.6 inches), had less total body fat, and had lower systolic and diastolic pressure (-7.9 and -2.5 mmHg, respectively).

    Mushrooms are relatively high in fiber and low in calories, meaning that they are not calorically dense. They also help to modulate blood sugar, a benefit that likely factors in to their impact on satiety. Whatever the mechanisms of action, being useful for achieving and maintaining significant weight loss over the course of a year while adding variety and taste to meals is a worthy achievement.

    The Latest on Mushroom Supplements

    Mushrooms used in cooking are the fruiting bodies, not mere mycelium. This is an important distinction, as well, for mushrooms used as dietary supplements. Unfortunately, supplements far too often are based only on the mycelium. A recent United States Pharmacopeia study confirms a lack of medicinal compounds in many Reishi supplements. As pointed out in a press release by the Nammex company, nineteen different Reishi mushroom products sold in the United States were tested for the compounds that characterize real Reishi mushroom (fruiting body).

    Researchers used scientifically identified and validated Reishi mushrooms as their standard. Various highly accurate testing methods were utilized, including HPTLC, Colorimetric method, GC-MS, and High Performance Size-exclusion Chromatography. The results of their study demonstrated clearly that only 5 of 19 samples could be verified as genuine Reishi mushroom. Most of the other products lacked characteristic triterpenoids and also had a starch-like polysaccharide profile that was inconsistent with Reishi mushroom.

    The researchers themselves concluded that the "results showed that the measured ingredients of only 5 tested samples (26.3%) were in accordance with their labels, which suggested the quality consistency of G. lucidum dietary supplements in the U.S. market was poor, which should be carefully investigated." 13


    1. Gründemann D, Harlfinger S, Golz S, Geerts A, Lazar A, Berkels R, Jung N, Rubbert A, Schömig E. Discovery of the ergothioneine transporter. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Apr 5;102(14):5256–61.
    2. Gründemann D. The ergothioneine transporter controls and indicates ergothioneine activity—a review. Prev Med. 2012 May;54 Suppl:S71– 4.
    3. Paul BD, Snyder SH. The unusual amino acid L-ergothioneine is a physiologic cytoprotectant. Cell Death Differ. 2010 Jul;17(7):1134 – 40.
    4. Kalaras MD, Richie JP, Calcagnotto A, Beelman RB. Mushrooms: A rich source of the antioxidants ergothioneine and glutathione. Food Chem. 2017 Oct 15;233:429– 433.
    5. Servillo L, D'Onofrio N, Balestrieri ML. Ergothioneine Antioxidant Function: From Chemistry to Cardiovascular Therapeutic Potential. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2017 Apr;69(4):183–191.
    6. Grigat S, Harlfinger S, Pal S, Striebinger R, Golz S, Geerts A, Lazar A, Schömig E, Gründemann D. Probing the substrate specificity of the ergothioneine transporter with methimazole, hercynine, and organic cations. Biochem Pharmacol. 2007 Jul 15;74(2):309–16.
    7. Paul BD, Snyder SH. The unusual amino acid L-ergothioneine is a physiologic cytoprotectant. Cell Death Differ. 2010 Jul;17(7):1134–40.
    8. Halliwell B, Cheah IK, Drum CL. Ergothioneine, an adaptive antioxidant for the protection of injured tissues? A hypothesis. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2016 Feb 5;470(2):245–250.
    10. Cheah IK, Feng L, Tang RMY, Lim KHC, Halliwell B. Ergothioneine levels in an elderly population decrease with age and incidence of cognitive decline; a risk factor for neurodegeneration? Biochem Biophys Res Commun.2016 Sep 9;478(1):162–167.
    11. Hess JM, Wang Q, Kraft C, Slavin JL. Impact of Agaricus bisporus mushroom consumption on satiety and food intake. Appetite. 2017 Oct 1;117:179–185.
    12. Poddar KH, Ames M, Hsin-Jen C, Feeney MJ, Wang Y, Cheskin LJ. Positive effect of mushrooms substituted for meat on body weight, body composition, and health parameters. A 1-year randomized clinical trial. Appetite. 2013 Dec;71:379–87.
    13. Wu DT, Deng Y, Chen LX, Zhao J, Bzhelyansky A, Li SP. Evaluation on quality consistency of Ganoderma lucidum dietary supplements collected in the United States. Sci Rep. 2017 Aug 10;7(1):7792.
  • There are many dietary supplement strategies that can be used to support and promote your weight loss efforts in the gym and while you're dieting. Some of these strategies are old, and some are more recent; but rarely can you find a dietary supplement ingredient that approaches the issue of weight loss from an entirely new angle. Consequently, it's been very interesting for me to research and write about blueberry leaf extract.

    Glucose And Fat Storage
    To understand the contribution that Blueberry leaf can make to weight loss, we must first discuss the role of glucose (blood sugar) in relation to weight gain. First of all, glucose is obtained from sugars and other carbohydrates in our diet. All carbohydrates (except for fiber) are generally converted into glucose in our livers.1 The glucose is then used as a fuel in energy metabolism to help power our bodies. But what happens if our energy needs are already met; what does our body do with the glucose? Basically, a healthy body has two choices: it can convert a limited amount of it into glycogen (muscle sugar), and it can convert unlimited amounts of it into body fat which can be stored for an extended period of time.2 As a matter of fact, a small protein in liver cells is largely dedicated to helping convert excess dietary carbohydrates into fat stores.3

    So, besides the obvious avoidance of excessive carbohydrates and sugar-laden foods, what can be done to inhibit this process of converting carbs into fat? There are three strategies, which can be used:

    • Reduce glucose absorption from the diet,
    • Reduce glucose synthesis in the liver,
    • Accelerate glucose metabolism.

    Ideally, the most effective strategy would be to achieve all three at the same time.

    Chlorogenic and Hydroxycinnamic Acids
    Recent research has identified two unique natural compounds that appear to do just that. The two compounds are: chlorogenic and hydroxycinnamic acids. New studies suggest that taken together these two unique compounds:

    • May help to reduce dietary glucose absorption in the intestines,
    • Help reduce glucose synthesis in the liver, and
    • Speed up the metabolism of glucose—simultaneously.

    Here's how it works: The enzyme glucose-6-phosphatase (G6P) plays a major role in the formation of glucose in our body. Chlorogenic acid was recently discovered to specifically inhibit the activity of this key enzyme. Inhibition of G6P activity in the liver results in a reduction of liver glucose production—which in turn may help reduce high rates of glucose output by the liver.4,5

    In fact, both chlorogenic acid and hydroxycinnamic acid (aka, caffeic acid) are involved in the glucose reduction in our body. Research of Dr. Welsch and his colleges at Rutgers University reveals that glucose absorption in the intestines was reduced to 80 percent in the presence of chlorogenic acid and 30–40 percent in the presence of caffeic acid. These results suggest that both chlorogenic and caffeic acids are involved in the regulation of glucose level including the unique ability to inhibit dietary glucose absorption in intestines.6 Other recent research also indicates that the presence of caffeic acid accelerated the metabolism of glucose, which can reduce the total glucose concentration in circulating blood.7 Results of other studies provide further evidence that caffeic acid is involved in the reduction of blood glucose in diabetic animals.8

    Pharmaceutical companies also actively interested in this important area of research have already synthesized several synthetic analogs of chlorogenic acid. These compounds are potent inhibitors of the glucose-6- phosphatase activity in the human liver.9 Other evidence has also confirmed that chlorogenic acid derivatives reduce blood glucose in animals, which also confirms the blood glucose lowering properties of chlorogenic acid.10,11

    Therefore, it is strongly suggested from all the above that the effectiveness of chlorogenic and caffeic in glucose reduction will depend on whether these compounds are taken simultaneously and in sufficient amounts.

    Blueberry Leaves

    So, what does all this have to do with Blueberry leaves? Surprisingly enough, concentrations of chlorogenic and caffeic acids have recently been discovered in the Blueberry leaves (Vaccinium arctostaphylos L) found in the Caucasian Mountains of the northern region in the Republic of Georgia (in the previous Soviet Union). Interestingly, Caucasians have been using medicinal teas infused with leaves of the blueberry for the self-treatment of diabetes for literally centuries. In light of the previous information about chlorogenic and caffeic acids and their effect on blood glucose levels, this folk use of Blueberry leaves for diabetes makes sense.

    Caucasian blueberry has a legendary reputation as aid to diabetics. Decoctions and infusions of the leaves are used in folk medicine as hypoglycemic agents and are usual major component of "anti-diabetes teas." Even more impressive, in Russia, a standardized blueberry leaf extract, known as "Diabetic Chai Cherniki" was effectively used for the treatment of diabetes, gastric colitis and high cholesterol, and has been repeatedly shown to contain pharmaceutically significant levels of both chlorogenic and caffeic acids.12

    Now back to the concept of using Blueberry leaves extract as a strategy for weight loss. The logic is fairly simple: if you can reduce the amount of glucose that is absorbed, reduce the amount that is manufactured in the liver, and increase the rate at which glucose is metabolized, the result is that you'll likely be able to reduce the conversion of glucose into body fat. Of course, this does not mean that Blueberry leaves extract is a license to eat as much sugary and carbohydrate-rich foods as you'd like, but rather that if you're making an effort to eat a healthy, balanced diet, that Blueberry leaves extract can help prevent the carbohydrates that you are consuming into being converted to body fat. A good dose of blueberry extract is 200 mg.


    1. Whitney E, Cataldo C, Rolfes S. Understanding Normal and Clinical Nutrition, Fifth Edition (1998) West/Wadsworth, Belmont, California. pp. 114.
    2. Whitney E, Cataldo C, Rolfes S. Understanding Normal and Clinical Nutrition, Fifth Edition (1998) West/Wadsworth, Belmont, California. pp. 116–8.
    3. Yamashita H, et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 2001;98:9116.
    4. Arion WJ, et al. Arch Biochem Biophys (1997) 15; 339(2):315–22.
    5. Hemmele H, et al. J Med Chem (1997) 17; 40(2):137–45.
    6. Welsch, et al. J Nutr (1989) 119(11):1698–704.
    7. Cheng JT, Liu IM. Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol (2000) 362 (2):122–7.
    8. Hsu FL, Chen YC, Cheng JT. Planta Med (2000) 66(3): 228–30.
    9. Simon, et al. Arch Biochem Biophys (2000) 15; 373(2):410–28.
    10. Herling, et al. Eur J Pharmacol (1999) 386(1):75–82.
    11. Mshavanadze VV. Bulletin of the Georgian Academy of Science (1971a) 62:189–92.
    12. Mshavanadze VV. Bulletin of the Georgian Academy of Science (1971b) 62:446–7.
  • Losing weight and keeping it off is not a simple process as evidenced by the fact that the majority of persons who lose weight regain the weight within one to five years.1 The reasons for over 80 percent recidivism rate in gaining back weight previously lost are multifactorial2—it is not simply an issue of calories in/calories out. There are different issues as to why some people have more difficulty losing weight than others—and those issues are not necessarily the same from one person to another. Two such issues are being a slow calorie burner and having difficulty controlling appetite/hunger. This article will discuss these issues and presents some of the dietary supplement ingredients that may help.

    Slow calorie burning
    Some individuals seem to burn calories and lose weight very slowly despite the fact that they are reducing their caloric intake and/or exercising. In fact, research3 has shown that many individuals follow a reduced or low calorie diet for 3–6 months actually burned fewer calories each day then before they started dieting. In another study,4 the number of calories burned each day decreased in individuals following a calorie-restricted diet, in individuals following a calorie-restricted diet and also exercising, and in individuals following a very low-calorie diet. This phenomenon appears to be a “metabolic adaptation” to long-term diet/exercise programs for some individuals.

    Difficulty controlling appetite/hunger
    Some individuals seem to be frequently hungry, have a large appetite, and reach satiety slowly. These are actually separate but related issues. Hunger occurs as the result of physiological cues telling us we are hungry, such as an empty or growling stomach, a decrease in blood glucose levels, and alterations in circulating hormones—and two out of three people indicate that hunger causes them to cheat on their diet.5 Appetite is the psychological desire to eat, and is associated with sensory experiences or aspects of food such as the sight and smell of food, emotional cues, social situations, and cultural conventions. Hunger acts as the more basic drive, while appetite is more of a reflection of eating experiences. Satiety is the physiological and psychological experience of “fullness” that comes after eating and/or drinking. As was true for hunger and appetite, a number of factors influence the experience of satiety including gastric distention, elevations in blood glucose and alterations in circulating hormones.

    Citrus polyphenols: releasing fat from fat cells
    Our fat cells contain fat in the form of triglycerides. To lose weight, our fat cells have to release the fat they contain, a process known as lipolysis. Nevertheless, some people seem to have fat cells that stubbornly hold onto the fat. That’s where citrus polyphenols may be able to help. Research has shown that a blend of grapefruit, blood orange, orange and Guarana extract providing polyphenols was able to stimulate lipolysis. In a 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial,6 95 overweight men and women used 450 mg of the aforementioned citrus polyphenol blend or a placebo twice daily. The results were that those using the citrus polyphenols lost 63 percent more body weight than those using the placebo. Furthermore, those in the citrus polyphenols group lost two inches off their waists and hips, compared to about 1/2 inch for the placebo group. Even more significant is the fact that free fatty acids (FFA) levels in the blood increased by 329 percent in the citrus polyphenols group, compared to only 33 percent in the placebo group. This is important since an increase in FFA is an indication of lipolysis (i.e. fat cells giving up their fat). Another 12-week, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial7 with the citrus polyphenol blend showed similar results.

    Caffeine: a calorie-burner
    Research has indicated that various doses of caffeine can have a thermogenic effect, causing people to burn more calories. Interestingly, more isn’t always better. In one double-blind study,8 100 mg of caffeine was more effective than 200 or 400 mg in increasing thermogenesis/calorie burning. Furthermore, caffeine intake was associated with a greater release of fat compared to placebo. In another double-blind study,9 100 mg of caffeine resulted in a 16 percent increase in calorie-burning over a 2-hour period compared with placebo.

    Oligofructose prebiotic fiber: an appetite reducer
    Oligofructose is a type of fiber (typically derived from chicory), which can act as a prebiotic—that is, a source of food for friendly bacteria or probiotics. In addition, research shows it can help reduce appetite. In a randomized, double-blind, parallel, placebo-controlled trial,10 men and women received 16 g of oligofructose daily (in divided doses) for two weeks. Results showed that those receiving the oligofructose had an increase in friendly bacteria and lower hunger rates. Furthermore, oligofructose significantly increased levels of certain hormones that help control appetite (glucagon-like peptide 1 and peptide YY). Consequently, the oligofructose group ate 6.67 percent less calories and had significantly reduced hunger compared to placebo group. Another single-blinded, crossover, placebo-controlled design, study11 with oligofructose showed similar results.

    Garcinia cambogia: reducing calorie intake
    Garcinia cambogia is a plant found in tropical regions of Asia, Africa, and Polynesia.12 The active compound in Garcinia cambogia is known as (-)-hydroxycitric acid (HCA).13 Among other properties, this compound may help reduce calorie intake. In a 6-week randomized placebo-controlled single-blinded cross-over trial14 overweight subjects consumed a drink with Garcinia cambogia providing 300 mg HCA. They took this drink or a placebo three times daily for two weeks. The results were that the calories consumed were decreased by 15–30 percent with HCA compared to placebo. Also, body weight tended to decrease, and satiety was sustained.

    Losing weight and keeping it off is tough to do, and absolutely requires the use of a healthy diet and exercise program for long-term success. However, the use of citrus polyphenols, caffeine, oligofructose and Garcinia cambogia may help make the job easier and lead to a better outcome.


    1. Wysoker A. A Conceptual Model of Weight Loss and Weight Regain: An Intervention for Change J Am Psychiatr Nurses Assoc. 2002; 8(5):168-173.
    2. Rosenbaum M, Leibel RL. Adaptive thermogenesis in humans. Int J Obes(Lond). 2010;34 Suppl 1:S47-55.
    3. Redman LM, Heilbronn LK, Martin CK, et al. Metabolic and behavioral compensations in response to caloric restriction: implications for the maintenance of weight loss. PLoS One 2009;4(2):e4377.
    4. Heilbronn LK, de Jonge L, Frisard MI, et al. Effect of 6-month calorie restriction on biomarkers of longevity, metabolic adaptation, and oxidative stress in overweight individuals: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2006;295(13):1539-48.
    5. Palmer S. Taking Control of Hunger — Lessons on Calming Appetite and Managing Weight. Today’s Dietitian 2009;11(4):28.
    6. Dallas C, Gerbi A, Elbez Y, Caillard P, Zamaria N, Cloarec M. Clinical Study to Assess the Efficacy and Safety of a Citrus Polyphenolic Extract of Red Orange, Grapefruit, and Orange (Sinetrol-XPur) on Weight Management and Metabolic Parameters in Healthy Overweight Individuals. Phytother Res. 2013 Apr 3. doi: 10.1002/ptr.4981. [Epub ahead of print]
    7. Dallas C, Gerbi A, Tenca G, Juchaux F, Bernard FX. Lipolytic effect of a polyphenolic citrus dry extract of red orange, grapefruit, orange (SINETROL) in human body fat adipocytes. Mechanism of action by inhibition of cAMPphosphodiesterase (PDE). Phytomedicine. 2008 Oct;15(10):783-92.
    8. Astrup A, Toubro S, Cannon S, Hein P, Breum L, Madsen J. Caffeine: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of its thermogenic, metabolic, and cardiovascular effects in healthy volunteers. Am J Clin Nutr. 1990 May;51(5):759-67.
    9. Hollands MA, Arch iRS, Cawthrone MA. A simple apparatus for comparative measurements of energy expenditure in human subjects: the thermic effect of caffeine. Am J Clin Nutr. 1981;34:2291-4.
    10. Cani PD, Lecourt E, Dewulf EM, Sohet FM, Pachikian BD, Naslain D, De Backer F, Neyrinck AM, Delzenne NM. Gut microbiota fermentation of prebiotics increases satietogenic and incretin gut peptide production with consequences for appetite sensation and glucose response after a meal. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Nov;90(5):1236-43.
    11. Cani PD, Joly E, Horsmans Y, Delzenne NM. Oligofructose promotes satiety in healthy human: a pilot study. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2006 May;60(5):567-72.
    12. The wealth of India (raw materials), Vol. IV. New Delhi, India: CSIR; 1956: 99-108.
    13. Jena BS, Jayaprakasha GK, Singh RP, Sakariah KK. Chemistry and biochemistry of (-)-hydroxycitric acid from Garcinia. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry. 2002;50(1):10-22.
    14. Westerterp-Platenga MS, Kovacs EMR. The effect of (-)-hydroxycitrate on energy intake and satiety in overweight humans. Int J Obesity 2002;26:870-872.
  • Over the last decade, two related types of eating patterns—caloric restriction / fasting diets and ketogenic diets—have begun to attract ever greater attention among university researchers. In this magazine, the first is discussed in "Caloric Restriction, Fasting and Nicotinamide Riboside" (TotalHealth, February 2015).1 The second is examined in "Supplements Target Ketogenesis and Metabolic Flexibility for Sports and Health" (TotalHealth, June 2016).2 Neither of these approaches to influencing aging and health is new, of course. R. H. Weindruch and R. L. Walford already by 1979 had begun publishing major findings on caloric restriction and they were hardly the first to pursue the topic in a serious manner.3,4 As for ketogenic diets, many will remember Robert C. Atkins, Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution (Bantam, 1972), which was immensely popular for years. Its predecessor was developed in the 1920s for the quite different purpose of treating pediatric epilepsy and was widely used until the introduction of effective anticonvulsant drugs. Outside of epilepsy, until recently the medical world strongly resisted even studying ketogenic diets. A discussion of the use of high-fat/low carbohydrate diets in the early 20th Century for diabetes can be found in my book, Anti-fat Nutrients.5

    Taming the CR/Fasting Interventions
    Caloric restriction (CR) / fasting and ketogenic dietary interventions exhibit both overlaps and differences. One major overlap arises from the fact that caloric restriction, just as does the ketogenic diet, encourages ketogenesis. Both diets, in their more pure forms, are quite hard to follow. Caloric restriction generally involves a 20 to 40 percent reduction in energy intake. Even at this level, caloric restriction can lead to undesirable consequences, such as general malnutrition, muscle weakness and wasting, a failure to adapt to environmental challenges, neurological deficits, dizziness, irritability, lethargy, and depression.6

    Ketogenic diets have different adverse effects, several of which are linked to a tendency to avoid almost all fruits and vegetables, hence losing adequate access to most phytonutrients and even to many of the canonical vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C and potassium. Adverse consequences can include unwanted weight loss, constipation, kidney stones, calcium deficiency and other vitamin and mineral deficiencies. At 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day (80 to 200 calories), a medical-style ketogenic diet is difficult to follow. A common failing on ketogenic diets is eating too much protein and too little fat. This defeats at least one of the major goals of ketogenic dieting, which is to reduce insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1).7

    Fasting and reduced caloric intake are practices in many of the world's medical systems, whether for healing or for preserving health. As but one example, consuming most food only during a restricted time window, in practice an eight–ten hour window, and avoiding all solid food after approximately 4 or 5 p.m. is an ancient Buddhist recommendation for health. For most individuals, versions of caloric restriction and/or fasting are far easier to follow over the long term than is any version of the ketogenic diet. Furthermore, there are quite a few flexible eating plans that have been developed to achieve at least some of the benefits of classic calorie restriction and fasting without requiring that the adherent become an ascetic.

    Approaches to Caloric Restriction and Fasting

    Below are some of the defined approaches that have been worked out by various researchers and writers. For readers interested in a much more elaborate discussion of these and related options, an excellent overview can be found in "Running on Empty: Fasting Diets Are Increasingly Popular, But Do They Really Work?"8

    Calorie Restriction
    Reduction in calorie intake by 20 to 40 percent (1200 calories for women versus 1400 calories for men per day) over an extend period of time ranging from weeks to months

    Intermittent Calorie Restriction
    Reduction in calorie intake by 50 to 70 percent (600– 1000 calories per day) for short periods of time, for instance, once or twice per week

    Complete avoidance of calorie intake for anywhere from one day to several weeks

    Intermittent Fasting
    Alternating a fasting day with a normal energy intake day or fasting once or twice per week; typically, there are no food restrictions on eating days, although eating should be moderate rather than compensatory; there are many versions of this plan, such as eating five days a week and fasting for two

    Daily Partial Fasting
    Complete avoidance of calorie intake for 14–18 hours daily; meals are resumed at the start of each day, but all meals are eaten within a defined period of approximately eight to ten hours9

    Alternate-Day Dieting
    Alternating a normal eating day with a calorie restriction day of approximately 20 percent of typical calorie intake; some writers call this alternate-day fasting

    What Diets Do the Researchers Themselves Follow?
    The author of the article mentioned above, "Running on Empty," very helpfully queried caloric restriction and fasting researchers as to the eating plans they practice themselves. The following are some of the responses that he received. Researchers give their rationales for various practices in the body of the article.

    • Valter Longo, University of Southern California: Eats twice per day (skipping lunch) and practices a periodic fast for five days every six months
    • Mark Mattson, National Institute on Aging: Eats within a six-hour window every day and does trail running
    • Satchidananda Panda, Salk Institute: Eats within a 12-hour window every day and practices an extended water-only fast of five days once per year
    • Krista Varady, University of Illinois at Chicago: Practices alternate-day fasting one or two months per year, "usually after Christmas to shed the five pounds of holiday weight."

    Back to Ketogenesis
    Lean tissue loss with caloric restriction quite clearly is an issue, especially in anyone past middle age, at which point regaining lean muscle tissue becomes much more difficult. Fasting, of course, is ketogenic and some version of fasting would appear to be more practical over the long term, keeping mind, however, that those who are insulin resistant have difficulty in accessing fat stores for fuel and thus will, again, sacrifice lean tissues for access to protein in order to fuel the glucose requirements that are required even with a ketogenic diet. A nice point about a ketogenic diet is that there is greater freedom to consume essential nutrients than is true of more extreme forms of fasting.

    Recent research in animals suggests that, at least in this model, a ketogenic diet extends longevity and healthspan even when begun in adult animals.10 Similarly, a ketogenic diet in this model promotes better memory in this model.11 Interestingly, although rodents typically are quite poor choices for testing high-fat diets due to their inappropriate metabolism of high-fat diets compared to humans, nevertheless, after animals made obese on a high-fat diet had transitioned to a ketogenic diet, they lost all excess body weight, exhibited improved glucose tolerance and displayed increased energy expenditure.12 Likewise, there is improved antioxidant and free radical protection under ketogenic diet conditions.13 Short- and long-term ketogenic dieting improves select markers of liver oxidative stress compared to standard rodent chow feeding, although long-term ketogenic diet feeding may negatively affect skeletal muscle mitochondrial physiology. The picture is not entirely unmixed in the animal model (there are contradictory outcomes regarding the impact on skeletal muscle mitochondria), yet overall conclusions seem positive.14,15

    Next month in these pages, it will be noted that even in elite athletes of approximately 30 years of age, it can take three months or more to adjust adequately to a ketogenic diet. (See "Sports Supplements For Better Metabolic Flexibility and Performance," May 2018 TotalHealth.) For those who are older and not so physically elite, the transition might well run six to twelve months, which is quite a long time for a diet that is, frankly, difficult to follow except for Eskimos and Tibetan nomads!

    In light of these considerations, the question arises as to whether there are alternatives to following a ketogenic diet. Again, last month it was pointed out that many of the benefits of a ketogenic diet, including the ability to produce and metabolize ketones, likely can be achieved by means of a combination of diet and selected dietary supplements to achieve metabolic fitness / metabolic flexibility. The other alternative considered was the consumption of ketone salts and/or esters. Although this route in animal research and in actual human trials has been shown thus far to be inferior for both general and athletic purposes to a sustained ketogenic diet,16 evidence is accumulating, at least in an animal model, that consumed ketone bodies may mimic at least in part the lifespan-extending properties of caloric restriction. Indeed, the argument is being made that calorie restriction extends lifespan at least in part through increasing the levels of ketone bodies.17

    [B]illions of dollars have been spent on research into the biological factors affecting body weight, but the near-universal remedy remains virtually the same, to eat less and move more. According to an alternative view, chronic overeating represents a manifestation rather than the primary cause of increasing adiposity. Attempts to lower body weight without addressing the biological drivers of weight gain, including the quality of the diet, will inevitably fail for most individuals.

    "Increasing adiposity: consequence or cause of overeating?"18

    The primary focus of this and related articles have been the concepts of metabolic fitness and metabolic flexibility. Human physiology and metabolism can adapt to a quite wide range of circumstances and can be "tweaked," likewise, with a broad number of approaches. Enhancing healthspan, even if perhaps not absolute lifespan, can be achieved through caloric restriction, fasting and dietary interventions involving properly balanced and selected foods combined with nutrients / dietary supplements. Some of these approaches are more easily sustainable under modern conditions and habits than are others. Regardless of the approach selected, basic physiology, not willpower, needs to be the guiding principle. For most individuals, no dietary program will succeed in the long run that does not address both biological drivers and the constraints of life (personality, work, family, social obligations, etc.) as it actually is lived.


    1. Totalhealth magazine: Caloric Restriction Fasting and Nicotinamide Riboside
    2. Totalhealth magazine: Supplements Target Ketogenesis and Metabolic Flexibility
    3. Weindruch RH, Kristie JA, Cheney KE, Walford RL. Influence of controlled dietary restriction on immunologic function and aging. Fed Proc. 1979 May;38(6):2007–16.
    4. Weindruch R, Walford RL. Dietary restriction in mice beginning at 1 year of age: effect on life-span and spontaneous cance incidence. Science. 1982 Mar 12;215(4538):1415–8.
    5. Clouatre, Dallas L. Anti-Fat Nutrients, 4th edition (Basic Health Publications, Spring 2004)
    6. Keys A, Brozek J, Henschels A & Mickelsen O & Taylor H. The Biology of Human Starvation, 1950, Vol. 2, p. 1133. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis.
    7. Longo VD, Fontana L. Calorie restriction and cancer prevention: metabolic and molecular mechanisms. Trends in pharmacological sciences 2010;31:89–98.
    9. Gill S, Panda S. A Smartphone App Reveals Erratic Diurnal Eating Patterns in Humans that Can Be Modulated for Health Benefits. Cell Metab. 2015 Nov 3;22(5):789–98.
    10. Roberts MN, Wallace MA, Tomilov AA, Zhou Z, Marcotte GR, Tran D, Perez G, Gutierrez-Casado E, Koike S, Knotts TA, Imai DM, Griffey SM, Kim K, Hagopian K, Haj FG, Baar K, Cortopassi GA, Ramsey JJ, Lopez-Dominguez JA. A Ketogenic Diet Extends Longevity and Healthspan in Adult Mice. Cell Metab. 2017 Sep 5;26(3):539–46.e5.
    11. Newman JC, Covarrubias AJ, Zhao M, Yu X, Gut P, Ng CP, Huang Y, Haldar S, Verdin E. Ketogenic Diet Reduces Midlife Mortality and Improves Memory in Aging Mice. Cell Metab. 2017 Sep 5;26(3):547–57.e8.
    12. Kennedy AR, Pissios P, Otu H, Roberson R, Xue B, Asakura K, Furukawa N, Marino FE, Liu FF, Kahn BB, Libermann TA, Maratos-Flier E. A high-fat, ketogenic diet induces a unique metabolic state in mice. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Jun;292(6):E1724–39.
    13. Salomón T, Sibbersen C, Hansen J, Britz D, Svart MV, Voss TS, Møller N, Gregersen N, Jørgensen KA, Palmfeldt J, Poulsen TB, Johannsen M. Ketone Body Acetoacetate Buffers Methylglyoxal via a Non-enzymatic Conversion during Diabetic and Dietary Ketosis. Cell Chem Biol. 2017 Aug 17;24(8):935–43.e7.
    14. Kephart WC, Mumford PW, Mao X, Romero MA, Hyatt HW, Zhang Y, Mobley CB, Quindry JC, Young KC, Beck DT, Martin JS, McCullough DJ, D'Agostino DP, Lowery RP, Wilson JM, Kavazis AN, Roberts MD. The 1-Week and 8-Month Effects of a Ketogenic Diet or Ketone Salt Supplementation on Multi-Organ Markers of Oxidative Stress and Mitochondrial Function in Rats. Nutrients 2017 Sep 15;9(9). pii: E1019.
    15. Hyatt HW, Kephart WC, Holland AM, Mumford P, Mobley CB, Lowery RP, Roberts MD, Wilson JM, Kavazis AN. A Ketogenic Dietin Rodents Elicits Improved MitochondrialAdaptationsin Response to Resistance Exercise Training Compared to an Isocaloric Western Diet. Front Physiol. 2016 Nov 8;7:533.
    16. Op cit. note 14.
    17. Veech RL, Bradshaw PC, Clarke K, Curtis W, Pawlosky R, King MT. Ketone bodies mimic the life span extending properties of caloric restriction. IUBMB Life. 2017 May;69(5):305–14.
    18. Ludwig DS, Friedman MI. Increasing adiposity: consequence or cause of overeating? JAMA. 2014 Jun 4;311(21):2167–8.
  • In mid-2012, Nestlé Health Science acquired a stake in Accera®, the U.S. maker of Axona®, a medical food targeted at people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s. Aside from the fact that the purchase shows that Nestlé is placing a strategic bet on the future direction of medical food demand, this acquisition also is interesting for its potential validation of a tropical oil that alternately has been damned and praised for its role in health: coconut oil.

    On the one hand, there are those who still maintain that coconut oil, a source of more saturated fat than butter, lard or beef tallow, is the devil incarnate for brain and heart health. On the other hand, current science is in the process of validating the high regard that the coconut oil enjoys in the Ayurvedic and Chinese traditions of healing.

    Indeed, coconut oil bears a striking overlap in its metabolic implications, in this case for Alzheimer’s disease, with medical foods designed to provide the brain alternate fuel sources. A nice introduction to this topic is Alzheimer’s Disease: What If There Was a Cure? by Mary Newport, MD.

    The scientific backtracking regarding coconut oil recently was put in a nutshell in a New York Times interview of Thomas Brenna, a professor of nutritional sciences at Cornell University.1 Dr. Brenna observed that coconut oil’s bad reputation for cardiovascular health rested mostly on partially hydrogenated coconut oil, oil designed specifically to raise cholesterol levels in the rabbits being used in experiments. Virgin coconut oil differs dramatically in a large number of ways from the trans-fat laden partially hydrogenated item. Even the health dangers of the saturated aspect of coconut oil currently are being debated. As Dr. Brenna remarks in the interview, “I think we in the nutrition field are beginning to say that saturated fats are not so bad, and the evidence that said they were is not so strong.”

    Coconut Oil—A “Good” Saturated Fat
    Coconut oil is saturated (it is solid up to 76° F), consisting of 86.5 percent saturated fatty acids and 5.8 percent monounsaturated fatty acids.2 Lauric acid makes up approximately 46 percent of coconut oil and generally is considered to be the villain in terms of serum cholesterol. However, in clinical trials, the effects of dietary supplementation with coconut oil usually have been found to be either no effect or a small increase in LDL cholesterol and a significant increase in HDL cholesterol, meaning that the ratio—and cardiovascular risk—improves with supplementation.3,4

    Moreover, extra virgin coconut oil consists mostly of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), with 50 percent being lauric acid. Medium-chain fatty acids have been used for many years for special health purposes. They have attracted attention as part of a healthful diet because they are absorbed and transported directly into the liver via the portal vein and thereafter metabolized rapidly by beta-oxidation, thus increasing diet-induced thermogenesis.5

    One derivative of coconut MCFA is medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil, which is 75 percent caprylic and 25 percent capric acids, fatty acids very similar to lauric acid and present in virgin coconut oil in smaller amounts. MCT oil often is found in the hospital nutrient mixtures for bedridden patients who are dependent upon intravenous nutrition. These fats were developed in part because they do not require the action of bile for digestion, but rather are absorbed directly through the walls of the small intestine and transported to the liver to be used immediately as fuel.

    The special characteristics of coconut MCFA mean that the body prefers to burn it for fuel rather than to store it. You might say that the body treats coconut fatty acids more like it does carbohydrates, but without getting involved with insulin. Scientists know this because of experience with MCT oils. In my book Anti-Fat Nutrients (revised 4th edition, Basic Media), I discuss MCT oil at length. In seriously catabolic patients, MCT oil was found to help prevent the body from depleting lean and muscle tissues. Again, MCT fatty acids are not readily stored as body fat, but rather they are preferentially burned in the mitochondria of the cells to provide energy.6 For some athletes and bodybuilders, this quality has proved useful since excess training depletes the glycogen stores of the muscles, and continued training after that point can only take place partially through the break down of muscle protein for fuel.7 Coconut oil medium-chain fatty acids have properties similar to those of MCT oil, but not as pronounced.

    Does this mean that coconut oil can help dieters? Yes, as long as there are not too many expectations. Indeed, the nutrition author Ray Peat, PhD, has remarked that in the 1940s farmers attempted to use coconut oil for fattening their animals, but they found that it made them lean, active and hungry instead! The fatty acids found in coconut seem to promote the burning of fat for fuel and, as already noted, have a pronounced thermogenic effect. However, the thermogenic and fat-burning qualities of medium-chain fatty acids seem to be more significant for healthy subjects of normal weight and for those moderately overweight than for those who are clinically obese (fortunately, a category that excludes most of us). Moreover, medium-chain fatty acids serve to protect the body’s protein in the lean tissues during the use of low calorie and low carbohydrate diets.8

    Immune and Digestive Benefits
    Coconut oil has many other benefits. Two names are closely associated with the research in this area. These are Jon J. Kabara, PhD, one of the primary researchers into the benefits of lauric acid, and Mary G. Enig, PhD, the great researcher in the area of fats and one of the first (literally decades before the mainstream medical researchers) to point out the health dangers of trans-fatty acids.

    Dr. Enig was the keynote speaker in 2001 at the 36th Annual Conference of the Asian Pacific Coconut Community. There she gave her talk on the benefits of the coconut as a functional food. She noted that approximately 50 percent of the fatty acids in coconut fat are lauric acid, which has the additional beneficial function of being formed into monolaurin in the human body. Monolaurin is a monoglyceride used by the human metabolism to destroy lipid-coated (that is, fat-coated) viruses and a number of other undesirable organisms.

    Approximately 6–7 percent of the fatty acids in coconut fat are capric acid. Dr. Enig points out that capric acid is another medium-chain fatty acid that has a similar beneficial function when it is formed into monocaprin in the human or animal body. Monocaprin has beneficial effects similar to those found with monolaurin.

    The work of Dr. Jon Kabara and others shows that coconut oil components exert their health benefits in a way that is very safe to humans. In general, it is reported that the fatty acids and monoglycerides produce their inactivating effects by destabilizing the membrane that surrounds pathogens, for instance, by causing the disintegration of the virus envelope. Despite such sometimes quite potent actions against unwanted microbes, there is no evidence of any negative effect on probiotic organisms in the gastrointestinal tract.

    In his accessible, yet thoroughly researched book, The Healing Miracles of Coconut Oil (HealthWise), author Bruce Fife, ND, ranges across a number of health topics for which coconut oils has proven to be effective. He notes that coconut oil is so stable that it helps to preserve other oils, thereby reducing antioxidant requirements. Populations that eat large amounts of coconut and coconut products, such as the oil, are characterized by low rates of heart disease. Lauric acid and other medium-chain fatty acids are found in mother’s milk, where among other things, they improve the uptake by the baby of nutrients such as amino acids, calcium and magnesium. Similar effects upon nutrient assimilation have been found in the very ill and in the elderly. Moreover, these health benefits do not even take into account the long accepted uses of coconut oil to nourish the skin and the hair.

    Benefits for Brain Health?
    Let’s return to Nestlé Health Science acquired a stake in Accera, the U.S. maker of Axona, a medical food targeted at people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s. The basic argument for this medicinal food is that in Alzheimer’s disease, the brain is starved for energy because it has a reduced ability to metabolize glucose. Reduced energy means reduced levels of cognition and memory. Fortunately, there is an alternative to glucose known as ketone bodies. Axona is a proprietary formulation of caprylic triglyceride that is converted by the liver into ketone bodies.

    Recall that coconut oil is a good source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), the fatty acids that are converted in the liver to ketones. Ketones can provide energy to cells without the need for insulin. This is important for several reasons, not the least being that Alzheimer’s is related to insulin resistance and the attempt to get glucose to the brain with a high carbohydrate diet is counterproductive.9 Moreover, access to ketones may more generally promote neurologic health—several neurologic conditions have shown promising results with ketogenic diets. Ketogenic diets may help treat difficult cases of epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease as well as other neurological disorders, indeed perhaps improve cognition and health in general.

    The use of coconut oil with the conditions above at this point is promising, but hardly proven. Moreover, there are not yet much in the way of set rules or recommendations. Dr. Newport was giving her husband as much as 11 tablespoonsful per day, with four to eight tablespoonsful seeming to be a regular recommendation. At 115 calories per tablespoon, a coconut oil supplemented diet should not otherwise continue to be the standard American diet built upon a foundation of refined carbohydrates. Those wanting to add serious amounts of coconut oil to their everyday diets, as opposed to merely switching to it as a cooking oil, might find it useful to explore high protein/low carbohydrate options more generally. The chief warning to those who would try such diets is that Paleolithic-type diets need to include plenty of vegetables and reasonable amounts of whole fruit (avoiding fruit juice).

    Summing Up
    In his book, Bruce Fife asks the rhetorical questions, “If there was [sic] an oil you could use for your daily cooking needs that helped protect you from heart disease...other degenerative conditions, improved your digestion, strengthened your immune system, protected you from infectious diseases, and helped you lose excess weight, would you be interested?” Surely this is a good question. Aside from the record of traditional use, numerous research papers and United States Patents argue for the health-promoting benefits of coconut oil. Now that organic coconut oil/extra virgin coconut oil is readily available in health food stores, perhaps it is time for health-conscious shoppers to give it a try.


    1. Melissa Clark, “Once a Villain, Coconut Oil Charms the Health Food World.” New York Times March 1, 2011.
    2. “Nutrient database, Release 24” ( . United States Department of Agriculture.
    3. Assunção ML, Ferreira HS, dos Santos AF, Cabral CR Jr, Florêncio TM. Effects of dietary coconut oil on the biochemical and anthropometric profiles of women presenting abdominal obesity. Lipids. 2009 Jul;44(7):593-601.
    4. Mensink RP, Zock PL, Kester AD, Katan MB. Effects of dietary fatty acids and carbohydrates on the ratio of serum total to HDL cholesterol and on serum lipids and apolipoproteins: a meta-analysis of 60 controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 May;77(5):1146-55.
    5. Aoyama T, Nosaka N, Kasai M. Research on the nutritional characteristics of medium-chain fatty acids. J Med Invest. 2007 Aug;54(3-4):385-8.
    6. Babayan VK. Medium chain triglycerides and structured lipids. Lipids 1987 Jun;22(6):417-20.
    7. Nosaka N, Suzuki Y, Nagatoishi A, Kasai M, Wu J, Taguchi M. Effect of ingestion of medium-chain triacylglycerols on moderate-and high-intensity exercise in recreational athletes. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2009 Apr;55(2):120-5.
    8. Dias VC, et al. Effects of medium-chain triglyceride feeding on energy balance in adult humans. Metabolism 1990;39:887-891.
    9. Seneff S, Wainwright G, Mascitelli L. Nutrition and Alzheimer’s disease: the detrimental role of a high carbohydrate diet. Eur J Intern Med. 2011 Apr;22(2):134-40.
  • Sugars are hiding out almost everywhere we turn, white flour and cornmeal-based products, bread, cereal, baked goodies, corn chips, etc.—line our grocery shelves. We are taught from childhood (through our trusted Food Pyramids) that if we want to experience “true health” we should consume anywhere from 6–11 servings of foods like bread, cereal, rice, and pasta.1 The question is, have we been duped?

    Well when you consider that the majority of us were never designed to eat the types and amounts of carbohydrates we have become accustom to since the advent of agriculture, approximately 8000 years ago2, then the answer becomes a resounding YES!

    Significant anthropological data suggests that our Paleolithic ancestors—which happened to be a lot healthier than we are today—ate a diet consisting of anywhere from: 19–35 percent protein, 22–40 percent carbohydrates and 28–47 percent fats3. And since we humans haven’t changed (biochemically) in over 40,000 years3, I would suggest that these same principles that governed our ancestor’s biochemistry still govern ours.

    In today’s day and age, we seem to eat as many of the wrong types (I’ll get to that in a minute) of carbohydrates as possible. The majority of North Americans consume more than 50 percent of their dietary intake in the form of highly processed and nutrient void carbohydrates4 (like commercial breads, cereals and pasta)—the same ones responsible for robbing us of our health.5

    Carbohydrates come almost exclusively from plant sources, including grains, vegetables, and fruits. In highly processed forms, carbohydrates become white flour, white sugar, corn flour, and syrups, which are used to make the breads, pastas, cookies, and sweets we love so much. We often hear people talk about simple carbs and complex carbs, but do they really understand the difference between them as well as which ones to avoid?

    • Complex carbohydrates are referred to as polysaccharides (long chains of sugar molecules bonded together) and are found in foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes (peas and beans), and grains (bread, pasta and rice). Some complex carbohydrates are also referred to as dietary starches. These are mostly from the grain family (including cereals, breads, pasta, oats, wheat, rice and corn), but are also found in some vegetables like potatoes and legumes. The complex carbohydrates from the fruit and vegetable kingdom were the ones that made up the majority of carbohydrates consumed by our ancestors.
    • Simple carbohydrates are just that, the simplest form carbohydrates come in. These are found as either single sugar molecules referred to as monosaccharides, (i.e. glucose, fructose or galactose) naturally occurring sugars found in most fruits, honey and milk, or double sugar molecules referred to as disaccharides (i.e. sucrose, maltose and lactose). The majority of disaccharides come from man-made processed sugars and should be avoided at all costs.

    Do we actually need them?
    Even though I believe that to perform at peak efficiency—and to ensure the body has a sufficient supply of phytonutrient antioxidant protection—we should never be without an ample amount of vegetables (and some fruits), the truth is that the human body does not necessarily need carbohydrates to survive.

    This is due to a well-known biochemical process we have evolved with called gluconeogenesis, which refers to the creation of carbohydrates (glucose) from other noncarbohydrate sources like protein and fatty acids). Perhaps this is one of the reasons the National Research Council has never established an RDA (Recommended Daily Amount) for carbohydrates.

    Every organ—with the exception of your brain at certain times—and every muscle in your body can operate at peak efficiency on by-products of fat metabolism called ketones.6 When the body does not have enough glucose, it is forced to use body fat for the majority of its energy needs and ketones are produced to fuel the body during these times. This is one of the ways in which low-carb diets propel fat loss, by forcing the body to use its own fat reserves for fuel. Research shows that once blood sugar levels are lowered for approximately three days, the brain will get at least 25 percent of its energy from ketones7 and this number will go up substantially if the body is deprived further of sugars.

    It is important to understand that your body can use only a set amount of glucose to generate immediate fuel. When it can’t use sugars from dietary carbs immediately, the body stores them for future use in the form of long chains of glucose molecules called glycogen. The body’s glycogen containers are found in two areas: the liver and the muscles. The glycogen stored in the muscles is used as energy for the body but is virtually unavailable to the brain. Only the glycogen stored in the liver is accessible—through the bloodstream—as a backup source of brain food.

    Whether you are lean or clinically obese, you only have the ability to store 300 to 400 grams of carbohydrate as muscle glycogen and another 90–110 grams as liver glycogen—the equivalent of about two cups of pasta or a couple of candy bars.8 Liver glycogen is so limited, that it can easily be used up within ten to twelve hours of normal activity. But during strenuous athletic activity it can be depleted as much as 3–4 times that of regular activity. The average bloodstream of a non-diabetic human has no more than one tablespoon of glucose at any given time.

    Carbs and Body Fat

    In today’s world, the average non-athlete consumes more carbohydrate energy then their body’s can either burn or store as short term energy—glycogen. We live in a society where the average citizen consumes 156 pounds of sugar per year9, which is the equivalent to approximately half a pound per day, and the Centers for Disease Control presented a paper showing that sugars equate to an extra 440 calories per day10—yikes! By over consuming carbs, we ensure that our liver and muscle glycogen tanks are always full. This would be a good thing if you were an athlete who needs full glycogen reserves, but for an average person it can spell disaster.

    Any ingested sugars over and above what the body can use immediately or store as glycogen are converted into fatty acids—and eventually stored within your 30 billion fat cells— with the aid of the metabolic hormone insulin.11

    Insulin is secreted from our pancreas after we eat and following periods of elevated blood sugar. Under optimal conditions (i.e. the caveman diet), insulin is the body’s friend. It deposits extra blood sugar (glucose), along with amino acids (protein), in muscle so that we can move and function. It also synthesizes chemical proteins for building enzymes, hormones, and muscle.12

    Insulin, however, is especially sensitive to dietary carbohydrates, which are metabolized quickly into sugar. When insulin is stimulated in great quantities—as in a processed carbohydrate meal—it stimulates a powerful enzyme called lipoprotein lipase or LPL, which promotes fat storage and also prevents fat from being released from the fat cells.13 Understanding that high insulin levels equate to excess body fat, can give you the knowledge to keep your 30 billion fat cells from growing exponentially.

    So in order to free up the fat so that it can be burned in the muscle cells, you’ve got to lower your insulin levels. We can do that by exercising properly and eating in harmony with our genetic structure—in other words, by eating like our prehistoric ancestors.

    1. America: Drowning in Sugar” Experts Call for Food Labels to Disclose Added Sugars. Center For Science in The Public Interest issue date (1999).
    2. Eaton, S.B, et al. “An Evolutionary Perspective Enhances Understanding of Human Nutritional Requirements.” J of Nutrition 126 (1996): 1732–40.
    3. Cordain L, et al. J. Plant-animal subsistence ratios and macronutrient energy estimations in worldwide hunter-gatherer diets. Am J Clin Nutr 2000; 71: 682–92.
    4. Simin L. Intake of Refined Carbohydrates and Whole Grain Foods in Relation to Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Coronary Heart Disease. J Am Coll Nutr August 2002 vol. 21 no. 4 298-306
    5. Yudkin, J. “Evolutionary and Historical Changes in Dietary Carbohydrates.” Am J Clin Nutr 20, No. 2 (1967): 108–15.
    6. King, MW. Oxidation of Fatty Acids., LLC. 2013
    7. Hasselbalch, SG, et al. “Brain metabolism during short-term starvation in humans. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism (1994) 14 (1): 125–31.
    8. Felig, P, Wahren, J. Fuel homeostasis in exercise. N Engl J Med 293(21): 1078-84, 1975.
    9. Well FA, Buzby JC. Dietary Assessment of Major Trends in U.S. Food Consumption, 1970-2005. United States Department of Agriculture. Economic Information Bulletin No. (EIB-33) 27 pp, March 2008
    10. Ervin RB, et al. Consumption of Added Sugar Among U.S. Children and Adolescents, 2005–2008. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Number 87, February 2012
    11. King, B.J. Fat Wars: 45 days to Transform Your Body. Toronto: Macmillan, 2002.
    12. Patterson, C.R. Essentials of Biochemistry. London: Pittman, 1983.
    13. Taskinen, M.R., and E. Nikkila. “Lipoprotein Lipase of Adipose Tissue and Skeletal Muscle in Human Obesity” Metabolism 30 (1981): 810–17.
  • Dear Readers,

    Welcome to the December 2017 issue of TotalHealth Magazine Online.

    Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, in "Exposing Big Fat Lies," gives readers a reality check on "Eat Fat Lose Weight, How Smart Fat Cells Reset Fat Cells To Slim." From the expert, read on.

    Dallas Clouatre's, PhD, article, "Benefits Of The "Mushroom Vitamin," discusses the Ergothioneine, an amino acid that is relatively abundant in certain mushrooms, currently is being proposed by a number of scientists as the latest new vitamin.

    This is part one of a two-part series on coenzyme Q10, "Coenzyme Q10: The Miracle Nutrient," by Ross Pelton, RPh, PhD, CCN and William V. Judy, PhD. The authors give the history of its discovery, how important the discovery for heart health, blood pressure, its relation to statins, and more. It is a must read for everyone. Next month the authors cover CoQ10 use with cancer and additional illness and as an anti-aging nutrient.

    "The (Piano) Keys To Fibromyalgia Pain Relief," Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, explains the benefit of music for fibromyalgia sufferers and has one artist's CD that he recommends.

    Elson Haas, MD, in this month's article, "The Health Continuum," emphasizes Lifestyle Medicine. "I want to teach and support people to go beyond recovering from whatever problem they came to see me about, as well as learn something relevant about not repeating their illness. I want them to progress along what I call the Health Continuum towards their own Optimal Health."

    Gene Bruno, MS, MHS, RH(AHG), introduction to "Blueberry Leaf & Weight Loss," states "there are many dietary supplement strategies that can be used to support and promote your weight loss efforts in the gym and while you're dieting. Rarely can you find a dietary supplement ingredient that approaches the issue of weight loss from an entirely new angle."

    Gloria Gilbère's, "Christmas & New Year's Culinary Traditions...South American Style," includes a bird's eye view of the holiday customs with four recipes which incorporate the culinary traditions of the area in Cotacachi, Ecuador, S.A.

    Shawn Messonnier, DVM, consults this month on, "Kava Kava For Epilepsy In Pets." Reminding us to always consult with our veterinarian before supplementing our pets' diet.

    In "The Ancient Wisdom of Ayurveda," Jonathan Glass, MAc, CAT, explains the history and how it is used today to support body, mind and soul, protect health, prevent disease, restore lost health, and increase awareness. These intentions are pursued within the context of fulfilling our dharma, or essential life purpose.

    Sherrill Sellman, ND, discusses the worldwide addiction to all things WIFI in "Solutions to Protect You From Our WIFI World" . Learn about the dangers to our health and things you can do to protect yourself and your family from EMFs.

    Best in health,

    TWIP The Wellness Imperative People

    Click here to read the full December issue.

    Click here to read the full December issue.

  • As a psychiatrist, I am clearly familiar with the psychodynamic issues underlying eating disorders, and I see psychotherapy as a vital part of treatment. At the same time, I would like to share my experience with observing and treating some of the biochemical underpinnings, hastening recovery and helping to maintain it as well.

    Many years ago, a psychologist who specializes in eating disorders began to send me her clients because she had heard that antidepressant medications worked for these patients. I had by then shifted to a more holistic approach, so I told her that before I prescribed antidepressants, I wanted to try some more natural methods. I had discovered that in many cases of eating disorders, there is an underlying biochemical issue—a combination of food sensitivity, blood sugar imbalance and nutrient deficiency. She agreed, her patients cooperated, and we had some excellent, medication-free results. This encouraged me to continue on this natural path as I have to this day. Here are some of my discoveries, as well as subsequent research by others in this growing field.

    Food Sensitivity
    We crave the foods that we are sensitive or “allergic” too. Not a typical allergy with hives or stomach aches, these sensitivities are intolerances, often inherited, and show up in any number of ways—for example, depression, inability to lose weight, eating disorders, tinnitus, unexplained aches and pains—many, many others. The very foods we crave will create the most symptoms and are the most damaging. In fact, food cravings are similar to an addiction to alcohol. As you withdraw from the foods you're addicted to, you begin to have withdrawal symptoms and the cravings begin. And if you happen to be addicted to wheat or baked goods, you can never get enough of them, so you binge on them, despite your best intentions to the contrary. People addicted to grains may drink excessive amounts of grain-based liquor or beer and can become alcoholics. They're sensitive to and addicted to the alcohol, but it's the grain-base that is causing the problem. They can even feel “drunk” after eating cereal or baked goods. Not so different from your regular carb-binger, except the target is alcohol instead of refined carbs.


    It's not just a matter of willpower. In order to break the addiction cycle, in addition to avoiding the undesirable foods, you have to supply the body with a good, supportive nutritional program of healthful food, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Then, the cravings will often simply go away! It's quite remarkable; with a nutrient rich diet, and good vitamin and mineral formula, you can stop the cycle. In fact, once the diet and nutrients are in place, the cravings and addictions will often just fall away. Remember that nutritional supplements are not a substitute for healthy food, but a supplement to restore missing ingredients and balance biochemistry.

    Magnesium is often deficient, and taking it can be very helpful. It's great, too, for muscle tension, insomnia, and even, heart palpitations. The amino acid glutamine is also useful for reducing cravings. I've had former alcoholics (yes, former) say that the glutamine cut their cravings for good; they no longer were battling the desire to drink. They were done for good. Glutamine works similarly with bulimics and binge eaters.

    Zinc: Some years ago, researcher Alex Schauss did a study on patients who were suffering from anorexia nervosa. By using a simple test called a zinc taste test, he found that they were zinc-deficient. He then gave them liquid zinc therapeutically, with very successful results. The test consists of the person taking some liquid zinc sulfate solution in their mouth, and if they describe it as having a bad or strong taste, they usually have sufficient levels of zinc. On the other hand, if they can't taste the solution or if it tastes just like water, then they may have a cellular zinc deficiency, even if their blood levels look adequate. It's a vicious cycle since zinc deficiency affects taste; so zinc-deficient anorexics don't taste their food, so are less motivated to eat it. Zinc supplementation has continued to be used in nutritionally oriented settings, including my own practice.

    Serotonin: Bulimia and binge-eating is often treated with the SSRI antidepressants such as Prozac, Zoloft and Lexapro They raise brain levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter or chemical messenger in the brain that causes a feeling of well-being and relaxation, and reduces hunger. Rather than using medication, my preference is to prescribe the materials that make serotonin, the amino acids L-tryptophan or it's relative, 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophane), and there is research to back it.

    In her book, The Diet Cure, Julia Ross refers to a study where bulimics were deprived of tryptophan. In reaction, their serotonin levels dropped and they binged more violently, ingesting and purging an average of 900 calories more each day. In another study, adding extra tryptophan to the diet reduced bulimic binges and mood problems by raising serotonin levels. More recently, an Oxford researcher, Katherine Smith, reported that even years into recovery, bulimics can have a return of their cravings and mood problems after only a few hours of tryptophan depletion, concluding that, “Our findings support suggestions that chronic depletion of plasma tryptophan may be one of the mechanisms whereby persistent dieting can lead to the development of eating disorders in vulnerable individuals.”

    The herb St. John's Wort provides another way to raise serotonin levels. I have discussed this along with dosages of tryptophan and other nutrients in my book, Natural Highs.

    Thiamine: As we have seen, nutrient deficiencies can aggravate anorexia, and it should be treated with nutrient rich diets. For example, restricting your diet will make you deficient in such vitamins as vitamin B1 (thiamin). It's found in foods that people with eating disorders rarely eat—including beans, whole grains, seeds, meats and vegetables. Common signs of thiamine deficiency are loss of appetite, weight loss, constipation, anxiety, chest pain and even sleep disturbance along with depression and irritation. Sound familiar?

    Blood Sugar Swings
    One mechanism underlying the craving and eating (or drinking) cycle is blood sugar imbalance: low blood sugar sets off the craving. The brain experiences this dip as life-threatening starvation, followed by a frantic search for whatever will raise blood sugar. Just picture our ancestors in the jungle, short on food, and having to hunt for their next meal—or die. We, on the other hand, just go to the refrigerator. The quickest fixes here are sugary foods or other refined carbs such as bread or pastries. And we don't even burn any calories on our hunt.

    Bottom Line: Treat Nutrient Deficiency with Nutrients
    I will often order a blood test to see which amino acids are low. By replacing them the body (and brain) comes into balance. As a result the food cravings will often be greatly relieved or even come to a halt, as noted in the case of glutamine for acute cravings.

    There are other natural treatments, as well, for cravings due to food sensitivities. Acupuncture and acupressure has been shown to help, especially some techniques such as NAET that can actually eliminate the food sensitivities themselves.

    The point is, instead of simply taking an antidepressant, there are many other ways to approach what at first appears to be strictly a psychological problem. The combination of psychotherapy and a nutritional/biochemical approach is the most useful, and I have successfully treated many patients without resorting to medication at all. Not only does this approach work as well as medication but in my experience working with the body's chemistry, rather than introducing more chemicals in the form of medication, is often superior. It's faster, has none of the side effects, and has many side benefits. I developed Brain Recovery AM & PM formula to provide many of the nutrients mentioned here and more, to balance amino acids, serotonin, blood sugar, and mood.

    For more information, see my books, Natural Highs, and 8 Weeks to Vibrant Health. Also sign up for my free e-newsletter, and get a free copy of my e-book, Reclaim Your Brain.

  • Let's be honest. Fat is back big time!

    Even Time magazine is in on the newly found love affair with fats. "Eat Butter," was prominently declared on the cover of the June 2014 issue with its larger than life delicious golden butter gracing the entire page! And it's about time. For over half a century, fat has been terribly maligned and misunderstood in the American diet landscape, and our health and expanding waistlines have suffered for it.

    While "fat makes you fat" has been the mantra of most diet gurus over the last 20 years, NOTHING could be further from the truth. The right Smart Fats are the #1 secret to fixing your metabolism, stress, hunger and sex hormones for lasting weight loss, vitality, and overall wellbeing.

    Big Fat Fears

    The American public has been brainwashed with a big fat lie—a lie that has been told, retold and told again for well over 50 years. What's more, this lie has been extended to cover all fats, not just the hydrogenated, overly refined and genetically modified commercial vegetable oils that actually will harm you.

    Truth be told, our fear of fats only began in the 1950s thanks to the work of research scientist Ancel Keys, PhD, who conducted the Seven Countries Study in which he cherry picked data to support his theory that fat consumption led to cardiovascular disease. Although considered "pioneering" back in the day, the study was deeply flawed. Yet, the media ran with it and by 1961 even the American Heart Association issued its first anti-fat guidelines. This resulted in the launching of the no-tolow fat diet dictum that—to this very day—many health experts still recommend and rely upon as gospel.

    As I wrote in the first edition of Eat Fat, Lose Weight, since we as a nation have gone fat-free, we have gotten sicker. Here's what happened:

    1. Sixty-five percent of the population is now obese.
    2. Adult-onset diabetes has skyrocketed and more than tripled in the last 30 years.
    3. The incidence of certain kinds of heart disease has increased.
    4. Depression has become a widespread epidemic.
    5. New health problems have appeared out of nowhere: mysterious low grade ailments such as chronic fatigue, widespread food and environmental sensitivities, leaky gut syndrome, yeast and mold infections, and autoimmune issues.

    Thankfully, many other courageous researchers (spearheaded in part by my late friend and colleague, Dr. Robert Atkins) began rethinking the anti-fat dietary guidelines and provided ample evidence and science that the "right" high fat diet was actually healthy and that sugar was the underlying cause for most degenerative disease.


    at Phobia

    It's a message I have been preaching for a very long time. When Eat Fat, Lose Weight first came out 15 years ago, it was absolute heresy in the age of fat phobia. Before it became mainstream, I was the ONLY nutritionist in the country to write about the importance of the right dietary fats—a very unpopular message, which flew in the face of all conventional dietary wisdom of the 1980s.

    The time has finally come to set the record straight with a newer, updated edition that is more streamlined for today's audience, thanks to the results from the latest trials, which have exonerated fats once and for all. These trials have shown that not only was a high fat diet more effective for weight loss, but also greatly reduced the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

    Yes, the science now proves it. A high fat diet is a healthier diet.

    I know that many of you have already banned trans fats and margarine.

    You try to avoid refined polyunsaturated vegetable oils like corn and canola. However, before you start slathering on all that butter or coconut oil, and bringin' home the bacon, it is important to understand that eating all those good fats—what I call the "Smart Fats"—is simply one part of a healthy weight loss equation. You must also learn the keys to making Smart Fats work for you.

    Wouldn't it be great if you could eat all the healthy fats you wanted, properly utilize them and look and feel fabulous in your body? You can!

    Next month we'll begin our journey into Smart Fats that will keep you thin for life with beautiful glowing skin, healthy hair and nails, energy through the roof, a positive attitude and no more sugar cravings!

  • We live in a world where food is accessible all the time, in all settings, and on-demand. Unfortunately, despite all that we know about how to prevent many lifestyle diseases, their numbers remain high. Heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s remain among the top 10 causes of death in the United States. Fad diets offer quick-fix solutions for weight loss that are often not sustainable. What about long-term health outcomes?

    In 1962, James Neel developed the concept of “thrifty genes” to explain how humans have the ability to survive through calorie extremes like feast and famine; that our bodies are highly effective at storing extra fuel as fat. One could make the argument that fasting has been part of lives throughout history. Fasting is still an integral part of five major religions across the world.

    It’s only recently that the popularity of fasting has resurfaced among the health-conscious as a way to drop weight or kickstart some healthy new lifestyle habits. With the majority of Americans trying different forms of fasting, from intermittent fasting to time-restricted eating, and prolonged fasting diets, confusion can lead to questions that eventually end up in a doctor’s office.

    Fasting is the abstention of calories from food and beverages. From a biological standpoint, fasting entails not eating foods that trigger the nutrient “sensing” pathways. Since that can be active for 24 hours after the last meal, biological fasting really begins 24 hours after the last meal. Some people think a juice fast is a fast because you are not chewing your calories, but the calories—not the state of matter—are what count.

    Why fast? Some people do it for healing or spiritual purposes. Research shows that fasting can support overall metabolic health, supports cellular cleanup (autophagy) that leads to cellular regeneration, and increases in circulating stem cells.1 Also, fasting impacts markers and risk factors for aging. There are three main types of fasting: intermittent, time-restricted eating/feeding, and prolonged fasting.

    During intermittent fasting, a person will refrain from consuming calories during a full day. It can be done anywhere from one to three, non-consecutive days per week. There have even been several articles and books published around the 5:2 plan. Time restricted eating is a daily pattern of calorie consumption between a window of 8–12 hours each day.

    Prolonged fasting is usually done for five consecutive days. This has traditionally been done using water only. Water-only prolonged fasting demonstrates those positive biochemical markers; however, it has a high dropout rate among participants and it can be dangerous because it deprives the body of macronutrients, leads to muscle wasting and increases the risk of gallstones.

    Prolonged water fasting is also challenging to do. It was this hurdle that led Dr. Valter Longo to develop a “fasting with food” concept now known as the Fasting Mimicking Diet, which he details in his book, “The Longevity Diet.” The Fasting Mimicking Diet gives you the same health benefits of prolonged water fasting, but it’s more sustainable to do over the recommended five days because the stomach sees food, while the cells see fasting. You will likely drop weight with this diet, but the other health and longevity benefits are so profound that TIME magazine named Longo as one of the 50 most influential people who are transforming health care. Benefits of prolong fasting include protection of lean body mass, maintaining healthy levels of metabolic markers and increased circulation of stem cells.2 Currently, the only Fasting Mimicking Diet available is called ProLon which has been clinically shown to result in an average of 5–8 pounds of fat loss without losing lean body mass in the process.

    Here what happens on each day on the ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet:

    Day 1: Fasting State: the body is being primed to transition into the fasting state for cellular optimization;

    Day 2: Fat Burning: the body, depleted of glycogen, switches to fat burning mode; cellular recycling and clean up begin;

    Day 3: Cellular Cleaning: cellular clean up continues and most people reach full ketosis;

    Day 4: Cellular Regeneration: cellular clean up continues and enhanced stem cell production begins; and

    Day 5: Regeneration Continues: promotes self-repair through the increased circulation of stem cells.

    The results have been fascinating: Reductions in circumferential body fat from 5–8 pounds in five days, preservation of lean mass (muscle mass and bone density), and decreases in the IGF-1 hormone, which has been implicated in aging and disease. In those subjects who returned to normal eating yet did the ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet for three consecutive months (for five days per month), they were able to realize the following health benefits: weight loss, decreased waist circumference, maintained lean muscle mass and improved metabolic measures.

    So now you must be wondering, what exactly are the foods that are consumed using ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet? First of all, the entire program must be purchased online at: because the meal plan is specific and provides scientifically researched micro- and macro-nutrients in precise quantities and combinations that nourish you, but are not recognized as food by your body and therefore mimics a fasting state. This way there is no guessing or question of incorrect portions because all the food needed for the five days comes in assigned boxes for each day. It is a plant-based eating plan that consists of bars, soups, crackers, olives, and herbal teas. Just add water and you are good to go.

    Technically, individuals can return to their usual "diet" in the weeks between doing the Fasting Mimicking Diet. As a clinician who attended the first global fasting summit at the University of Southern California, and has been doing some consulting work with L-Nutra, the company behind the ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet, I can tell you I plan on using this in my practice, and for myself. I would encourage people to take a good look at their calorie intake—both in foods and beverages. I am an advocate of eating flexitarian, which is predominantly plant-based with small amounts of animal-sourced protein. I would pair all of this with time-restricted eating as a means of regular eating behavior. Be mindful of how many hours you eat each day, and what your calories consist of.

    Right now, high protein diets are popular because they encourage weight loss and satiety, but in looking at long-term health outcomes, the research has shown that lower protein consumption is actually better for longevity. We know the benefits of eating more plants are that they promote a healthy gut microbiome and that the phytonutrients in plants have many chemoprotective qualities.

    I'm looking forward to the continued research in the fasting space, and where it will take us in the future of healthcare. We are truly at an impasse when it comes to obesity and disease in this country. As health care professionals, we have to get to the root cause of obesity, which is essentially what we are eating or not eating.


    1. Wei et al., Sci. Transl. Med. 9, 15 February 2017
    2. Ibid

  • What are your goals for this year? When we arrive at December 2016, what will you be able to look back at to tell yourself you've had a fantastic year and have made progress towards optimizing your health? What would you like to be able to see, feel, or do?

    • 10 pounds lighter? A dress size smaller? A 6 pack?
    • No more Nanna naps? Waking up feeling rested in the mornings?
    • Sticking to a regular exercise regime?

    The first step to achieving something is to write it down and then make a plan to get there. If you don't know where you're going, you'll wind up someplace else. Set yourself:

    1. 1–3 long term goals (6–12 months)
    2. Break each one down to medium term goals (3 months)
    3. Break these down to short term goals (4 weeks)
    4. Set weekly targets to help you reach your short term goals–one step at a time!
    5. 5. Set daily habits and actions that will help you reach your weekly targets

    Your goals need to be SMARTE: SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ACHIEVABLE, RELEVANT, TIME SPECIFIC and EXCITING. They should be stated positively, be things you have control over and be things that YOU want, not that others want.

    An example of a goal that needs to be re-thought and re-worded:

    "By the end of 2016 I want to fit back into my old jeans because my husband thinks I look great in them."

    This goal focuses on what someone else wants, not what the actual goal setter wants, thereby decreasing the likelihood the goal will be achieved. This person needs to think about what is important to them personally and then re-write their goal so it is something that inspires and excites them. For example:

    “By the end of 2016 I will have completed my first 5km fun run because it’s something I have always wanted to do.”

    Why is it important for you to achieve your goals? You must have a strong enough long term emotional reason to be successful in achieving your goals; otherwise it’s unlikely you will put in the required planning, preparation, time and effort required for success. E.g. a goal of losing weight needs to have a personal, emotional driver behind it to determine that it is important enough to achieve and maintain.

    Keep asking yourself why you want to lose the weight and eventually you will get to the deep seated pain you want to avoid and/or pleasure you want to seek.

    Your first answer to why could be, “I want to lose weight so I can feel fit and healthy.” This is not strong enough. Why do you want to be fit and healthy?

    “So I can keep up with my kids, feel confident about the way I look and can avoid having any more heart scares.”

    Getting closer now…ask yourself again why the above reason is important.

    “I want to lose weight because when I had the heart scare a few weeks ago I was terrified that my kids might grow up without a dad and that I would play a role in that eventuation by failing to look after my health.” (Pain avoiding)

    “I want to be alive, fit, healthy and full of energy at each of my children’s 50th birthdays and to know I have been there as a positive, healthy role model throughout their lives.” (Pleasure seeking)

    Let’s look at the earlier goal that was established with the person who wanted to complete a 5km run.

    “By the end of 2016 I will have completed my first 5km fun run because it’s something I have always wanted to do.”

    This is a good goal. It’s time specific, measurable and relevant. We could make it even more likely to result in success by further asking why it is always something that person has wanted to do. This is also where the exciting part of goal setting comes in—it’s the emotional reasons behind the goals that will make a person excited to achieve them.

    “I really want to complete the 5km run because I will feel so proud to be able to show my children that consistency and dedication pay off and that I am the role model I want to be. The increased energy I will have as a result of exercising regularly will allow me to spend more quality time with my family, and to feel inspired to bound out of bed every day. I am so excited about this because the opportunities that will result will be completely life changing for me.”

    With this extended answer it is likely that this person will have asked themselves why at least a few times.

    Once you have gotten to the really important reason(s) for wanting to exercise, remind yourself of them often, and this will be the first step to your success. What’s your why?

    So grab a pen and write down your goal(s) for this year. Then, following the principles above, break them down into smaller goals, targets and habits so that it becomes apparent where you need to start. Put these goals in prominent places where you are going to be reminded of them (e.g. on your wall and fridge, and in your wallet) and then tell people about them—accountability is another factor that will contribute towards your success.

    Ask a life coach or health and fitness trainer if you need additional help in setting goals or in following them through to completion.

  • Smart Fats are simply one of the BEST and tastiest solutions for stalled weight loss because they go far beyond the call of duty. Alone or with synergistic help from additional vitamins, minerals and herbs, these savvy fats can kick up thyroid function and/or stimulate calorie-burning brown fat (a special tissue that disperses surplus calories for heat instead of fat storage). And, that's just for starters!

    They also reduce the body's ability to store fat for energy by controlling the enzymes that release fat from the cells into the bloodstream. Many are so satisfying that they enable long-term appetite satisfaction so you are not tempted to overindulge.

    The Thyroid Connection
    But, first things first. You cannot fix a broken metabolism until you address thyroid dysfunction. After all, your thyroid is the body's key metabolic driver. With a sluggish thyroid, your body may produce too much insulin and trigger low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), along with intense cravings for carbs.

    The thyroid secretes two major hormones, T3 and T4, which regulate the burning of calories for energy. Thyroid hormones control body weight, body temperature, muscle strength, heart rate and menstrual regularity. In fact, the thyroid connection to sex hormone imbalance is not surprising to women in their 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s.

    Estrogen-induced thyroid dysfunction mimics underperformance of the thyroid gland. My friend, the late Dr. John Lee, observed that many perimenopausal women exhibit symptoms of hypothyroidism with normal thyroid levels. He theorized that estrogen excess and progesterone deficiency might be the cause. Raising progesterone levels through the use of natural progesterone cream often normalizes thyroid activity without any other treatment.

    Furthermore, a diet devoid of Smart Fats but heavy in commercial polyunsaturated vegetable oils also sabotages the production of thyroid hormones. Without enough thyroid hormone, estrogen rises and acts as a fat trap especially as we grow older and progesterone levels take a nosedive.

    The actual number of hypothyroid patients is highly underestimated. According to the American Thyroid Association, nearly 30 million Americans have been diagnosed with a thyroid disorder—a number that could easily be much more. I highly suspect, after working with so many individuals for the past three decades, that more than 60 percent of the population have some degree of thyroid dysfunction but are not being diagnosed properly.

    Besides stubborn fat that won't budge, other low thyroid symptoms include depression, hair loss, poor eyebrow growth—especially the outer third of the brow, aching wrists, fluid retention, constipation, a coarse voice, diminished sex drive, infertility, premature graying of the hair and lack of muscle strength.

    This tiny powerhouse-regulating metabolism controls the health of just about every organ in the body, including the heart. That's why it is so alarming that Hashimoto's thyroiditis, a type of autoimmune hypothyroidism, is growing by leaps and bounds as is Grave's disease, another kind of autoimmune condition characterized by hyperthyroidism.

    Normalizing thyroid activity is a fundamental "must" if you want to restore metabolism and help your body rebuild itself. Smart Fat supplementation will go a long way in re-establishing equilibrium. But, when it comes to a comprehensive thyroid treatment plan, it is only one of many key factors.

    To speed up fat burning and heal the immune system overload that often accompanies thyroid dysfunction, you will have to take into account insidious thyroid thieves like hidden dental or sinus infections, gluten, goitrogens, lack of protein, adrenal burnout, dwindling probiotics, fluoride, bromine and chlorine overload plus several vitamin, mineral and amino acid deficiencies, which are necessary to make thyroid hormones work; and then there's underlying virus, especially Epstein Barr.

    No wonder thyroid disease is rampant! There are so very many seemingly diverse factors, which are likely to be contributing causes of dysfunction.

    Sneaky Thyroid Saboteurs
    Let's take a more in-depth overview at how each of these sneaky saboteurs do their damage. Fasten your seatbelts because this promises to be a VERY bumpy ride.

    Hidden Dental Or Sinus Infections
    Your mouth is the repository of a tremendous amount of bacteria that can impact different areas of your health. That's why individuals with a heart condition are recommended to take an antibiotic before a routine dental cleaning. Dentists who practice holistic dentistry and biological dentistry believe that each tooth is connected to an organ. If that tooth has a root canal, is decayed (even under a crown that X-rays don't pick up), is an implant, or even has been pulled, leaving behind a cavitation (hole in the jawbone), you can experience a whole host of health challenges in the associated meridian line of that tooth.

    Many unresolved health problems might be associated with the anaerobic bacteria seeping into your system from root canals, implants and cavitations remaining from pulled teeth. ALL of this has to pass through your thyroid! This can depress or accelerate metabolism. Sinus infections can do the same if unresolved.

    As the late Dr. Hal Huggins, biological dentist and mercury pioneer told me himself, "How many people know the consequences of housing the 40 anaerobic bacteria in implants, the 60 in root canals, or the eight in cavitations?"

    Goitrogens are possible thyroid-suppressing substances found in raw cruciferous vegetables like broccoli.

    Add to this the heavy metal burden of precipitating mercury and/or copper from high amalgam fillings and you have one lethal mixture that your thyroid is up against.

    Many grains contain gliadin, which is the protein found in gluten and most concentrated in wheat, rye, and barley. Grains are fairly new to the diet—the trail-blazing orthomolecular medicine physician, Dr. Richard Kunin, says it best: "Grains are really Jonny-come-latelies on the nutritional scene. Meats, fruits, beans, nuts and vegetables have had a considerably longer historical alliance with the human gut. Almost as if to make up for lost time, grain has deluged man's diet and this excess increasingly appears to have something to do with common major and minor ailments."

    Cardiologist and author of "Wheat Belly," Dr. William Davis, couldn't agree more. Moreover, to add insult to injury, he suggests that today's "Frankengrain" is nothing like what went into your grandmother's bread. Modern wheat contains 10 times more gluten than that of 50 years ago. Today's gluten is high in gliadin, a protein that is foreign to our bodies. It highly resembles a crucial enzyme known as transglutaminase, which is concentrated in the thyroid. As the immune system attacks the gliadin, antibodies also attack the thyroid. The immune system can then go into overdrive, damaging the thyroid, sometimes for up to six months. And that's all thanks to gluten.

    But, that's not all the bad news to report, folks. Gliadin is a shameless appetite trigger. People can consume nearly 400 extra calories per day when manufacturers add it to certain food products. Food sensitivities trigger a kind of toxic shock to your system, which leads to addictions and binging. Partially digested components of common food allergens function like morphine-containing opioid drugs. They heighten appetite and decrease metabolism.

    Gluten-containing foods like bread, crackers, chips and cookies are so highly addictive because of gliadin. Similar to the casein in milk, gliadin has a drug-like effect on your brain. The gluten in grain probably affects just about everyone in this day and age. The trouble is that nearly 100 percent of gluten intolerant individuals are unaware of this because gluten's negative reactions typically occur a good 12 to 24 hours after consumption.

    If you decide to give up gluten, you may also want to give up all sugar and yeast, too.

    These three substances, in addition to dairy, account for about 80 percent of all food sensitivities. They damage metabolism through an inflammatory response that can pack on 10 pounds or more of water weight and they can make you fat from heightened cravings to reactive foods or hormonal disruption of your metabolism.

    Lack of Protein
    Protein is a wonderful normalizer for overall thyroid function. It acts as an escort to transport the thyroid hormone to all bodily tissues.

    Adrenal Burnout
    Healthy thyroid function is intimately related to the adrenal glands. They both work synergistically to keep you functioning. When you are under stress, your adrenals secrete cortisol, which can block the thyroid's T4 to T3 conversion. When active T3 is suppressed, more cortisol comes to the rescue to rev up metabolism, creating a vicious cycle. The adrenals can make more cortisol from the hormone progesterone, which ultimately decreases available progesterone for other tasks. Diminishing progesterone levels trigger the thyroid to pinch-hit to make enough adrenal hormones. Long term, this process creates burnout for both the adrenals and the tired thyroid.

    Dwindling Probiotics
    Gut flora is also dependent upon your thyroid. At least 20 percent of thyroid function relies on a healthy amount of quality beneficial bacteria. One strain in particular has been found to protect against the toxicity of gliadin, which is so problematic for thyroid patients. That strain is B. lactis BI-04 and comes from the Bifidobacterium family.

    Fluoride, Bromine and Chlorine Overload
    These chemicals compete with iodine for uptake in the thyroid, negatively impacting metabolism. They are contained in water, toothpastes, hot tubs, non-organic foods, soft drinks, teas, commercial breads, some medications and brominated vegetable oils.

  • Many weight loss and healthy lifestyle programs recommend journaling. If you're overlooking it as an optional element—stop! In this sneak peak of The NEW Fat Flush Journal & Shopping Guide I share exactly why jotting down your daily triumphs, setbacks, highs, and lows is anything but unnecessary. In fact, it's setting a solid foundation for success.

    You are the masterpiece of your own life.


    Welcome to your Fat Flush journey.
    My hope is that during this time, as your body detoxes, heals, and renews, so will your spirit. Quite simply, please think of this guide as Fat Flush first aid for your soul.

    That's because Fat Flush is much more than just a weight loss program. It's a complete lifestyle transformation on all levels that makes you feel so good and makes you feel so good about yourself (your clothes start to feel looser, your energy increases, your cravings diminish, and your skin looks radiant) that you simply choose not to relapse into those old habits that don't support your best self.

    It's time for you to join the hundreds of thousands of men and women who have fully embraced the Fat Flush lifestyle and experienced a true rebirth of their physical and mental wellbeing. But you don't have to do it alone.

    Sometimes we all need a gentle nudge or a burst of inspiration to keep us motivated, remind us of why we started, or reignite our goals if we've gotten off track. That's exactly what this journal is for and why it's such an important component of the Fat Flush experience. It provides a safe haven or sanctuary where you don't have to take care of anyone but yourself. It allows you reflective time to discover and embrace your most authentic self.

    For many of you, this journal may be the only opportunity where, for a few minutes, you get to focus entirely on yourself, reflecting on your progress, celebrating your triumphs¡Xbig and small¡Xand being entirely candid with yourself about what areas need improvement.

    Journaling is also a tool that works wonders to help you to identify triggers associated with falling back on old habits. It's amazing how helpful it is to see in writing what emotions and challenges you faced during the day alongside what your diet consisted of. Once you've identified these triggers, you can be prepared the next time you face them. For example, if you notice that after high-stress situations, your response is to immediately reach for a comfort food, make sure a yummy but healthy choice is easily accessible for the next time a stressor surfaces.

    When it comes to your weight, I'm a firm believer in throwing out the scale—but not throwing in the towel¡X when you don't see your weight budging. While I provide space for you to record your weight, always keep in mind that as you begin to tone up, your size can decrease while your weight may remain the same. Remember that muscle weighs more than fat. The best measurement of success is your tape measure, which is why I want you to measure yourself once a week.

    The Fat Flush Journal helps you keep tabs on all the little steps along the way in your personal Fat Flush journey. As the latest research continues to show, it is those babystep changes that you make day by day in your eating habits that have the longest-lasting effects. For example, many Fat Flushers use phase 1 for periodic detox and cleansing and follow their regular eating programs for the rest of the time. But they integrate their Fat Flush staples¡Xlike the daily eight glasses of cran-water¡Xas part of their ¡§normal¡¨ dietary regimens.

    This journal can help you to identify the unconscious physical and emotional roadblocks to both weight loss and overall health, thus enabling you to fix them and get back in the driver's seat. Once you are back on track, the following sage advice will keep you there:

    "Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."
    This is my favorite inspirational quote of all time, from Calvin Coolidge, the president of the United States.

    Keeping this quote on your laptop or on your desk and journaling through the experience should help to take away your guilt and remorse when you deviate from the Fat Flush path. You just get up and dust yourself off and keep on truckin'.

    I've included motivational quotes on every day of the journal so that you can find new inspiration each time you write.

    Daily journaling can also help to pinpoint where you need to tweak your diet if you have hit a plateau. It can help you to set realistic goals and know when you have achieved them. It can help you get back to your authentic self and regain your personal power.

    In addition to the journal pages, I have provided a shopping list to make Fat Flush as convenient as possible on the shopping front. This handy list includes my favorite brands to make your next trip to the grocery store a breeze!

    I've also included a vitality and wellness section with my favorite tried-and-true remedies to recharge, relax, and feel truly radiant from the inside out. It's "the cranberry on top," so to speak.

    I personally congratulate each and every one of you who is so courageous in striking out to lead a more conscious and balanced life. The time has come for you to start to recognize and acknowledge your own progress in making better diet and lifestyle choices.

    Now, welcome to your new Fat Flush lifestyle—and the journey to your most healthy, happy, authentic self.

    Get started today with your copy of The NEW Fat Flush Journal & Shopping Guide. This handy guide includes not only a detailed journal with daily motivation, but also a shopping list for all three phases. I like to consider it the Cliff Notes of Fat Flush.

  • They are used to construct the cells and tissues that form our bodies, provide sources of energy to power metabolism (as well as provide a mechanism for storing energy between meals), and are used to form the countless enzymes that drive our metabolism. Unlike the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) which are needed in small amounts and are generally reused, macronutrients undergo a constant flux in our body, necessitating a consistent intake to provide enough energy for our survival and enough building blocks for the growth, maintenance, and repair of our bodies.

    Each of the macronutrients is actually a complex of smaller building blocks with important nutritional roles. Proteins are constructed of amino acids, carbohydrates of sugars or monosaccharides, and fats of fatty acids. As macronutrients are absorbed from a meal, they are broken down into their individual constituents, which are used for the various purposes in metabolism. The great adaptability of our body chemistry gives us the ability to take these individual building blocks (amino acids, sugars, and fatty acids) and reassemble them or even interconvert them to satisfy our metabolic needs. This explains how an Innuit can consume a diet predominantly of fish protein and fat, yet still have enough carbohydrate (glucose) in their blood to fuel the demand of their brains. Or how someone can adopt a completely fat-free diet, yet still become obese through the conversion of excessive dietary carbohydrates into body fat. Because of their interconversion in the body, macronutrients themselves are not nutritionally essential, although some of their building blocks may be (nine of the amino acids and two of the fatty acids are considered essential). Evidence also suggests that although macronutrients can be readily interconverted in the body, each may have additional benefits when present in the diet as a particular percentage of total dietary intake.

    To gain an appreciation of the function of each of the macronutrients and ultimately understand how much we may need, it is really necessary to discuss each individually. In this first part of the series, we will examine the roles and requirements for dietary protein.

    Out of all the macronutrients, protein has the most diverse set of roles in metabolism. It forms the connective tissues that hold our organs together; it is a significant portion of our bones, and the predominant component of muscle fibers. Moreover, protein forms the thousands of enzymes which carry out critical chemical reactions, the various transporters that move nutrients in and out of cells and throughout the body, the antibodies of our immune system, and many of the hormones that direct our growth, energy utilization, and homeostasis. Due to its ubiquitous nature in the function of all living things, dietary protein occurs in most whole food sources. Muscle meats are the most concentrated sources (muscle fibers are constructed of protein filaments); milk and eggs are also good sources. Legumes, exotic grains, and many vegetables are good protein sources, such that a balanced vegetarian or vegan diet can provide adequate protein for the body’s needs. Once consumed, dietary protein is broken down by the action of stomach acid and several digestive enzymes secreted from the stomach and pancreas (called proteases). From here, the resulting individual amino acids or small protein fragments (called peptides) are absorbed from the small intestine, and distributed throughout the body to satisfy various roles. We generally don’t absorb enzymes or other proteins intact.

    Dietary protein has several fates in human metabolism:

    New Protein Synthesis. The amino acids liberated from dietary protein can be used to make other proteins in the body. While organisms can make amino acids from other sources (such as fats or carbohydrates), making new proteins from dietary amino acids is the quickest and most energetically economical way. This is especially important for sustaining periods of rapid growth, such as during childhood development or intense weight training. Perhaps more importantly, dietary protein is the only source of essential amino acids for metabolism. Of the twenty different amino acids used to make proteins, humans have lost the ability to produce nine of them on their own (methionine, lysine, valine, tryptophan, phenylalanine, isoleucine, leucine, threonine, and histidine). Therefore, a minimal amount of dietary protein is required to supply enough of these essentials to maintain protein synthesis in the body.

    Precursors to other biomolecules. Several of the essential amino acids from dietary protein are used to construct important “non-protein” chemicals for the body. For example, the hormones seratonin and melatonin, and vitamin B3 (niacin) are derived from the essential amino acid tryptophan; thyroxine (thyroid hormone), adrenaline, and the endorphins (natural analgesics) depend on intake of the essential amino acid phenylalanine. Thus, our ability to produce these hormones and neurotransmitters is heavily dependent on the presence of essential amino acids in the diet.

    Dietary protein is also the predominant sources of the elements nitrogen and sulfur, both essential to metabolism. Nitrogen from dietary amino acids is redistributed in the body to make other amino acids, nucleotides (the building blocks of DNA, as well as the energy molecule ATP), and glycosaminoglycans (components of connective tissues, such as chondroitin, keratan, and hyaluronic acid). Sulfur is also used in the construction of glycosaminoglycans, as well as several important antioxidants (such as glutathione and alpha lipoic acid).

    Fuel Source. Dietary protein can serve as an energy source. Following a meal, about 50 percent of the amino acids that have been released from dietary protein are metabolized by the liver into energy (ATP). Unlike carbohydrates or fats, excess amino acids from the diet are not stored in the body; if they are not immediately used to make new protein or energy, they are converted to carbohydrates or fats for storage. The liver can also metabolize most amino acids into glucose, to provide energy to the brain and other tissues. Proteins are less efficient at raising blood glucose than are carbohydrates; while they provide the same number of calories on a gram-for-gram basis (4 calories/gram), they only raise blood glucose 50–80 percent as much as an equivalent amount of carbohydrates.

    Skeletal muscles depend heavily on amino acids for energy. The essential amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine (called the branched chain amino acids or BCAAs) are preferentially taken up by muscle cells after a meal to be burned as fuel. Healthy individuals will metabolize upwards of 10 grams/ day of BCAAs in their muscles if they are available in the diet.

    In addition to their standard roles in metabolism, dietary protein has been associated with specific health effects, including:

    Weight Loss and Satiety. High protein diets have been associated with better glycemic control, and have been shown to promote greater fat reduction than high carbohydrate or high fat diets that provide the same number of calories. Dietary proteins are more difficult to convert into energy than the carbohydrates or fat; diets high in protein have been reported to have a greater thermogenic effect and expend more energy than lower protein diets. Randomized, controlled trials comparing low and high-protein diets studies have shown that diets higher in protein are more effective at preserving lean muscle, reducing body fat, and maintaining lower insulin levels after a meal.

    There is convincing evidence that proteins are more satiating than the other macronutrients, and that the satiating ability of proteins may be related to their amino acid composition and how quickly they are digested. Much of this effect has been attributed to the rapid appearance of the essential branched chain amino acids in the blood; leucine, one of the BCAAs, has been shown to influence the metabolic pathways in the brain that regulate food intake, at least in animal models. Evidence also suggests that higher protein intake at one meal may significantly decrease appetite at the next meal, although the studies in this area are not consistent.

    Promoting Healthy Levels of Blood Lipids. Dietary protein, particularly dietary soy protein, has been studied for its ability to lower cholesterol levels by either increasing the removal of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL or “bad” cholesterol) from the blood, or as a replacement for other high fat/ high cholesterol protein sources. Over 60 controlled trials of soy protein consumption in humans have been performed, many in hypercholesterolemic patients. Taken together, these studies revealed that an average intake of 47 g/day of soy protein resulted in significant improvements in blood lipid/lipoprotein parameters, with average reductions in total cholesterol of 9 percent and LDL cholesterol of 12.9 percent. These data were the foundation for the FDA approved health claim for soy protein in the prevention of cardiovascular disease.

    Promoting Healthy Blood Pressure. Several human trials and epidemiological studies have indicated an inverse associate between dietary protein intake and blood pressure. Forty-six human studies of protein intake and blood pressure (20 clinical trials, 15 observational studies and 13 biomarker studies) have demonstrated a clear, beneficial effect for plant protein on reductions in blood pressure. The reductions averaged up to a 1.4 mm Hg reduction in systolic blood pressure and a 1 mm Hg reduction in diastolic blood pressure for every 11 g of plant protein consumed per day, based on observational studies. The mechanism by which protein may reduce blood pressure is unclear; it may be helping to rid the body of sodium, it may increase insulin sensitivity, or it may increase the blood concentration of the amino acid arginine, the precursor to the blood-pressure lowering hormone nitric oxide.

    As with most macronutrients, the required amount of dietary protein depends on individual needs. Discussion of the research regarding the merits of diets differing in the relative ratios of protein, carbohydrate, and fats will be the subject of a future article, but some general considerations on dietary protein content bear mentioning here.

    The Food and Nutrition Board of the National Institute of Medicine has established a dietary reference intake of 56 g/day for adult men, 46 g/day for adult women, based on metabolic studies. These figures are based on a reference (“average”) body weight; a more individualized assessment of daily protein requirements for a healthy individual would be 0.8 g/kg (about 0.36 g/lb) body weight. Under circumstances of increased metabolic demand, higher protein intakes may be warranted. In pregnant and lactating women, for example, daily protein requirements increase to approximately 1.1 g/kg of body weight, or 71 g/day for the “average” woman. The dietary protein requirements of athletic individuals who wish to increase their lean body mass has been the subject of considerable debate, but is generally believed to exceed the reference values. Studies have suggested protein requirements of 1.1 g/ kg per day for endurance athletes and 1.3 g/kg per day in strength-trained athletes.

    There are some circumstances where reduced protein intake may be warranted. Since excess dietary protein is not stored in the body, it must be immediately used up (to make new proteins), converted into energy, or converted to carbohydrates or fat for storage. In the latter two cases, amino acids are broken down, and the nitrogen they carry is eliminated from the body (as urea). The breakdown of amino acids and excretion of nitrogen are fundamental functions of the liver and kidneys, but for individuals with kidney or liver disease, excessive protein consumption can be problematic. Low-protein diets (below 0.8 g/kg per day) may be beneficial in these cases. Dietary protein requirements should also be carefully considered in individuals with hyperuricemia, a condition of excessive uric acid in the blood. Hyperuricemia affects an estimated 21 percent of Americans, and is a primary risk factor for gout, a type of arthritis typified by a rapid onset of inflammation, usually in the joints of the extremities. Elevated blood uric acid is also a risk for kidney and cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes. While dietary protein itself does not elevate blood uric acid, compounds found in some sources of animal protein (called purines) do increase hyperuricemia risk. Therefore, individuals with elevated blood uric acid should limit their intake of protein from meats (other animal proteins, such from milk or eggs, as well as vegetable protein, do not appear to be associated with hyperuricemia risk and may actually reduce it).

    To read the series on Macronutrients:

  • Dear Readers,

    Welcome to the November 2018 issue of TotalHealth Magazine.

    Charles K. Bens, PhD, "How Do Genes Influence Our Health?" Bens shares with us information on how we don't inheirt diseases like cancer and others—we inheirt a genetic predisposition. Many environmental factors are controllable, such as what we eat and drink, and other lifestyle factors, such as alcohol or tobacco consumption. Bens includes a list that illustrates most of the factors that can influence genetic expression.

    "The 5 Radical Rules For Healthy Weight Loss," by Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS. Long-time weight loss, detox, and anti-aging expert continues to write on the nutritional landscape. If you have an over 40 sluggish metabolism or a thyroid issue, then follow these 5 Radical Rules to lose weight and feel great! In new book "Radical Metabolism," Ann Louise shares with readers how to be successful on this plan.

    Gene Bruno, MS, MHS, "Premenstrual Syndrome: Nutraceutical Relief." Twenty to 50 percent of all women are believed to experience at least one symptom of PMS regularly; only five percent of these women are estimated to have symptoms severe enough to interfere with normal activity. Whether a woman is in the 50 percent or the five percent Bruno gives us a number of nutraceuticals which have been found to be helpful.

    Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, "Recovering From Fibromyalgia—Am I Crazy?" Having worked with thousands of severely ill patients over the last thirty-five years, I have found there are three steps that will leave you feeling happy, no matter how ill you are: 1. Be authentic with your feelings. 2. Make life a "no-fault" system. 3. Learn to keep your attention on what feels good. Read on for a detailed explanation of the three steps and more information on CFS and Fibromyalgia.

    Sherrill Sellman, ND reports "How To Choose The Most Effective CBD Hemp Extracts." Sellman says "I am always searching for the very best products to recommend to my patients. For the past year, I have been researching all aspects of the Hemp Extract story." Sellman includes information on the health conditions this product may be helpful in treating, how it is grown and harvested.

    Gloria Gilbère, CDP, DAHom, PhD, presents "Colorful Holiday Beet Salad Recipe Extraordinaire!" This Beet and Red Grape salad recipe is sure to be a winner during the holidays and beyond. Be sure to read the options, this salad is so versatile you can make it with your own signature. The extensive list of the health benefits of beets is included.

    Shawn Messonnier, DVM, this month brings us Part 2 of "Arthritis In Pets." The focus is on Glucosamine and Chondroitin constitute the major GAGs in the joint cartilage: glycosaminoglycans serve as major components of articular cartilage. If your pet is showing signs of arthritis you'll find this series helpful.

    Thanks to all the authors who make TotalHealth possible.

    Best in health,

    TWIP—The Wellness Imperative People

    Click here to read the full November 2018 issue.

    Click here to read the full November 2018 issue.

  • The New Year is right around the corner, and you know what that means: time for New Year’s resolutions. According to the United States government,1 five of the top ten New Year’s resolutions are:

    1. Lose Weight
    2. Get a Better Education
    3. Get Fit
    4. Eat Healthy Food
    5. Manage Stress

    Of course it’s easy to make resolutions, but hard to keep them. So what can you do to make it easier? While there is no substitute for willpower and commitment, this article will review some nutraceuticals which may actually help you be more effective at adhering to these five resolutions.

  • Apple cider vinegar is one of the greatest superfoods of all time. It helps stabilize blood sugar, is my first line of defense against cravings, and provides a fantastic natural energy boost. It’s also incredibly versatile. You can mix it into a full glass of purified water—or with a small amount for an energy shot—and it’s absolutely lovely on salads, in smoothies, and snuck into a variety of recipes.

    Do make sure that you purchase raw, unpasteurized, unfiltered apple cider vinegar. My personal favorite brand is Braggs. Learn all the ins and outs of this Fat Flush all-star in this preview from The NEW Fat Flush Foods.


    Fat Flush Factors

    • Cholesterol Zapper
    • Detoxifier
    • Energizer
    • Thermogenic

    An excellent fat burner, apple cider vinegar (ACV) helps whittle away excess weight and revs up the metabolism. In fact, a recent Arizona State University study found that participants who consumed as little as 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar ate 200 fewer calories at the following meal. That’s amazing, considering that ACV is nothing more than freshly pressed apple juice that has fermented at room temperature for a few weeks.

    The main ingredient in apple cider vinegar, acetic acid, is a powerful nutrient that has been proven to stimulate the metabolism. ACV also contains dozens of other nutrients that work to eliminate fat by creating the ideal chemical balance in the body. Researchers at the University of Sydney found that consuming vinegar with meals can lower blood sugar by as much as 30 percent. The acidity in ACV helps slow stomach emptying, which means that food takes longer to reach your small intestine and bloodstream. As a result, carbohydrates are digested more slowly, thereby lowering blood sugar levels and keeping the appetite in check.

    Apple cider vinegar contains potassium, which helps transfer nutrients to your cells and give toxic waste substances the boot. The beta carotene found in ACV also helps cleanse the body by getting rid of free radicals, those unstable molecules that can damage fat, protein, and even our DNA. In a spoonful of cider vinegar, you'll also find pectin, a fiber that "scrapes" the cholesterol off blood vessel walls. ACV is also full of enzymes and amino acids that assist in the development of healthy protein in the body. Studies in Japan have demonstrated that ACV reduces cholesterol and slows down the aging process by destroying free radicals in the body.

    Could there possibly be more? You bet. Apple cider vinegar helps cleanse and tone the digestive tract, increases circulation, soothes achy joints and sore muscles, and gives skin a healthy sheen. Pick up a bottle of organic apple cider vinegar today, and you'll be on your way to a lighter and lovelier you!

    Recommended Usage
    Up to two teaspoons per day, mixed with water, in recipes, or as a salad dressing.

    Just the Facts
    • In 400 BC, Hippocrates, the father of medicine, recognized the powerful cleansing, healing, and germ-fighting qualities of apple cider vinegar.
    • Apple cider vinegar makes a terrific pH-balancing bath and adds shine when used as a hair rinse.
    Boost the Benefits
    • When shopping for cider vinegar, look for brands that are certified organic, unfiltered, and unpasteurized. Read the label carefully because some companies sell apple cider "flavored" vinegar.
    • Organic Apple cider vinegar requires no additives or preservatives. And there's no need to worry about bacteria such as E. coli affecting ACV (the way it might affect apple juice) since E. coli can't survive in vinegar's acidic environment.
    • Apple cider vinegar should be a rich brownish color with visible sediment. The cobweb-like strands floating in a bottle of natural ACV are edible protein substances that are referred to as the "mother." Having a mother in your bottle of cider vinegar is a good thing because it indicates that the vinegar is all natural.
    • Organic ACV has a pleasant, but pungent, odor and taste, sometimes causing you to pucker up.
    • Store your apple cider vinegar in a dark cupboard to protect the vital nutrients.

    Fat Flush in Action

    • Make a thirst-quenching drink by mixing a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with a tall glass of water.
    • Before cooking, soak fish in apple cider vinegar and water for a tender, sweeter taste.
    • To create a fluffy meringue, beat three egg whites with a teaspoon of ACV.
    • To tenderize meat, marinate it overnight in apple cider vinegar and your favorite herbs and spices.

    "Apple cider vinegar and flax oil make a terrific salad dressing. I use it every day and have lost 25 pounds in three months."

    –Elaine T., Texas

    To learn more about over 70 of the world's most healing and fat-blasting foods, seasonings, and supplements, order your copy of The NEW Fat Flush Foods—available now nationwide.

    Editor's Note: If you like cooked red beets put them in a mason or other glass jar of some kind and add organic apple cider for them to marinade in for a couple of days before you start consuming. Then get ready for a taste explosion. Yummy!

  • Radical Metabolism doesn't have to be time consuming or expensive—here's how you can save both time and money on the plan.

    It's no secret that eating healthy and taking nutritional supplements is an excellent investment in your health and for your weight loss goals, but sometimes the budget or a busy schedule can get in the way of your best intentions. Over the past four decades, I've worked with thousands upon thousands of men and women looking to improve their health and slim their waistlines, and I've taken notes on the creative solutions they've come up with to fit my plans into their hectic lifestyles and tight budgets.

    While at first glance, Radical Metabolism may look like it's full of expensive, exotic ingredients, I can assure you that I created this plan with options in mind just for people like you. I'd like to share with you my comprehensive Top 10 Tips to keep this plan within your budget and save on time.

    1. Don't Skimp on Supplements
    This may sound like a strange way to save money, but hear me out. Inexpensive supplements that seem to "fit the bill" for this plan are not always all they're cracked up to be, and not worth the investment in my opinion. Several retailers were investigated in 2015, and the worst was found to have only four percent of their products contain the DNA of the ingredients listed on the label (read more about this here). This is why I'm so careful about the manufacturers I recommend to you, and I believe their quality is worth the investment. If you follow the tips I'm giving you, I assure you it will free up some room in your budget to invest in a few high-quality supplements to enhance your success on this plan.

    My must-haves for this plan include Weight Loss Formula, Bile Builder, and CLA-1000, all from UNI KEY Health.

    2. Menu Plan
    Ever heard the phrase "failing to plan is planning to fail?" It's especially true when it comes to your diet. It's important to plan out your meals and snacks and make your weekly grocery list from that plan. Plan at least a week at a time to really make your budget work for you. By sticking to your list and buying only what you need, you'll avoid the added expense of buying foods you won't use that eventually spoil in your refrigerator. Even though I've included a sample menu plan in my book for the three weeks of the Radical Reboot, you are welcome to create your own if it doesn't suit your tastes or your budget. Make sure you keep track of which recipes you and your family enjoy, so you have a list to pull ideas from later on when Radical Metabolism becomes a lifestyle for you.

    3. KISS (Keep It Simple, Sister)
    If you're like me, when a plan like this comes your way, you flip right to the lists of allowed foods to see what you're going to be eating. Radical Metabolism has a wide variety of foods, from everyday vegetables that are probably already in your refrigerator, to decadent treats you haven't even thought to buy for yourself. When you're on a budget or have limited time, it's important to keep your ingredients list short and simple.

    The three foods I've seen questions about in my Radical Metabolism Facebook group, are watercress, daikon radish, and celeriac (celery root). If you have trouble sourcing any ingredients in the plan, substitutions can always be made, just choose from the list in the book and be sure you aren't using a more starchy carb or vegetable. For watercress, substitute arugula or rocket, or another bitter green. For daikon radish, substitute red or icicle radishes, or simply omit the radish altogether. My favorite substitute for celeriac is cauliflower, which is widely available and easy to find on sale.

    When looking at the healthy fats, choose only a couple of budget-friendly options to start with. My recommendations for the best bang for your buck are hempseed oil, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, bone broth, and ghee. Look at your menu plan and see which of these fabulous fats fit with what you plan to cook.

    Radical proteins are another investment to consider. At first glance, they may all seem out of reach, but I assure you, this is not the case. Choose the most versatile proteins that can provide more than one meal. My choices would be grass-fed soup bones, grass-fed hamburger and whole pastured chickens.

    When looking at fruits and vegetables, except for the juices, frozen alternatives can be considered for both cost savings and convenience. It's such a treat to put frozen pineapple in the blender for a sorbet-like dessert to get your serving of fruit in for the day. Or cover frozen berries in fresh cream and sprinkle with a little Flora-Key probiotic for a sweet, almost ice cream-like treat. Also look at which vegetables will give you more than one day's worth of servings. Cooking one butternut squash and freezing into the ½ cup portions you will need, yield at least a week's worth of starchy carbs you can use in many recipes.

    4. Buy in Bulk
    Even if it's only food for one person, you can still take advantage of bulk bargains. For instance, if your favorite grocery store has organic blueberries on sale, they will give you a discount if you buy by the case, and you can take them home, wash them, and freeze what you know you can't eat within the time they're fresh. The same goes for cases of pastured chicken breasts, grass-fed hamburger, and even nuts and seeds.

    5. Don't Limit Yourself to the Grocery Store
    There are nationwide coops, local buying clubs, farmers markets, and you can even go direct and get to know your local farmer to get deep discounts on excellent quality meats and produce. Timing is everything when it comes to farmers markets and local farmers. Hitting the market at the end of the day often means deep discounts so the farmer doesn't have to take their produce home. Farmers offer CSA memberships or if you go directly to the farm, they may have cuts of meat that don't sell well you can get for a steal, or you can exchange work on the farm for your monthly share of produce.

    Azure Standard is an organic coop that has monthly drop sites around the country. You simply place your order online, choose your pickup site, show up at the appointed time, load your food, and go. Apples keep a long time when refrigerated properly and they often sell organic by the case for less than $1 per pound. Bountiful Baskets is a bi-weekly produce delivery with organic options, and there are many others that are similar. Local buying clubs take advantage of deep discounts on foods and nonirradiated spices offered by companies like Frontier Coop.

    If you stick with the grocery store, it pays to shop around. Stores like Sprouts and Aldi are popping up all over the country and sell grass-fed beef, pastured poultry, and organic produce for much less than conventional grocery stores. And don't forget Costco. Their frozen organic vegetables and fruits are some of the best deals I've found.

    6. Make It Yourself
    Whenever possible, cook from scratch and make it yourself. Whole, natural foods prepared from scratch, full of love, are the healthiest thing you can do for yourself and your family. It not only saves money but tastes so much better than store-bought alternatives. It doesn't have to be time-consuming if you plan ahead.

    Ghee is simply clarified butter, which can be made from regular butter in your oven. Buying dried beans in bulk and cooking in an Instant Pot breaks down lectins and is healthier and more budget-friendly than canned alternatives.

    Save the peels from your vegetables in a bag in the freezer and add to the bones from your chicken and make your own bone broth. Freeze in individual serving sizes to save time later when life is too hectic for much meal prep. Throw frozen vegetables, pre-cooked meat, and frozen bone broth into a pot and heat, add Radical spices, and you have a quick and flavorful soup that cooks itself while you are busy doing other things.

    7. Meal Prep Ahead of Time
    On the weekend (or whenever your days off happen to be), prep and cook foods for the week. Make Radical Lemon Cubes, and wash and cut the fresh vegetables you need for the snacks and recipes you'll be using during the week. Store in labeled containers in the refrigerator in the portions needed for each recipe you're using that week. Cut vegetables like jicama, carrots, and celery make great crunchy snacks and store well in water in a wide mouth, quart size glass canning jar while saving space in the refrigerator.

    8. Batch Cook to Save Time and Money
    For a while, crockpot meals were all the rage. You do the meal prep all at once, freeze the meals in gallon-sized bags, then thaw one the night before, throw in the crockpot in the morning, and have dinner when you get home. While this is a great option for soups and stews, some vegetables don't freeze well and these meals often share the same texture, which can feel repetitive after a while. Batch cooking is another timesaving alternative that gives you a wide variety of options.

    When you buy pastured chicken, it's usually whole, which is good for our purposes. Depending on how many mouths you have to feed, roast one or two (or even three) whole chickens in the oven, then pick the meat off the bones and put in individual serving sized containers. Use the bones to make bone broth for many of the Radical Metabolism main course recipes. One chicken can be used for three meals or more, even in a large family.

    Brown several pounds of grass-fed hamburger at once and freeze in the portions you need to make taco salads and a variety of other recipes. Reheating the meat in a little water with dried spices on the stove will actually infuse the flavors you're looking for better than it would if you were adding them to raw meat.

    9. Grow It Yourself
    I know this sounds daunting, but it's much easier than you think. Microgreens, especially from sunflower seeds, are some of the most expensive greens served in fine dining establishments. You can grow them on a tray in a sunny window and harvest in less than a month for just a few dollars.

    If you are feeling more adventurous, you can grow most vegetables and herbs in a pot or even in a bag of soil, or try your hand at gardening. A packet of seeds is less expensive than even one head of organically grown lettuce, and yields so much more, in a surprisingly short amount of time. There are a variety of gardening techniques that are simple and time-saving, and your county extension office has free information available and even a master gardener who will consult with you for free to get you started or help you problem solve.

    There are also a lot of "weeds" that are edible and pack a big nutritional punch. Dandelions are a great example of this; the greens can be used in salads while the root can be roasted for a delicious tea. Make sure they haven't been sprayed with herbicides or insecticides before harvesting. It takes time to learn friend from foe, but learning to "eat your weeds" can be fun.

    10. Enlist the Help of Friends
    There's a new type of gathering emerging, and it's pretty—exciting meal prep parties. At these gatherings, participants either pay a fee to the organizer, or it's done potluck-style, where each member brings an ingredient or part of the list of ingredients, and everyone gets together and assembles the same meals for the week. If you have friends you want to introduce to Radical Metabolism, this is a great way to do it! You can start with a 4-Day Cleanse party, split the list of ingredients between friends and do all the juicing and make the soup together, then share your weight loss successes at the end.

    For most of you, this isn't your first "diet rodeo." You've searched for years and tried a variety of plans, only to end the day still feeling fat and fatigued, struggling with an "over forty" sluggish metabolism. On top of that, it seems like your thyroid problem is progressively getting worse, not better. If this is you, then get ready for Radical Metabolism to breathe new life into that tired thyroid and recharge your stalled metabolism!

    You can purchase Radical Metabolism at:

  • CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) is a free fatty acid that may prove to be essential to our diet. Studies show that CLA can play a vital role in reducing body fat and improving muscle tone. In the past, it was readily available in beef and dairy products, but today, it is no longer present in great quantities. To obtain about 1000 mg of CLA in food you would have to consume three pounds of hamburger, twenty-five slices of American cheese or half a gallon of ice cream. Of course, the adverse effects of eating these high saturated fat foods might eclipse the benefits obtained from the CLA. Consequently, the use of a CLA supplement is a sensible alternative and may even help you reduce body fat. Researchers think that CLA helps reduce body fat deposits by promoting apoptosis (programmed cell death) in fat cells.1

    Short-term studies
    In two different double-blind, 12-week studies, CLA supplementation has been shown to promote a decrease in body fat. In one study,2 53 men and women supplemented with 4200 mg CLA daily or a placebo. Body fat decreased a significant 3.8 percent in the CLA-treated group, compared to placebo. In the other study,3 47 overweight or obese subjects received varying amounts of CLA daily (1700 mg to 6800 mg) or a placebo. Results showed significantly higher reduction in body fat mass in those receiving 3400 mg and 6800 mg CLA compared with the placebo group.

    In an eight-week, double-blind study,4 22 volunteers received 700 mg of CLA for four weeks and 1400 mg of CLA for the next four weeks, or a placebo. Diet was controlled and there were no significant differences in calories or macronutrient intake (carbohydrate, fat, protein) between the two groups. The results were that body fat and fat mass was significantly reduced in the CLA group with 1400 mg, but not with 700 mg or placebo.

    Other research5 suggests that consuming 1800 mg or 3600 mg CLA daily also reduces hunger and improves satiety and feeling of fullness, compared to placebo.

    Long-term studies
    The previously cited studies were of relatively short length (maximum 12 weeks). So what happens when CLA is supplemented for a longer period of time? To determine the effect of CLA supplementation over a one-year period, 180 overweight or obese men and women received 4500 mg CLA daily or placebo while consuming a diet without any calorie restrictions in a double-blind study.6 The results demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in body fat mass in the CLA group compared to placebo, and a statistically significant increase in lean body mass (i.e., muscle) compared to placebo. These changes were not associated with diet or exercise.

    Likewise, during a 24-month research period,7 134 overweight volunteers received 3400 mg of CLA or placebo daily in a double-blind study for 12 months, and then continued for another 12 months in an open study with the goal of assessing CLA safety and other effects. The results of these studies showed that CLA supplementation for 24 months in overweight adults was well tolerated, and also confirmed that CLA decreases body fat mass, and may help maintain initial reductions in body fat mass and weight in the long term.

    Adverse reactions/interactions
    Although long-term research indicates that CLA is generally well tolerated, some individuals may experience gastrointestinal upset including diarrhea, nausea, loose stools, and dyspepsia.

    One study8 suggests that CLA may increase insulin resistance and blood sugar levels in diabetics; so individuals with diabetes who take CLA should closely monitor their blood sugar levels. The same study suggests that men with abdominal obesity and metabolic syndrome may be more likely to develop hyperproinsulinemia and insulin resistance when supplementing with CLA.

    Both short-term and long-term research suggests that supplementation with CLA by overweight and obese individuals are associated with a reduction in body fat. For those wishing to try CLA, I recommend a supplement providing 1200 mg CLA per softgel capsule. At this dosage level you can emulate the amounts given in research by consuming 3 or 4 softgels daily, divided between breakfast, lunch and dinner.


    1. Miner JL, Cederberg CA, Nielsen MK, et al. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), body fat, and apoptosis. Obes Res 2001;9:129–34.
    2. Smedman A, Vessby B. Conjugated linoleic acid supplementation in humans--metabolic effects. Lipids 2001;36:773–81.
    3. Blankson H, Stakkestad JA, Fagertun H, et al. Conjugated linoleic acid reduces body fat mass in overweight and obese humans. J Nutr 2000;130:2943–8.
    4. Mougios V, Matsakas A, Petridou A, et al. Effect of supplementation with conjugated linoleic acid on human serum lipids and body fat. J Nutr Biochem 2001;12:585–94.
    5. Kamphuis MM, Lejeune MP, Saris WH, Westerterp-Plantenga MS. Effect of conjugated linoleic acid supplementation after weight loss on appetite and food intake in overweight subjects. Eur J Clin Nutr 2003;57:1268-74.
    6. Gaullier JM, Halse J, Hoye K, et al. Conjugated linoleic acid supplementation for 1 y reduces body fat mass in healthy overweight humans. Am J Clin Nutr 2004;79:1118-25.
    7. Gaullier JM, Halse J, Høye K, Kristiansen K, Fagertun H, Vik H, Gudmundsen O. Supplementation with conjugated linoleic acid for 24 months is well tolerated by and reduces body fat mass in healthy, overweight humans. J Nutr. 2005;135(4):778-84.
    8. Riserus U, Arner P, Brismar K, Vessby B. Treatment with dietary trans10cis12 conjugated linoleic acid causes isomerspecific insulin resistance in obese men with the metabolic syndrome. Diabetes Care 2002;25:1516-21.

  • Fat Flushing has always defied conventional wisdom.
    Its novel approach to weight loss first made waves in the Fat Flush Plan when I suggested there are “hidden” weight gain factors, beyond diet, exercise, and your own willpower, that are making you fat. Research now confirms weight loss is also about an array of newly uncovered concerns that are contributing to the unrestrained obesity epidemic. When you address and correct seemingly unrelated factors like microbes, fish oil, iodine deficiency, and copper overload, you can drop those pounds for good. You’ll restore the body’s natural ability to regulate metabolism and detoxify. Controlling what is really weighing you down might just change your total outlook and your outfit.

    So let’s take a more careful look at the new research that has enhanced many of the fundamental Fat Flush protocols.

    Gut Bacteria Tied to Weight Loss
    Counting on supplemental probiotics (beneficial bacteria or friendly flora) may be the real deal when it comes to losing weight. A newly introduced probiotic, which can also be used as a natural sweetener, is the Fat Flushing response to the research published in Nature (December 2006), which suggested there is a strong connection between obesity and the levels of certain types of bacteria in the gut. The researchers basically found that without the right amounts of friendly bacteria, animals got “twice as fat” and utilized more calories from the same amount of food than those with the more normal bacteria ratio.

    For years, beneficial bacteria (or friendly flora) have been well known to fight yeast, combat disease-causing bacteria, help clean out parasites, and break down toxins. A lack of the beneficial bacteria has been connected to ulcers, digestive difficulties, bad breath, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue, menopausal discomforts, acne, eczema and psoriasis, arthritis, persistent aches and pains, as well as asthma, sinusitis, and kidney stones. And now there is a connection to weight.

    Probiotics, which means “for life,” play an important role in the digestion of foods and help to produce B vitamins, vitamin K, as well as digesting fiber—the short-chain fatty acids upon which your colon desperately relies. These friendly flora assist your system in the production of digestive enzymes and stomach acid while helping to transport nutrients.

    In the right balance of power, a ratio of 85:15 in favor of the “good guy” bacteria, probiotics are so vital to good health they are considered an “organ” by many experts. In reality these friendly flora also make up most of your immune system because 60 percent of your immune system’s receptor cells are in your large intestine while another 15 percent reside in the small intestine.

    Probiotics represent the next wave of health and healing and are intimately involved with every organ, tissue, and health concern of the body. It should come as no surprise that researchers made a link between weight and gut bacteria in two studies published in the journal Nature.

    This groundbreaking research, conducted at Washington University’s Center for Genome Sciences, initiated a whole science called “infectobesity” that looks at obesity from the microbial and viral standpoint. Simply put: viruses and bacteria may impact the absorption of food and influence gut hormones that regulate appetite and metabolic rate.

    The lead author of the study, Jeffrey Gordon, M.D., stated, “Our studies imply that differences in our gut microbial ecology may determine how many calories we are able to extract and absorb from our diet and deposit in our fat cells.” Gordon’s studies showed a significant difference in the bacterial balance in the guts of animals and humans, noting decreased microflora in the gut of those who were obese. While it is still unclear whether this imbalance is a cause or consequence, the potential implications for obese humans to reduce weight by balancing gut bacteria is downright fascinating.

    For years, probiotics have been an integral part of my dietary protocols in books like Guess What Came to Dinner, The Fast Track Detox Diet and The Gut Flush Plan. For the basic weight loss and cleansing purposes of Fat Flush for Life, I am recommending a powdered probiotic supplement that I have been using in private practice for over a decade, Flora-Key. It can do double-duty as an immune booster and natural sweetener since we are cutting out sugar, sugar alcohols, and even artificial sweeteners like aspartame or Splenda®. My one exception is the legal cheat Stevia.

    In Fat Flush for Life, Flora-Key is a key dietary ingredient in no-heat foods like frappes, fruits and the Green Life Cocktail (more about that in a moment). It contains a basic combination of lactobacillus, bifidobacterium and fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) from complex sugars that function as a prebiotic. A prebiotic is a food that feeds the beneficial bacteria while discouraging pathogens. FOS is a naturally occurring sweetener in fruits and some vegetables, which provides the taste buds with the sweetness of sugar but the molecules are too big to be digested by the body as sugar. Since FOS is digested, this sweetener doesn’t affect blood sugar levels. It also can’t be utilized by Candida albicans, other yeasts and some bacteria. The best news about FOS though is that it provides a benefit that none of the other sweeteners do: It nourishes and promotes the growth of friendly intestinal bacteria such as bifidobacteria in your large intestine without feeding pathogenic bacteria.

    This makes it a potentially good-for-you sweetener for people struggling with weight, yeast infections, and other GI disorders. With Flora-Key, you get the best of both worlds: a probiotic fed by a prebiotic. You can take two to three teaspoons per day.

    For heavy-duty immune enhancement, I stand by Dr. Ohhira's Probiotic 12 Plus™, found in health food stores all over the country. It contains all the beneficial lactic acid bacteria found in humans. Perhaps its major claim to fame is its patented TH10 strain that neutralizes the smart bugs (like salmonella and E. coli ) that spread food borne disease and are resistant to antibiotics. More than a probiotic, this product represents a flora-balancing system. It improves gut pH for the benefit of other friendly flora while requiring no refrigeration and is dairy, soy, and gluten-free. Best yet, the product is backed by nearly 15 years of university backed scientific research.

    Aiding the probiotic process, are even more potent fat-flushing elements like chia seeds and the Green Life Cocktail, a green superfood drink. Chia seeds are the richest known source of omega-3s and blood sugar controlling soluble fiber which act as a fuel that probiotics ferment into healing compounds strengthening the GI tract and boost immunity. The Green Life Cocktail provides purifying chlorophyll that also promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria to assist in longer lasting weight loss while tamping down inflammation. Chlorophyll carries significant amounts of oxygen that zaps disease-promoting anaerobic bacteria in the gut.

    Fish Oils Linked To Tummy Fat Reduction
    While mainstream media and mainstream products are thankfully taking a more reasonable approach to fat in the diet, gaining an awareness of bad and good fats is critical to maintaining health and achieving weight goals. Along with high lignan flaxseed oil, fish oil is another option. This is because of the reams of research demonstrating how fish oil can make you thinner, soothe arthritis, improve focus, protect the eyes, lower cholesterol, balance out blood sugar, prevent heart disease and boost brainpower. An earlier weight loss study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 1999 suggested the EPA and DHA essential fatty acid components of fish oil were responsible for the increased oxidation of fat, the activation of genes that break down fat in the mitochondria, a reduced number of fat cells especially in the tummy region, and an improvement in insulin response.

    In terms of weight loss alone, in another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, individuals who consumed fish oil and walked 45 minutes three times a week, lost up to five more pounds than the control group! Researchers noted the combination of fish oil and exercise significantly reduced body fat, which indicates the potential benefit of a combined treatment strategy for optimizing body composition in overweight or obese subjects. Fat Flush for Life reflects this research with the addition of a fish oil option to the original protocol.

    Iodine Deficiency and Hypothyroidism
    Hypothyroidism (under activity of the thyroid gland, your body’s energy burner and thermostat) is epidemic. I hear from women of all ages, starting in their late 20s, how the doctor has put them on thyroid meds like Synthyroid® and Armour®. Although the latest statistics suggest that four out of ten Americans have hypothyroidism, I think the number may even be higher due to subclinical thyroid conditions. Next to diabetes, hypothyroidism is the most common endocrine disorder in the country these days. A low-functioning thyroid will slow down your body’s metabolism as well as influence your heart and muscle strength.

    Besides the inability to lose weight, hypothyroidism is linked to depression, hair loss, poor eyebrow growth (especially the outer third of the brow), dry skin, irritability, aching wrists, fluid retention, constipation, a coarse voice, decreased blood pressure and premature graying of the hair.

    The connection between thyroid function and iodine levels became clear about 60 years ago. The thyroid gland depends upon iodine to make its hormones. T4 has four iodine molecules attached to it and T3 has three iodine molecules. If your body lacks adequate levels of iodine, your thyroid gland can’t produce those all-important T3 and T4 hormones. Why are they important? T4 is a hormone that regulates energy metabolism; it determines how fast your body burns food for energy. T4 is converted to T3. T3 is the active, intracellular thyroid hormone that stimulates energy burning within a cell. And you need 20 times as much T4 as T3 to operate normally. The bottom-line is that iodine is able to restore balance to thyroid hormones whether they are high or low.

    According to David Brownstein, M.D., over the past three decades, iodine intake decreased fifty percent while thyroid disorders (hypothyroidism, autoimmune thyroid disorders, and thyroid cancer) increased significantly. Brownstein tested more than 1,000 people at his Michigan clinic and discovered that 95 percent had low, inadequate iodine levels. His findings mirror results found by a national laboratory that tested more than 4,000 individuals.

    So how can you tell if your thyroid level is low? Other than the symptoms I describe above, the best way to know for sure is to get tested. You can test and effectively treat your iodine levels by doing a special, iodine loading test pioneered by Guy Abraham, M.D. the visionary endocrinologist. Dr. Abraham’s 24-hour urine test found that most individuals need about 50 mg of iodine per day — far more than the RDA’s recommendation of 150 mcgs.

    In higher amounts, iodine acts as an adaptogen and plays a significant role in disorders like polycystic ovary disease, fibrocystic breast disease, sleep apnea, cardiac arrhythmia, hypertension, and hormone imbalances. As my friend and colleague Nan Fuchs, Ph.D. points out, while 150 mcg of iodine per day is adequate in preventing goiter there are many benefits to taking more— especially for women. Since women have larger breasts than men and iodine is concentrated in the breast tissue, women simply need more iodine to protect against disease and possibly cancer.

    It is important to also note that a low hydrochloric acid level (HCL), healthy stomach acid, can be triggered by an iodine insufficiency because we need iodine to enable chloride to enter the stomach cells. Without enough HCL, the body won’t digest protein or use iron or calcium and magnesium. As we hit the age of 60, our HCL levels decrease by almost half. Increasing your iodine is one good way to increase HCL production naturally, thereby improving digestion.

    In light of the importance of iodine to so many bodily functions, you will be shoring up your iodine levels with iodine-rich sea vegetables (hijiki, wakame, kombu, agar, and nori) at least twice a week on the Fat Flush for Life menu plans and incorporating an iodine-rich seasoning (Seaweed Gomasio) for flavor and health.

    Copper Overload and Hypothyroidism
    Besides being affected by iodine, your thyroid can be suppressed by an elevated copper level. Copper, like iodine, can also inhibit the conversion of the thyroid hormone thyroxin (T4) resulting in a slow down of metabolism on the cellular level. In my experience with Tissue Mineral Analysis (TMA) over the past two decades, I have observed that an elevated tissue level of copper is frequently linked with hypothyroidism, especially when the zinc/copper ratio is higher than ten to one (ideal is eight to one in favor of zinc). In fact, women with low zinc levels also tend to have high copper, a connection that I’ve found in 70 to 80 percent of women. Zinc is typically very deficient in vegetarians, individuals under stress, and those who don’t eat zinc-rich sources of foods like red meat, eggs, and pumpkin seeds.

    A copper/zinc imbalance also affects the liver’s ability to detoxify. Copper and zinc are both needed to activate key liver enzymes, so if they are out of balance then your liver is out of balance. This leaves the liver less able to eliminate toxins, including excess copper. The result is high copper and poor liver function.

    Copper levels seem to rise and fall in tandem with estrogen levels. So if you are deficient in zinc, the balancing mineral to copper, and/or lacking in progesterone, the hormone which balances estrogen, copper levels tend to rise. Weight gain as well as frontal headaches, menstrual irregularities, food cravings, mood swings, fatigue, depression, and yeast are all common symptoms of copper overload.

    Lowered adrenal gland activity is another key reason behind high copper levels. Interestingly, TMA results from my clinical experience show that seven out of ten women have weak adrenal glands. Adrenal gland activity is required to stimulate production of ceruloplasmin, the leading copper binding protein. With diminished adrenal activity, the liver makes less ceruloplasmin and unbound copper starts to gather in various tissues, organs, and glands—like the thyroid.

    There are a myriad of external sources for copper exposure. Drinking water (occurs naturally in drinking water in some areas and in some areas it is actually added to municipal water sources as copper sulfate), copper water pipes, copper cookware, birth control pills, copper IUDs, dental fillings, and crowns, put you at risk for copper overload. But the interesting thing is that the typical vegetarian menu contains a high copper and low zinc assortment of foods. Add to this a diet high in phytate-rich grains (like whole grains) known to lower zinc levels and the trouble becomes two-fold.

    The truth is we need just a pinch of copper in our bodies. The average person ingests 2.5 to 5.0 milligrams of copper per day; those who eat vegetarian diets typically take in more. The range that is considered safe and adequate to meet our needs is 1.5 to 3.0 milligrams per day; the recommended dietary intake for adults is 2.0. In light of the copper overload from the environment, controlling dietary copper is paramount.

    As mentioned earlier, these newly uncovered concerns that are contributing to the unrestrained obesity epidemic. When you address and correct seemingly unrelated factors like microbes, fish oil and iodine deficiency, and copper overload, you can drop those pounds for good. You’ll restore the body’s natural ability to regulate metabolism and detoxify.

  • Forget about Whole30—it’s time for a Fab4 to get your weight loss on track! Are you ready to spend a Radical 4 days flushing toxins and losing weight? I challenged some of the “slowest losers” to try just the first 4 days of my new Radical Metabolism plan to show how fast you can lose even stubborn weight with the right tools.

    Just listen to what my Radical group of ladies had to say after the Fab4:

    Debi C.:I can’t believe I lost 7.6 pounds. I’ve tried to get this kind of breakthrough for over a decade. My energy is higher than its been in a long time and for the first time in many years I feel my age going younger instead of way beyond my years. I can’t believe how good I did on this. And this morning my normal latte I craved every morning was too sweet for me to drink. I never thought it was too sweet before the 4 day. I plan to do this at least once a month. Can’t wait to try some of the RM recipes they look amazing!

    Crystal R.:I went to pull on my blue jeans…non of them fit...I can literally lap them around my stomach and waist by about four or five inches! I’m dumbfounded! Gonna have to go shopping!

    Gina M.:Well I am excited to say on the morning of day five I am down 5–7 pounds and 4.75 inches (includes arms, thighs, chest, waist and hips). I am very excited about these results to say the least.

    Jae S.:I lost 4.4 pounds in the 4 days, and a lot of inches. I had a good 4 days, wasn’t hungry at all, no cravings and everything tasted good, and easy to follow. I will definitely be doing this on a regular basis, I never lose any pounds, so I’m beyond delighted.

    Suzanne K.:My results were phenomenal. Lost eight pounds in the first four days and an additional 42 following the RM. I went from a size 18 to a 12! I had to buy all new pants! Lol

    Brooke S.:My weight yesterday morning was down a total of 7.2 pounds and I lost a total of six inches; two inches off my chest, waist and thigh/butt. Very pleased with the results and impressed with the fact I was not really hungry!

    Catherine V.:First round (July 10–14)—lost six pounds (did not take any measurements). Second time was last week. Lost 4.8 pounds; 3.5 inches in waist; and 1/2 inch in chest, hips, arms, and thighs. Now I am fully recovered from culinary vacation in Europe and back to size-2 again. And I feel fantastic, too!

    Leslie F.:Beginning of day 4. I am down 6.8 pounds and amazed. One more day to go! This is the magic weight loss pill for me. I can gain weight in the blink of an eye. This is unbelievable! Go Ann Louise!

    Wendy A:Since the age of five, I’ve been on every diet imaginable. Atkins, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig. Grapefruit, soup, this and that. Fifty-three years later, I’m still seeking. I’m a Fat Flusher because it is the only thing that works for me that is just pure science and good food. I’m a slow, slow loser…but I do lose. Until Radical Metabolism. I just finished the 4 day cleanse and I’m down 8.6 lbs! Incredible! What took me 8-weeks on Fat Flush, fell off in 4 days of Radical Metabolism! I’m thrilled! The only drawback is that I had to hop a plane to LA and the pants that were snug 29 days ago are falling off! I’m gonna need a belt for the return trip!!

    Kim M.:Wow, I am so excited to report my results. I had to double check a couple times to make sure I was right. I dropped 6.7 pounds! I weighed and measured before eating or drinking anything this morning and I lost: bust 1.5 inches, waist 2.25 inches, hips, 3.25 inches, thighs 1.75 inches for a total of 8.75 inches! I’m astounded with that!

    Layne K.:Non-scale victory! My shorts are now so loose that I can take them on and off without having to undo them. I need a belt now to keep them on. Hunger was no issue during the 4 days. In fact I was having difficulty consuming all the food.

    Michelle E.:4-Day Intensive Cleanse done… I am a believer. My body responded, and it was with the food I prefer, veggies and fruits. Thank you Ann Louise Gittleman. -8 pounds, -1.5 inches lower bust, -1.5 inches waist, -1.0 inch hips, -1.5 inches thighs (each), -1.0 inch upper arms (each). I’m optimistic after a long drought. This is my season for radical health and it starts with a radical metabolism.

    Candis G.:My results from the 4 day cleanse. Six pounds down. I didn’t take measurements, but I’m feeling smaller everywhere. I loved everything about this cleanse and will definitely do it again.

    Kay G.:Results from 4 day: down 4.6 lbs., 0.5 inches off chest, 1 inch off waist and hips.”

    Theresa W.: “Final result… 5.8 lbs in 4 days.”

    What are you waiting for? Order your copy of “Radical Metabolism” on Amazon now!

  • Well over a decade ago, resveratrol made its introduction into the dietary supplement marketplace. Initially, excitement about resveratrol was based upon the consideration that intake of it and other polyphenol compounds from red wine may contribute to the “French paradox”—the unexpectedly low rate of death from cardiovascular disease in the Mediterranean population despite the relatively higher intake of saturated fats.1 Then, excitement increased with the understanding that resveratrol helped activate the SIRT 1 gene, associated with longevity.2 Since that time, interest in resveratrol has continued to expand due to human research demonstrating its effectiveness for inflammation, immune health/breast cancer prevention, muscle health, cognitive health, weight loss, blood sugar/ insulin resistance, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and more. These benefits will be the focus of this article.

    Resveratrol Background
    Before jumping into a discussion about the fascinating human research, however, let's take a moment to review just what resveratrol is, in case you're unfamiliar with it. Resveratrol is a type of natural phenol by several plants in response to injury or attack by pathogens.3,4 These plants include grapes, peanuts5 and Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum).6 Resveratrol helps provide protection to the plants, at least in part, due to its demonstrated antioxidant properties.7 These antioxidant properties benefit humans too, as shown in research where resveratrol provided a direct antioxidant effect against free radicals, and facilitated an increase in vitamin E8—another powerful antioxidant.

    There are two primary isomers (i.e. two forms) of resveratrol, trans- and cis-. To be clear, trans-resveratrol has been unequivocally shown to have much greater activity than cis-resveratrol.9 Consequently, when purchasing a resveratrol product, make sure to check the supplement facts panel to verify that the product contains trans-resveratrol. If just"resveratrol" is listed, without the trans-designation, or if cis-resveratrol is listed, you would be better off choosing a different product that lists trans-resveratrol. In any case, for ease of reading, I will drop references to trans- in the rest of this article, although it can be assumed that any mention of resveratrol will actually refer to trans-resveratrol.

    Cardiovascular Health
    As its first claim to fame, resveratrol has been found to have activity that may have protective effects on the cardiovascular system. In both test-tube and animal research, resveratrol has been shown to inhibit platelet aggregation (i.e. the clumping together of blood platelets). This has value since excessive or inappropriate aggregation of platelets can lead to formation of blood clots and subsequent blockages in blood vessels that result in insufficient blood flow, heart attack or stroke.10 Resveratrol can also promote vasodilation (a relaxed and expanded state of the artery that accommodates increased blood flow) by enhancing the production of a naturally occurring substance in the body called nitric oxide.11

    More importantly, human clinical research12 has demonstrated that 100 mg/day of resveratrol significantly reduced arterial stiffness (a major indicator of atherosclerosis) compared to placebo, and also lowered systolic blood pressure by 5.5 points in patients with type 2 diabetes. Another human study,13 which used a much higher dose (2.3 g) in older adults, found that resveratrol not only improved vascular function more than placebo, but also increased the number of mitochondria.those parts of the cells that help to generate energy for our body! Another interesting cardiovascular benefit is resveratrol's effect on Apolipoprotein B (ApoB), a primary component of many lipoproteins such as LDL (the gbad cholesterolh) that are involved in atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. In human clinical research14 on overweight or obese individuals with mild hypertriglyceridemia, 1000 mg/day of resveratrol for one week followed by 2000 mg/day for two weeks reduced ApoB production rate by an impressive 22 percent. In addition, flowmediated dilatation (a measure of arterial circulation and endothelial function) was increased in human studies15,16,17 where 10 mg to 270 mg/day of resveratrol was given. In one of the studies,18 LDL cholesterol levels were also significantly decreased.

    In addition to showing anti-inflammatory effects in in-vitro and animal studies, resveratrol has also been shown to comprehensively suppress oxidative and inflammatory stress with as little as 40 mg/day in normal human subjects.19 This included the reduction of inflammatory markers such as TNF-alpha, IL-6, and C-reactive protein, with no changes in the placebo group. Similarly, in postmenopausal women with osteoarthritis pain, 75 mg of resveratrol twice daily significantly reduced pain and improved total well-being.20

    Ulcerative colitis (UC), a chronic inflammatory bowel disease, has also responded to treatment with resveratrol. In one study21 with 56 UC patients, those receiving 500 mg/day of resveratrol had significant symptom improvement, reduced malondialdehyde (a highly reactive oxidative stress compound), and increased superoxide dismutase (SOD), and total antioxidant capacity. In another human study22 with 50 UC patients, 500 mg/day of resveratrol also reduced the activity of inflammatory compounds, including TNF-α, hs-CRP, and activity of NF-κB. Furthermore, in a study23 of firefighters, supplementation with 100 mg/day resveratrol for 90 days, plasma biomarkers of inflammation were reduced after a physical fitness test, including IL-6 and TNF-α. This adds further credence to resveratrol's anti-inflammatory effects.

    Immune Health/Breast Cancer Prevention
    resveratrol's effect on immune health can be as fundamental as increasing certain circulating immune cells, or as profound at reducing the risk of breast cancer. For example, human research24 was conducted to assess the effects of repeated doses of resveratrol (1000 mg/day for 28 days) on circulating immune cells in healthy individuals. The results were that resveratrol was safe and well tolerated and was associated with significant increases in the numbers of circulating gamma delta T cells (functioning as a first line of defense and a bridge between innate and adaptive responses) and regulatory T cells—demonstrating that resveratrol has clear biological effects on human circulating immune cells.

    With regard to breast cancer prevention, resveratrol may help in a couple of ways. First, resveratrol has been shown to have a dose-dependent effect on reducing the formation of mammary tumors in-vitro as a result of down-regulating DNA methyltransferases. To see if it had a similar effect in humans, a study25 was conducted in which 39 adult women at increased breast cancer risk received a placebo, 5 or 50 mg of resveratrol twice daily for 12 weeks. Results were that there was indeed decrease in methylation of the tumor suppressor gene with increasing levels of resveratrol (P = .047).

    In another study26 of 34 overweight, postmenopausal women (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2), the clinical effect of resveratrol on systemic sex steroid hormones were investigated, since high estrogen levels may contribute to breast cancer. The subjects received 1 g of resveratrol daily for 12 weeks. The results were that resveratrol supplementation led to an average of 73 percent increase in urinary 2-hydroxyestrone (the "good estrogen") levels leading to a favorable change in estrogen ratios that are less conducive to the development of breast cancer. This research demonstrated that among overweight and obese postmenopausal women, a daily 1 g dose of resveratrol has favorable effects on estrogen metabolism.

    Muscle Health
    In a 12-week study,27 older men and women (aged 65.80 years) exercised and took either a placebo or 500 mg/day of resveratrol to determine if resveratrol would have additive effects to those of exercise. Results showed that exercise added to resveratrol treatment increased the number of mitochondria, and improved muscle fatigue resistance more than placebo and exercise treatments. In addition, subjects treated with resveratrol had an increase in muscular torque and power after training, whereas exercise did not increase these parameters in the placebo-treated older subjects. Furthermore, exercise combined with resveratrol significantly improved muscle fiber. Together, these data suggest that resveratrol combined with exercise might provide a better approach for reversing sarcopenia than exercise alone.

    Cognitive Health
    Research suggests that resveratrol may have cognitive health benefits in people with and without dementia. For example, the ongoing dysfunction of small blood vessels in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) may impair the ability of cerebral vessels to supply blood to various brain regions, thereby increasing risks of dementia. To determine if resveratrol could benefit cerebral circulation, a study28 was conducted in which 36 dementia-free, non-insulin dependent T2DM older adults (49–78 years old) consumed single doses of resveratrol (0, 75, 150, and 300 mg) at weekly intervals. Results were that 75–300 mg of resveratrol enhanced vasodilator responsiveness in cerebral vessels.

    In another study,29 80 post-menopausal women aged 45–85 years received resveratrol or placebo for 14 weeks to examine the effect on cognitive performance and other parameters. Results were that compared to placebo, significant improvements were observed in the performance of cognitive tasks in the domain of verbal memory (p = 0.041) and in overall cognitive performance (p = 0.020). Mood also tended to improve in multiple measures. These results indicate that regular consumption of a modest dose of resveratrol can enhance both cerebrovascular function and cognition in post-menopausal women, potentially reducing their heightened risk of accelerated cognitive decline and offering a promising therapeutic treatment for menopauserelated cognitive decline.

    To test30 whether supplementation of resveratrol (200 mg/ day for 26 weeks) would enhance memory performance in older adults, 23 healthy overweight older individuals were pairwise matched to 23 participants that received placebo (total n = 46, 18 females, 50–75 years). Results showed a significant effect of resveratrol on retention of words over 30 min compared with placebo (p = 0.038), significant increases in hippocampal functional connectivity, decreases in glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and body fat, and increases in leptin compared with placebo (all p < 0.05). This study provides initial evidence that supplementary resveratrol improves memory performance in association with improved glucose metabolism in older adults, providing a basis for helping to maintain brain health during aging.

    To determine the effects of oral resveratrol on localized cerebral blood flow, a study31 was conducted with which 22 healthy human adults received placebo and two doses (250 and 500 mg) of resveratrol in counterbalanced order on separate days. After a 45-min resting absorption period, the participants performed a selection of cognitive tasks. Resveratrol administration resulted in dose-dependent increases in cerebral blood flow during task performance, and enhanced oxygen extraction. These results showed that single doses of orally administered resveratrol can modulate cerebral blood flow variables.

    Finally, a clinical study32 was conducted to determine if up to 1 g of resveratrol twice daily could benefit Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. The results demonstrated that resveratrol decreased CSF MMP9 (a biomarker for confirmed AD), modulates neuro-inflammation, and induces adaptive immunity— suggesting that resveratrol may be a viable target for treatment or prevention of neurodegenerative disorders.

    Weight Loss
    One of the reasons that resveratrol has received widespread interest is because of its ability to mimic effects of calorie restriction. To gain more insight into this effect on adipose tissue, a study33 was conducted in which healthy obese subjects were supplemented with 150 mg/day of resveratrol or placebo for 30 days. Results showed that resveratrol significantly decreased the size of adipocytes (fat cells), with a shift toward reducing the proportion of large and very-large adipocytes and an increase in small adipocytes. Furthermore, lysosomal/phagosomal pathway and transcription factor EB were up-regulated reflecting an alternative pathway of lipid breakdown by autophagy.

    Similarly,34 T2DM patients received 3 g resveratrol or placebo daily for 12 weeks. Results were that there was a significant increase in both SIRT1 expression and resting metabolic rate compared with the placebo group. In patients with T2DM, treatment with resveratrol helped regulate energy expenditure, suggesting that resveratrol may have beneficial exercise-mimetic effects.

    Again,35 healthy, obese subjects were treated with placebo and 150 mg/day resveratrol for 30 days. The results were that resveratrol increased SIRT1 and improved the muscle's use of fatty acids as an energy fuel, demonstrating that 30 days of resveratrol supplementation induces metabolic changes in obese humans, mimicking the effects of calorie restriction. Given these results, one might think that resveratrol may aid in weight loss—and indeed this has been shown to be the case in clinical research.

    Orlistat is an over-the-counter drug (also known as Alli®) designed to treat obesity by reducing the absorption of fats from the human diet. A study36 was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of combining orlistat with resveratrol in 84 obese subjects over a 6-month period. The subjects consumed a diet with 500 fewer calories than their usual diet for two weeks, and were randomly assigned to four groups, placebo, resveratrol, orlistat, or the O-R combination, and they consumed the energyreduced diet for 6-months. Results were significant weight loss of 15 lbs in the O-R group compared with 7.7 lbs in the placebo group. Significant decreases in BMI, waist circumference, fat mass, triglycerides, leptin, and leptin/adiponectin ratio were observed with the O-R combination, indicating that it was the most effective weight loss treatment.

    In another study,37 24 patients with metabolic syndrome received resveratrol (500 mg) three times per day before meals for 90 days. Resveratrol administration resulted in significant differences in total weight (P=0.007), body mass index (BMI) (P=0.006), fat mass (P=0.001), and waist circumference (P=0.004). In conclusion, administration of resveratrol significantly decreased weight, BMI, and fat mass.

    Blood Sugar/Insulin Resistance
    A study38 was conducted using 480 mg/day of resveratrol or placebo for four weeks on 43 patients with diabetes who also had chronic periodontitis (i.e. gum disease). Results were that serum levels of fasting insulin and insulin resistance were significantly lower in the resveratrol group compared with control group. With regard to periodontal disease, there was also a significant difference in the gum pocket depth between intervention and control groups with resveratrol. The researchers recommended that resveratrol supplementation might be beneficial as adjuvant therapy along with non-surgical periodontal treatment in insulin resistance and improving periodontal status among patients with diabetes with periodontal disease.

    Another human clinical trial39 was conducted in 32 over-weight, older adults (average age: 73 years). Participants received placebo, 300 mg/day of resveratrol, or 1000 mg/day of resveratrol for 90 days. Results were that, compared to placebo, glucose levels were significantly lower at after treatment among participants receiving either dose of resveratrol (P<0.05), and were well tolerated.

    In this study,40 62 patients with T2DM received either an oral hypoglycemic medication, or an oral hypoglycemic medication along with 250 mg/day of resveratrol. Results were that supplementation with resveratrol for three months significantly improved the mean hemoglobin A1c (P<0.05), a measure of long-term glucose control, systolic blood pressure (P<0.05), total cholesterol (P<0.05), and total protein (P<0.05) in T2DM. The researchers concluded that oral supplementation with resveratrol was effective in improving glycemic control and may be a potential adjuvant for the treatment and management of diabetes.

    In a pilot study,41 subjects with impaired glucose tolerance (aged 72 ± 3 years) received 1, 1.5, or 2 g/day of resveratrol for four weeks. After four weeks of resveratrol supplementation, results showed that post-meal (P=0.003) and 3-hour glucose levels (P=0.001) declined. Researchers concluded that, at doses between 1 and 2 g/day, resveratrol improves insulin sensitivity and post-meal plasma glucose in subjects with impaired glucose tolerance. Likewise, in a 4-week study,42 T2DM patients received 10 mg/day resveratrol or a placebo. Results showed that, after the fourth week, resveratrol significantly improved insulin sensitivity, which might be due to a resveratrol-induced decrease in oxidative stress that leads to a more efficient insulin-signaling pathway.

    Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
    Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) refers to the accumulation of fat in the liver of people who drink little or no alcohol. Unfortunately, NAFLD is common—with easily one-third of all American adults being affected43—and often causes no signs and symptoms, and sometimes no complications. In more serious cases, however, the fat that accumulates in NAFLD can cause liver inflammation and scarring.44 In addition, NAFLD is usually associated with insulin resistance, central obesity, reduced glucose tolerance, T2DM and high triglyceride levels.

    In a clinical study,45 50 NAFLD patients received either a 500 mg/day of resveratrol or a placebo for 12 weeks. Both groups were advised to follow an energy-balanced diet and physical activity recommendations. Results were that resveratrol supplementation reduced alanine aminotransferase (a marker for NAFLD) and hepatic steatosis (fatty liver) significantly more than placebo (P<0E05).

    In another study,46 60 NAFLD patients received two 150 mg resveratrol capsules twice daily for three months. Results were that, compared with the placebo group, resveratrol significantly decreased aspartate aminotransferase, glucose and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (P.0.001) alanine aminotransferase, total cholesterol (P=0.002), and insulin resistance (P=0.016). The researchers concluded that resveratrol supplementation might benefit patients with NAFLD.

    Other Resveratrol Benefits
    In addition to the aforementioned applications for resveratrol, there are additional benefits for this nutraceutical as well. Two such benefits are related to bone health, and for those who are smokers.

    In a clinical study,47 66 middle-aged, obese subjects with metabolic syndrome (average age: 49.3 } 6.3 years) received oral treatment with 1,000 mg or 150 mg of resveratrol, or a placebo daily for 16 weeks to assess changes in the bone turnover marker bone alkaline phosphatase (BAP), and bone mineral density (BMD). Results were that BAP increased dose dependently with resveratrol (P<0.001), compared with placebo. Lumbar spine trabecular volumetric bone mineral density also increased dose dependently with resveratrol (P=0.036), with a significant increase of 2.6 percent in the 1,000 mg resveratrol group compared with placebo (P=0.043). In addition, changes in BAP and bone mineral density were positively correlated (P=0.027).

    Smokers typically experience a state of low-grade systemic inflammation and oxidant-antioxidant imbalance. To determine whether resveratrol has beneficial effects on markers of inflammation and oxidative stress, a study48 was conducted with 50 healthy adult smokers who alternatively were given 500 mg/ day of resveratrol and placebo. Results were that resveratrol significantly reduced the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP), triglyceride concentrations, and increased Total Antioxidant Status (TAS) values. The researchers concluded that, because resveratrol has anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and hypotriglyceridemic effects, its supplementation might beneficially affect the increased cardiovascular risk of healthy smokers.

    Improving The Bioavailability And Efficacy Of Resveratrol

    Now that we've reviewed some of the many benefits associated with resveratrol supplementation, let's briefly consider ways to improve the bioavailability and efficacy of this valuable nutraceutical. First, take resveratrol on an empty stomach. The reason for this recommendation is a study showing that the absorption rate of resveratrol following an oral 400 mg singledose was significantly delayed by the presence of food.49

    Second, resveratrol may work better when taken together with pterostilbene (a related antioxidant) and quercetin (a flavonoid). In this study,50 the antioxidant activities of resveratrol, pterostilbene and quercetin, and the effect of their combination were investigated in human blood cells in-vitro. When used together, the combination protected the blood cells against destruction and against depletion of the important antioxidant, glutathione. Also, the combination of resveratrol with quercetin or pterostilbene synergistically inhibited oxidative injury of membrane lipids. These protective effects may partially explain the health benefit of these bioactive microcomponents when together in the diet.

    The value of supplementation with resveratrol has moved beyond the "French paradox" and the activation of the SIRT 1 gene, associated with longevity. Human clinical research has demonstrated efficacy of resveratrol for inflammation, immune health/breast cancer prevention, muscle health, cognitive health, weight loss, blood sugar/insulin resistance, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and more.

    1. Labinskyy N, Csiszar A, Veress G, Stef G, Pacher P, Oroszi G, Wu J, Ungvari Z. Vascular dysfunction in aging: potential effects of resveratrol, an anti-inflammatory phytoestrogen. Current Medicinal Chemistry 2006; 13(9):989–96.
    2. Borra MT, Smith BC, Denu JM.Mechanism of human SIRT1 activation by resveratrol. J Biol Chem. 2005 Apr 29;280(17):17187–95. 3. Higdon J, Drake VJ, Steward WP. Resveratrol. Micronutrient Information Center. Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR; 2016.
    3. Fremont L. Biological Effects of Resveratrol. Life Sci. 2000;66(8):663–73.
    4. Soleas GJ, Diamandis EP, Goldberg DM. Resveratrol: A molecule whose time has come? And gone? Clin Biochem 1997;30:91–113.
    5. Baur JA, Sinclair DA. Therapeutic potential of resveratrol: the in vivo evidence. Nature reviews. Drug Discovery 2006; 5(6):493–506.
    6. Bradamante S, Barenghi L, Villa A. Cardiovascular protective effects of resveratrol. Cardiovasc Drug Rev 2004; 22(3):169–188.
    7. Apostolidou C, Adamopoulos K, Iliadis S, Kourtidou-Papadeli C. Alterations of antioxidant status in asymptomatic hypercholesterolemic individuals after resveratrol intake. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2015 Aug;67(5):541–52.
    8. Anisimova NY, Kiselevsky MV, Sosnov AV, Sadovnikov SV, Stankov IN, Gakh AA. Trans-, cis-, and dihydro-resveratrol: a comparative study. Chem Cent J. 2011 Dec 20;5:88.
    9. Baur JA, Sinclair DA. Therapeutic potential of resveratrol: the in vivo evidence. Nature reviews. Drug Discovery 2006; 5(6):493–506.
    10. Wallerath T, Deckert G, Ternes T, et al. Resveratrol, a polyphenolic phytoalexin present in red wine, enhances expression and activity of endothelial nitric oxide synthase. Circulation 2002; 106(13):1652–8.
    11. Imamura H, Yamaguchi T, Nagayama D, Saiki A, Shirai K, Tatsuno I. Resveratrol Ameliorates Arterial Stiffness Assessed by Cardio-Ankle Vascular Index in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Int Heart J. 2017 Aug 3;58(4):577–83.
    12. Pollack RM, Barzilai N, Anghel V, Kulkarni AS, Golden A, O’Broin P, Sinclair DA, Bonkowski MS, Coleville AJ, Powell D, Kim S, Moaddel R, Stein D, Zhang K, Hawkins M, Crandall JP. Resveratrol Improves Vascular Function and Mitochondrial Number but Not Glucose Metabolism in Older Adults. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2017 Nov 9;72(12):1703–9.
    13. Dash S, Xiao C, Morgantini C, Szeto L, Lewis GF. High-dose resveratrol treatment for 2 weeks inhibits intestinal and hepatic lipoprotein production in overweight/obese men. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2013 Dec;33(12):2895–901.
    14. Wong RH, Berry NM, Coates AM, Buckley JD, Bryan J, Kunz I, Howe PR. Chronic resveratrol consumption improves brachial flow-mediated dilatation in healthy obese adults. J Hypertens. 2013 Sep;31(9):1819–27.
    15. Magyar K, Halmosi R, Palfi A, Feher G, Czopf L, Fulop A, Battyany I, Sumegi B, Toth K, Szabados E. Cardioprotection by resveratrol: A human clinical trial in patients with stable coronary artery disease. Clin Hemorheol Microcirc. 2012;50(3):179–87.
    16. Wong RH1, Howe PR, Buckley JD, Coates AM, Kunz I, Berry NM. Acute resveratrol supplementation improves flow-mediated dilatation in overweight/obese individuals with mildly elevated blood pressure. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2011 Nov;21(11):851–6.
    17. Magyar K, Halmosi R, Palfi A, Feher G, Czopf L, Fulop A, Battyany I, Sumegi B, Toth K, Szabados E. Cardioprotection by resveratrol: A human clinical trial in patients with stable coronary artery disease. Clin Hemorheol Microcirc.2012;50(3):179–87.
    18. Ghanim H, Sia CL, Abuaysheh S, Korzeniewski K, Patnaik P, Marumganti A, Chaudhuri A, Dandona P. An antiinflammatory and reactive oxygen species suppressive effects of an extract of Polygonum cuspidatum containing resveratrol. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Sep;95(9):E1-8.
    19. Wong RHX, Evans HM, Howe PRC. Resveratrol supplementation reduces pain experience by postmenopausal women. Menopause. 2017 Aug;24(8):916–22.
    20. Samsamikor M, Daryani NE, Asl PR, Hekmatdoost A. Resveratrol Supplementation and Oxidative/Anti-Oxidative Status in Patients with Ulcerative Colitis: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-controlled Pilot Study. Arch Med Res.2016 May;47(4):304–9.
    21. Samsami-Kor M, Daryani NE, Asl PR, Hekmatdoost A. Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Resveratrol in Patients with Ulcerative Colitis: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-controlled Pilot Study. Arch Med Res. 2015 May;46(4):280–5.
    22. Macedo RC, Vieira A1, Marin DP2, Otton R3. Effects of chronic resveratrol supplementation in military firefighters undergo a physical fitness test--a placebo-controlled, double blind study. Chem Biol Interact. 2015 Feb 5;227:89–95.
    23. Espinoza JL, Trung LQ, Inaoka PT, Yamada K, An DT, Mizuno S, Nakao S, Takami A. The Repeated Administration of Resveratrol Has Measurable Effects on Circulating T-Cell Subsets in Humans. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2017;2017:6781872.
    24. Zhu W, Qin W, Zhang K, Rottinghaus GE, Chen YC, Kliethermes B, Sauter ER. Trans-resveratrol alters mammary promoter hypermethylation in women at increased risk for breast cancer. Nutr Cancer. 2012 Apr;64(3):393–400.
    25. Chow HH, Garland LL, Heckman-Stoddard BM, Hsu CH, Butler VD, Cordova CA, Chew WM, Cornelison TL. A pilot clinical study of resveratrol in postmenopausal women with high body mass index: effects on systemic sex steroid hormones. J Transl Med. 2014 Aug 14;12:223.
    26. Alway SE, McCrory JL, Kearcher K, Vickers A, Frear B, Gilleland DL, Bonner DE, Thomas JM, Donley DA, Lively MW, Mohamed JS. Resveratrol Enhances Exercise-Induced Cellular and Functional Adaptations of Skeletal Muscle in Older Men and Women. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2017 Nov 9;72(12):1595–1606.
    27. Wong RH, Nealon RS, Scholey A, Howe PR. Low dose resveratrol improves cerebrovascular function in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2016 May;26(5):393–9.
    28. Evans HM, Howe PR, Wong RH. Effects of Resveratrol on Cognitive Performance, Mood and Cerebrovascular Function in Post-Menopausal Women; A 14-Week Randomised Placebo-Controlled Intervention Trial. Nutrients.2017 Jan 3;9(1). pii: E27.
    29. Witte AV, Kerti L, Margulies DS, Flöel A. Effects of resveratrol on memory performance, hippocampal functional connectivity, and glucose metabolism in healthy older adults. J Neurosci. 2014 Jun 4;34(23):7862–70.
    30. Kennedy DO, Wightman EL, Reay JL, Lietz G, Okello EJ, Wilde A, Haskell CF. Effects of resveratrol on cerebral blood flow variables and cognitive performance in humans: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover investigation. Am J Clin Nutr.2010 Jun;91(6):1590–7.
    31. Moussa C, Hebron M, Huang X, Ahn J, Rissman RA, Aisen PS, Turner RS. Resveratrol regulates neuro-inflammation and induces adaptive immunity in Alzheimer’s disease. J Neuroinflammation.2017 Jan 3;14(1):1.
    32. Konings E, Timmers S, Boekschoten MV, Goossens GH, Jocken JW, Afman LA, Müller M, Schrauwen P, Mariman EC, Blaak EE. The effects of 30 days resveratrol supplementation on adipose tissue morphology and gene expression patterns in obese men. Int J Obes (Lond). 2014 Mar;38(3):470–3.
    33. Goh KP, Lee HY, Lau DP, Supaat W, Chan YH, Koh AF. Effects of resveratrol in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus on skeletal muscle SIRT1 expression and energy expenditure. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2014 Feb;24(1):2–13.
    34. Timmers S, Konings E, Bilet L, Houtkooper RH, van de Weijer T, Goossens GH, Hoeks J, van der Krieken S, Ryu D, Kersten S, Moonen-Kornips E, Hesselink MKC, Kunz I, Schrauwen-Hinderling VB, Blaak E, Auwerx J, Schrauwen P. Calorie restriction-like effects of 30 days of resveratrol supplementation on energy metabolism and metabolic profile in obese humans. Cell Metab. 2011 Nov 2;14(5):612–22.
    35. Arzola-Paniagua MA, García-Salgado López ER, Calvo-Vargas CG, Guevara-Cruz M. Efficacy of an orlistat-resveratrol combination for weight loss in subjects with obesity: A randomized controlled trial. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2016 Jul;24(7):1454–63.
    36. Méndez-del Villar M, González-Ortiz M, Martínez-Abundis E, Pérez-Rubio KG, Lizárraga-Valdez R. Effect of resveratrol administration on metabolic syndrome, insulin sensitivity, and insulin secretion. Metab Syndr Relat Disord. 2014 Dec;12(10):497–501.
    37. Zare Javid A, Hormoznejad R, Yousefimanesh HA, Zakerkish M, Haghighi-Zadeh MH, Dehghan P, Ravanbakhsh M. The Impact of Resveratrol Supplementation on Blood Glucose, Insulin, Insulin Resistance, Triglyceride, and Periodontal Markers in Type 2 Diabetic Patients with Chronic Periodontitis. Phytother Res. 2017 Jan;31(1):108–114.
    38. Anton SD, Embry C, Marsiske M, Lu X, Doss H, Leeuwenburgh C, Manini TM. Safety and metabolic outcomes of resveratrol supplementation in older adults: results of a twelve-week, placebo-controlled pilot study. Exp Gerontol. 2014 Sep;57:181–7.
    39. Bhatt JK, Thomas S, Nanjan MJ. Resveratrol supplementation improves glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Nutr Res. 2012 Jul;32(7):537–41.
    40. Crandall JP, Oram V, Trandafirescu G, Reid M, Kishore P, Hawkins M, Cohen HW, Barzilai N. Pilot study of resveratrol in older adults with impaired glucose tolerance. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2012 Dec;67(12):1307–12.
    41. Brasnyó P, Molnár GA, Mohás M, Markó L, Laczy B, Cseh J, Mikolás E, Szijártó IA, Mérei A, Halmai R, Mészáros LG, Sümegi B, Wittmann I. Resveratrol improves insulin sensitivity, reduces oxidative stress and activates the Akt pathway in type 2 diabetic patients. Br J Nutr. 2011 Aug;106(3):383–9.
    42. Browning JD, Szczepaniak LS, Dobbins R, Nuremberg P, Horton JD, Cohen JC, Grundy SM, Hobbs HH. Prevalence of hepatic steatosis in an urban population in the United States: Impact of ethnicity. Hepatology2004;40(6):1387–95.
    43. Sanyal AJ. American Gastroenterological Association: AGA technical review on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (national guidelines). Gastroenterology 2002; 123:1705–25.
    44. Faghihzadeh F, Adibi P, Hekmatdoost A. The effects of resveratrol supplementation on cardiovascular risk factors in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Br J Nutr.2015 Sep 14;114(5):796–803.
    45. Chen S, Zhao X, Ran L, Wan J, Wang X, Qin Y, Shu F, Gao Y, Yuan L, Zhang Q, Mi M. Resveratrol improves insulin resistance, glucose and lipid metabolism in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: a randomized controlled trial. Dig Liver Dis. 2015 Mar;47(3):226–32
    46. Ornstrup MJ, Harsløf T, Kjær TN, Langdahl BL, Pedersen SB. Resveratrol increases bone mineral density and bone alkaline phosphatase in obese men: a randomized placebo-controlled trial. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Dec;99(12):4720–9.
    47. Bo S, Ciccone G, Castiglione A, Gambino R, De Michieli F, Villois P, Durazzo M, Cavallo-Perin P, Cassader M.Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of resveratrol in healthy smokers a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial. Curr Med Chem. 2013;20(10):1323–31.
    48. Vaz-da-Silva M, Loureiro AI, Falcao A, Nunes T, Rocha JF, Fernandes-Lopes C, Soares E, Wright L, Almeida L, Soares-da-Silva P. Effect of food on the pharmacokinetic profile of trans-resveratrol. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2008 Nov;46(11):564–70.
    49. Mikstacka R, Rimando AM, Ignatowicz E. Antioxidant effect of trans-resveratrol, pterostilbene, quercetin and their combinations in human erythrocytes in vitro. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2010 Mar;65(1):57–63
  • Dear Readers,

    Welcome to the September 2018 issue of TotalHealth Magazine.

    Charles K. Bens, PhD, "Key Nutrients to Prevent and Reverse Chronic Illness." There are no scientific studies that say it is possible to obtain all of our nutritional needs from the food we eat. There are over 20,000 studies that prove the value of the Mediterranean Diet, combined with nutritional supplements, for the prevention and reversal of most chronic diseases. Bens supplies us with twenty-two illnesses and includes the supplements recommended to treat and prevent those illnesses.

    "Rewriting the Rules of Nutrition," by Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS. A Long-time weight loss, detox, and anti-aging expert Ann Louise has been changing the nutritional landscape for decades. True to form, with this excerpt from her new book Radical Metabolism, Ann Louise unveils groundbreaking science about why the latest diet trends do not work for everyone—especially if you have a "toxic metabolism."

    Gene Bruno, MS, MHS, "Cod Liver Oil & Pro-resolving Mediators: The Inflammation & Beauty Connection." The primary reason Bruno is reporting on Cod Liver has to do with inflammation. Chronic inflammation can be more destructive than beneficial and is a major component in many human diseases. Higher intakes of red and processed meats, sweets, desserts, French fries, and refined grains are associated with experiencing more inflammation.

    Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, reports in "Night Sweats-Candida/Fungal Overgrowth" This is part three of a four-part series on night sweats. Night Sweats are very common in fibromyalgia, and even in the general population. In two recent articles we talked about the role of reproductive and adrenal hormone deficiencies. In this article Teitelbaum talks about another very common problem triggering night sweats—infections, and how to deal with them.

    Gloria Gilbère, CDP, DAHom, PhD, a change of pace from the healthy nightshade free recipes Dr. G. presents "Jicama, Exotic And Exciting Nightshade Vegetable". Jicama spuds are part of the nightshade family, a group of vegetables that contain alkaloids, which have an impact on nerve-muscle function, joint function and digestive function—accelerating an existing inflammatory condition. Read on for preparing, storing and Jicama use.

    Shawn Messonnier, DVM, this month focus is on "Chromium Use For Pets With Diabetes." Chromium is a trace mineral in the body and it plays a role in maintaining good health. Some researchers believe inadequate intake of chromium may be one of the causes for the rising rates of adult-onset diabetes.

    Thanks to all the authors who make TotalHealth possible.

    Best in health,

    TWIP—The Wellness Imperative People

    Click here to read the full September 2018 issue.

    Click here to read the full September 2018 issue.

  • Who knew?

    It actually takes the right acid to create systemic alkalinity—the key to health, longevity and weight loss.

    Yes, you heard that right. I'm talking about hydrochloric acid (HCl) here, the only acid your body actually produces on its own that is not a byproduct of metabolic waste. It may sound counter-intuitive, but although HCl is an acid, it's the key to the proper alkaline/ acid balance — which is seriously deficient in anyone beyond the age of 35. A lack of zinc, iodine, salt, B vitamins, potassium and/or too much stress are common culprits of inadequate HCl production.

    But, acid into alkaline—how could that be?

    The right amount of HCl in the stomach triggers the pancreas to produce large amounts of alkalinizing bicarbonates that signal pancreatic enzymes, which can only activate in an alkaline medium. It is also absolutely necessary for the production of the hormone cholecystokinin (CCK), which helps the gallbladder to release bile for fat emulsification. Without sufficient HCl, bile production can be hampered from doing its job because if there is not enough bile produced, fat cannot be emulsified. It's as simple as that.

    If you have a roll of fat at your waist line, your liver has stopped processing fat and begun storing it. Only when you bring your liver back to full function—with the aid of HCl—will you lose this fat.

    And what will you gain?

    • Increased absorption of muscle building protein that increases metabolic rate by 25 percent.
    • Complete assimilation of calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron, B12 and folic acid, as well as 15 minerals and eight essential acids.
    • Relief of asthma (especially in children) and edema along with mucus congestion.
    • Better oxidation of painful lactic acid in tissues.
    • Increased kidney and liver function.
    • Elimination of boils, abscess, rosacea and rashes—which are unresponsive to other therapies.
    • Heartburn relief.

    Don't leave home without HCl. It is the most effective antibacterial agent that I know of. Outside your body, it could literally burn a hole in a tablecloth or eat right through an iron nail. Within your stomach, it acts as a natural antibiotic—your first line of defense against toxic invaders, especially bacteria you are likely to encounter when traveling. It helps to neutralize pathogenic organisms, along with yeast and Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria associated with ulcers. It's even been used to neutralize the venom of snake bites to prevent infection! This information may seem new to you, but decades ago Dr. Hugh Tuckey and his family spent 30 years conducting independent research on HCl—research which has tragically been forgotten. They discovered that a lack of HCl was the underlying cause of many digestive and immune-system ailments, along with bad breath and dark circles under the eyes.

    So, should you take an HCl supplement?

    Yes and no.

    No—if you already have any sign of acid reflux such as an inflamed esophagus or even an irritated stomach lining. Both of these need to be healed first and foremost with either slippery elm, zinc carnosine, or L-glutamine powder.

    If any of the above is true, you might consider taking two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in eight ounces of water 20 minutes before meals. This may naturally help to acidify your stomach without the need for supplementation.

    Other individuals are welcome to take the HCl challenge! Before the next meal you eat, take a hydrochloric acid supplement that contains at least 500 to 550 milligrams of betaine hydrochloride and about 150 milligrams of pepsin.

    The brand I recommend is UNI KEY's HCL+2. After you've taken your first HCl tablet, notice how you feel. If you're producing enough stomach acid, taking this supplement will cause you to feel a bit of pain or warmth in your stomach. You can relax—your stomach acid is sufficient to digest the food you're eating.

    If you don't notice any symptoms or any worsening of the symptoms you already have, increase your dose to two HCl tablets at your next meal. If you're still symptom-free, or if the symptoms you've already experienced haven't gotten any worse, continue upping your dose one tablet at a time. As soon as you feel a burning sensation or warmth, you know you've gone too far. Drop back to the previous dosage and continue taking the supplement as needed. You can work up to eight pills a day.

    After four months, you might experiment with reducing your HCl dosage. If you get good results, continue to reduce your intake of HCl until you are no longer taking it. If your symptoms return, go back to your previous dosage.

    Sometimes, the use of a good digestive bitter is indicated. Bitter is better—especially when it comes to digestive health. Eating bitter foods like arugula, endive, radicchio, and horseradish can help promote more effective gastric secretions. Even dandelion root tea qualifies in this regard.

    So, regardless of how you decide to treat your stomach, there are plenty of natural whole food options to put your digestion back on track for good!

  • What’s the best way to burn fat? How do I lose the fat from my belly and under my arms? What’s the best type of exercise to lose weight and tone up? These are the most common sorts of questions I’ve had day after day, week after week and year after year of working as a health and fitness professional. But the answers to these questions are far from straightforward. As humans we are all unique and complex individuals and what works for one person will not necessarily work for another. Yes, there are some simple guidelines that you can follow in order to burn body fat but there are also additional considerations to take into account.

    One consideration encompasses the notion that you are a unique and complex individual. I could prescribe the same weight-training program for two young men and one might put on weight, and the other might lose weight. It’s also the same for nutrition— two people consuming the same diet can achieve two very different outcomes.

    Another example of our uniqueness is fat and muscle distribution. I can eat all I like and will put on very little fat around my hips and thighs—it’ll all goes on my arms, chest and stomach. The majority of women are different however, with the hips and thighs being predominant areas for fat storage. Again, some people (most commonly men!) seem to be able to eat all they like and not put on an ounce of fat. Men and women store fat differently and women are more likely to store fat after menopause.

    How could that be you ask? Again, we are all unique. We have different genetic makeups, e.g., predisposition for fat storage; different levels of hormones being distributed throughout our bodies, e.g., men and women store fat differently due to the sex hormones; different food intolerances, different stresses and strains being placed on our bodies—we have not yet been designed as clones to produce a uniform external response to the things we are putting into our bodies.

    Does this make it sound like it’s too difficult to burn body fat? It’s not. It just takes a little bit of trial and error on your part. If something isn’t working then change what you’re doing. There’s a great quote that says, ‘stupidity is repeating the same thing every day but expecting a different outcome.’ But before you jump up and cry in exasperation, ‘none of this is working!’ first give it a good fair chance to start working. Often this requires three to four weeks of doing something consistently and then you will only usually see and feel very small changes starting to happen. Frustrating? Yes. But in reality this is how sustainable fat burning happens—slowly but surely.

    Seriously though, before we go any further, let’s just clarify your expectations based on the previous point. How many years have you been gradually gaining weight for? Five? Ten? Twenty or more? If you have been gaining weight over these sorts of time periods then you absolutely cannot expect your body will respond to your demands to strip fat right away. If your body has been working on fat storage over the years, then this is what it knows how to do. There will be a huge array of functions in the body that are working at a less than optimal level, so there’s a lot for the body to learn, in order for changes to happen. I have seen too many people over the years with the goal of burning fat that really do give up before they give their body a chance to adapt to a new way of living. It seems absurd to me that there has been no major drive to change over the previous years and then suddenly it’s a case of, “This must happen now!” I know there is always something that has tipped the scales and driven the powerful desire for change (this is a subject for another day), but please do be realistic with your expectations and respect that the road to success is always under construction—it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

    If you don’t have the patience for this then jump back on board with diet X, Y or Z, because after all, they’ve worked for you in the past right? Wrong! If they worked for you in the past you wouldn’t be here reading this article, because you would have continued to be an efficient fat burning machine and you wouldn’t need my help. The reality is that diet X, Y or Z wasn’t sustainable in the long term. It put your body in a position where it was missing out on something it needed. It thought there was a bit of a famine going on so it held on to some extra fat cells just in case the next meal was a long way away.

    And with these increased fat cells, your ability to burn fat decreased and your cravings for the wrong types of foods – the foods you ‘couldn’t have’ – increased. So you tried another diet and that one didn’t work either because when you stopped it, your fat cells invited more of their friends to come and join them, just in case this famine thing was going to keep happening.

    The more times that you have repeated this cycle; the harder it becomes to burn fat. Your body just doesn’t trust you anymore! If this is what you’ve been doing to yourself then don’t be surprised if your body takes a while to respond to your demands for it to strip fat. After all, it’s mighty suspicious of what’s next on your agenda and survival is most important on its list.

    Optimal nutrition is a huge part of burning body fat. I’m sure you’re aware that exercise also plays a major role. But do you know how stress, sleep, your thoughts and relationships all make up a significant part in this equation?

    My holistic fat burning book ‘Burning Fat for Good’ encompasses all of these areas. It’s suitable for those of you who have exhausted your dieting options and are ready for a new approach—one that treats the body with respect and recognizes that you are an individual.

    Let’s have one final reality check. Place your right hand on your right hipbone. Place your left hand on your left hipbone. Now place your right hand on the bone at the corner of your right shoulder. Place your left hand on the bone at the corner of your left shoulder. This is called your bone structure. No amount of nutrition, exercise, stress, sleep, thoughts or relationship focus is going to change this. So learn to love your bone structure as it is, and instead focus on the things you can in fact have an effect on.

    Enjoy the journey; master one new habit at a time, and your body will love you for it.

  • Green tea has been consumed for more than three thousand years for both its refreshing and health promoting benefits. In fact, a historical perspective1 on green and black tea reported that they are among the most widely consumed beverages in the world, second only to water. Dogma has it that, for 4,000 years people knew tea might have health-promoting properties since it was frequently used as fluid supply for patients suffering from infectious diseases. This article will review a number of green tea's many benefits to human health, including its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, its anti-cancer activity, and its ability to promote both cardiovascular health and weight loss. Before jumping into its benefits, however, let's first take a look at the difference between green, black and oolong tea.

    Green, black and oolong tea
    Green, black and oolong tea all come from the same species, Camellia sinensis. Green tea, however, is different than black and oolong teas because it is not fermented. Black tea is fully fermented and oolong tea is partially fermented, whereas green tea is produced by steaming fresh leaves. The steaming doesn't decrease polyphenols in green tea, such as flavanols, flavandiols, flavonoids, and phenolic acids, which are abundant. One group of flavanols are known as catechins. These include epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin gallate (ECG), and epicatechin (EC), which are responsible for many of green tea's benefits. Growing conditions, leaf age, and storage during and after transport affect the amount of polyphenols and catechins in green tea. For example, green tea catechins can range from 69 to 103 mg/gram of tea,2,3 although green tea extracts may provide significantly higher amounts.

    Antioxidant properties
    Green tea has significant antioxidant properties.4 Laboratory research5 found that green tea slowed down the oxidation of LDL cholesterol ('bad cholesterol'), which is associated with atherosclerosis, or the build-up of plaque on arterial walls. A cup of green tea contains 50 to 100 mg of polyphenols (approximately 6,300 to 12,600 times higher than the dose used in the laboratory study). Therefore, one cup of green tea a day may provide a therapeutic dose of antioxidant polyphenols, and green tea extracts with higher polyphenol content likely provide even greater antioxidant activity. In fact, in human research,6 the consumption of green tea extract (high in polyphenols) led to a greater increase in plasma antioxidant activity than when given as a standard tea. This makes sense when considering that the antioxidant score (aka, ORAC score) for a cup of brewed green tea is 1253 ORAC units,7 while one gram of green tea extract has 3,996 ORAC units.8 Depending upon the actual extract, some green tea products may even have a higher ORAC value.

    Anti-inflammatory activity
    Catechins in green tea have anti-inflammatory activity. This includes a reduction in the following inflammatory markers: leukotriene-B4, 5-lipoxygenase,9 COX-2 and nitric oxide synthase.10 In addition, EGCG and other catechins in green tea might reduce inflammation and protect cartilage by inhibiting proteoglycan and collagen breakdown,11 which may have positive implications for joints as seen in laboratory models of rheumatoid arthritis.12 Other examples of green tea's anti-inflammatory effect include a reduction gum (gingival) inflammation,13 protection against sunburn inflammation,14 and a reduction in a marker of chronic inflammation as a cardiovascular risk factor.15

    Anti-cancer activity
    Research suggests that green tea may protect against some kinds of cancer. Tea polyphenols have antimutagenic effects and protect DNA,16 reduce oxidative DNA damage, lipid peroxidation, and free radical generation.17 In animal or laboratory research green tea catechins prevented new blood vessel growth (angiogenesis) in tumors and inhibited tumor cell proliferation resulting cell death (apoptosis).18,19,20,21,22,23 In human research, green tea was shown to reduce mutagenic activity in smokers.24

    Cardiovascular health
    A population based study25 of 40,530 healthy adults aged 40 to 79 years found that the consumption of three or more cups of green tea daily for 11 years significantly decreases the risk of cardiovascular and all-cause mortality compared to drinking less than one cup daily, and this association was primarily related to a decrease in risk for stroke (cerebral infarction). In another population study of 1371 men, aged 40 years or older, increased daily consumption of green tea resulted in significantly decreased serum levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol (‘bad cholesterol'), and triglycerides, while increasing HDL cholesterol (‘good cholesterol'). Moreover, there was a decrease in other serum markers of liver disease, especially when more than 10 cups of green tea daily was consumed.

    Weight loss properties
    A population study26 of 1,210 adults examined the relationship between habitual tea consumption (mostly green and oolong tea) and changes in total body fat and fat distribution in humans. Results were that habitual tea drinkers for more than 10 years showed a 19.6 percent reduction in body fat percentage and a 2.1 percent reduction in waist-to-hip ratio compared with nonhabitual tea drinkers. Other research27 has shown that higher intakes of polyphenols (favonols/flavones, catechins) from tea and other sources were associated with a significantly lower increase in BMI (body mass index), a measure of healthy body weight. Furthermore, other research has shown that green tea extract stimulates thermogenesis (i.e. fat burning)28 and helped obese individuals lose weight.29

    Green tea has many health benefits to offer, and it is a worthwhile endeavor to include it as part of your daily routine. Drinking a few cups of green tea each day or, better yet, using a green tea extract high in polyphenols will provide you with antioxidant protection while providing a plethora of other benefits.


    1. Weisburger JH. Tea and health: a historical perspective. Cancer Lett 1997;114(1–2):315–7.
    2. Khokhar S, Magnusdottir SG. Total phenol, catechin, and caffeine contents of teas commonly consumed in the United kingdom. J Agric Food Chem 2002;50:565–70.
    3. Henning M, Fajardo-Lira C, Lee HW, et al. Catechin content of 18 teas and a green tea extract supplement correlates with the antioxidant capacity. Nutr Cancer 2003;45:226–35.
    4. Vertuani S, Bosco E, Braccioli E, Manfredini S. Water soluble antioxidant capacity of different teas—determination by photochemiluminescence. Nutrafoods. 2004;3(2):5–11.
    5. Luo M, Wahlqvist M, and O’Brien R. Inhibition of LDL oxidation by green tea extract. Lancet. 1997 Feb 1;349(9048):360–1.
    6. Henning SM, Niu Y, Lee NH, et al. Bioavailability and antioxidant activity of tea flavanols after consumption of green tea, black tea, or a green tea extract supplement. Am J Clin Nutr 2004;80(6):1558–64.
    7. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2010. Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods, Release 2: pg. 36.
    8. Brunswick Laboratories. Database for ORAC 5.0 and Cellular Antioxidant Assay (CAA): Green Tea Extract. Retrieved February 12, 2016 from
    9. Choi JH, Chai YM, Joo GJ, et al. Effects of green tea catechin on polymorphonuclear leukocyte 5’-lipoxygenase activity, leukotriene B4 synthesis, and renal damage in diabetic rats. Ann Nutr Metab 2004;48:151–5.
    10. Ahmed S, Rahman A, Hasnain A, et al. Green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin-3-gallate inhibits the IL-1 beta-induced activity and expression of cyclooxygenase-2 and nitric oxide synthase-2 in human chondrocytes. Free Radic Biol Med 2002;33:1097–105.
    11. Adcocks C, Collin P, Buttle DJ. Catechins from green tea (Camellia sinensis) inhibit bovine and human cartilage proteoglycan and type II collagen degradation in vitro. J Nutr 2002;132:341–6.
    12. Haqqi TM, Anthony DD, Gupta S, et al. Prevention of collageninduced arthritis in mice by a polyphenolic fraction from green tea. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1999;96:4524–9.
    13. Krahwinkel T, Willershausen B. The effect of sugar-free green tea chew candies on the degree of inflammation of the gingiva. Eur J Med Res 2000;5:463–7.
    14. Rhodes LE, Darby G, Massey KA, Clarke KA, Dew TP, Farrar MD, Bennett S, Watson RE, Williamson G, Nicolaou A. Oral green tea catechin metabolites are incorporated into human skin and protect against UV radiation-induced cutaneous inflammation in association with reduced production of pro-inflammatory eicosanoid 12-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid. Br J Nutr. 2013 Sep 14;110(5):891–900.
    15. Nantz MP, Rowe CA, Bukowski JF, Percival SS. Standardized capsule of Camellia sinensis lowers cardiovascular risk factors in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Nutrition. 2009 Feb;25(2):147–54.
    16. Gupta S, Saha B, Giri AK. Comparative antimutagenic and anticlastogenic effects of green tea and black tea: a review. Mutat Res 2002;512:37–65.
    17. Klauni g JE, Xu Y, Han C, et al. The effect of tea consumption on oxidative stress in smokers and nonsmokers. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 1999;220:249–54.
    18. Garbisa S, Biggin S, Cavallarin N, et al. Tumor invasion: molecular shears blunted by green tea. Nat Med 1999;5:1216.
    19. Cao Y, Cao R. Angiogenesis inhibited by drinking tea. Nature 1999;398:381.
    20. L’Allemain G. [Multiple actions of EGCG, the main component of green tea]. Bull Cancer 1999;86:721–4.
    21. Pisters KM, Newman RA, Coldman B, et al. Phase I trial of oral green tea extract in adult patients with solid tumors. J Clin Oncol 2001;19:1830–8.
    22. Kemberling JK, Hampton JA, Keck RW, et al. Inhibition of bladder tumor growth by the green tea derivative epigallocatechin-3-gallate. J Urol 2003;170:773–6.
    23. Chung LY, Cheung TC, Kong SK, et al. Induction of apoptosis by green tea catechins in human prostate cancer DU145 cells. Life Sci 2001;68:1207–14.
    24. Lee IP, Kim YH, Kang MH, et al. Chemopreventive effect of green tea (Camellia sinensis) against cigarette smoke induced mutations in humans. J Cell Biochem Suppl 1997;27:68–75.
    25. Kuriyama S, Shimazu T, Ohmori K, et al. Green tea consumption and mortality due to cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all-cause mortality. JAMA 2006;296:1255–65.
    26. Wu CH, Lu FH, Chang CS, Chang TC, Wang RH, Chang CJ. Relationship among habitual tea consumption, percent body fat, and body fat distribution. Obes Res. 2003 Sep;11(9):1088–95.
    27. Hughes LA, Arts IC, Ambergen T, Brants HA, Dagnelie PC, Goldbohm RA, van den Brandt PA, Weijenberg MP; Netherlands Cohort Study. Higher dietary flavone, flavonol, and catechin intakes are associated with less of an increase in BMI over time in women: a longitudinal analysis from the Netherlands Cohort Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Nov;88(5):1341–52.
    28. Dulloo AG, Duret C; Rohrer D, et al. Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24 h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans. Am J Clin Nutr 1999; 70(6):1040–5.
    29. Auvichayapat P, Prapochanung M, Tunkamnerdthai O, et al. Effectiveness of green tea on weight reduction in obese Thais: A randomized, controlled trial. Physiol Behav 2008;93(3):486–91.
  • The Breakthrough Detox Diet

    For the first time in 25 years, the book that ignited a diet and lifestyle phenomenon has been fully updated–and it’s here just in time for the holidays!

    Ann Louise Gittleman, the award winning New York Times bestselling author once again challenges conventional dietary wisdom to rewrite the rules of nutrition. A trendsetter for decades, her Fat Flush Plan revolutionized weight loss by helping tens of thousands of people recognize the critical role the liver plays in the detox/diet connection and overall health. Now, The New Fat Flush Planfollows in that same bold path. With the primary focus still on the liver’s role as the #1 fat burning organ, The New Fat Flush delves deeper into the latest research-based causes of weight loss resistance and expands into the 10 Hidden Weight Gain Factors. Ann Louise presents targeted regimens to correct sneaky saboteurs that are frequently overlooked like missing magnesium, fattening chemicals, a messy microbiome, hidden hitchhikers, and a sluggish or non-existent gallbladder.

    Fat Flush stands apart from Paleo, Primal, Ketogenic and Vegan diets by making the case that diet without detox is doomed to failure thanks to the unprecedented amount of current toxins and hormone disruptors we face every day. The book promotes a daily detox eating plan that features surprisingly delicious Fat Flushing fruits, vegetables, oils, quality proteins, cleansing Fat Flush water, Fat Flush bone broth, and healing spices–all showcased in four weeks of easy menus and tasty recipes for the whole family.

    Fat Flush has a time-tested and proven track record of success, with thousands of individuals who have lost weight and achieved overall health and relief from autoimmune and degenerative disease as a byproduct. The New Fat Flush Plan builds on this success for even more effortless weight loss.

    In addition, the New Fat Flush presents:

    • NEW Three-Day Ultra Fat Flush Tune-Up for quicker cleansing and results
    • NEW health revelations linking the gallbladder and liver to thyroid health
    • NEW hidden weight gain factors that explain why it’s not yourfault you’re fat
    • NEW meals, menus, and shopping lists
    • NEW tips for managing insulin, hormone, and stress levels
    • NEW slimming smart fats and sweeteners
    • NEW gluten-free tips for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance

    Join the millions who have made Fat Flush one of the top diet programs in the world today. You’ll retrain your metabolism, shed pounds and inches from your waist, hips, and thighs, feel stronger and fitter than ever before–and do it while cleansing your liver and improving your overall health. With more easy recipes and up-to-date nutrition advice, The NEW Fat Flush Plan will:

    • Cleanse your system with the THREE-DAY ULTRA FAT FLUSH TUNE-UP. Kick off your weight loss with a quick-start liquid detox and see significant results in just three days. Set the stage for fat loss with a metabolism booster, skinny smoothies, and slimming spices and fats.
    • Continue the process with THE TWO-WEEK FAT FLUSH. Cleanse and build quality bile–the key to fat breakdown and removal of built-up waste from the system. Purge “false fat” and watch the pounds slip away.
    • Reshape your body with THE METABOLIC RESET. Take your progress to the next level. Reintroduce friendly and glutenfree carbs while still losing weight, but enjoying the foods you love.
    • Maintain with THE LIFESTYLE EATING PLAN. Master the new rules of food combining. Learn how to integrate special occasion ingredients for a happier and healthier you.

    The NEW Fat Flush Plan eases you gradually into tried and true lifestyle eating. You’ll find meal plans, Fat Flush fitness, brand new lifestyle rituals, and over 75 recipes that are more easy-to-follow and family-friendly, plus an updated brand name shopping list. You’ll finally eliminate those “triggers” that put the weight back on.

    Best of all, you won’t have to cut out your favorite foods forever or maintain a strict daily routine permanently. You just need to know the basic principles of The NEW Fat Flush Plan to achieve your dreams of a slimmer, stronger, healthier new you.

    The New Fat Flush Plan is available now for pre-order on Amazon and will be available in bookstores nation-wide on December 2, 2016. All pre-order sales with proof of purchase will also receive access to a free bundle of gifts from Ann Louise.

    The gift bundle includes:

    Gift #1: Secret Weight Loss Factors Bundle
    In this series of Summit talks and recordings, Ann Louise will discuss four often overlooked environmental, nutritional, and systemic shortfalls causing weight loss resistance and toxic overload. With over two hours of Ann Louise’s trademark insights and revelations, you will be introduced to some of the key concepts of The NEW Fat Flush Plan, which can ignite healing and weight loss results like no other diet/detox.


    • How Parasites Could Be the Cause Of Excess Belly Fat
    • Why Low Fat Is NOT Where It’s At
    • Detox, Don’t Diet
    • How to Bypass a Major Weight Loss Roadblock

    Gift #2: Sneak Preview of a 1-Day Fat Flush Meal Plan
    Start your Fat Flush journey TODAY with early access to an original meal plan featuring name brands that are Fat Flush “legal.” In the full NEW Fat Flush Plan you will receive four full weeks of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners packed with deliciously easy one-dish meals, soups, stir fries, packable lunches, sinfully tasty desserts including a Fat Flush Bone Broth! You will be so satisfied with over 75 mouth-watering family friendly recipes that are all designed to rest metabolism, tamp down inflammation and heal your body from head to toe.

    Don’t wait. Kick-start your Fat Flush to a healthier, happier and stronger YOU right now.

    Gift #3: 20% Discount on Fat Flush Kit
    The official distributor of everything “Fat Flush” is proud to share in the historic release of the fully updated and revised New Fat Flush Plan with an exclusive discount on the Fat Flush Kit. The three formulas comprising the kit offer advanced detox support with the Dieters’ Multi; fat burning acceleration with the GLA-90; and gentle liver, fat digestion, and appetite control with The Weight Loss Formula.

    This title is the perfect gift to give friends and family–and yourself–and follow this life-changing program together.

  • Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is an important hormone produced in the adrenal glands and liver1, and in men, the testes. DHEA and its sulfate ester, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S), are interconvertible. DHEA-S is the storage form of DHEA.2,3 DHEA can then be metabolized to androstenedione, the major human precursor to androgens and estrogens4,5—although DHEA doesn’t have direct estrogenic or androgenic activity.6 In most individuals, the production of DHEA normally peaks during the mid-’20s and then begins a steady, progressive decrease of up to 90 percent with aging.7 This decrease is associated with a host of age-related syndromes and conditions, including a concurrent reduction in protein formation, a decrease in muscle mass, and an increase in body fat.8 There are no good dietary sources of DHEA other than by way of supplementation.

    7-keto DHEA is a metabolite of DHEA and may prove to be a safer alternative. Unlike DHEA, 7-keto-DHEA is not converted to androgens and estrogens.9,10,11 Oral or topical administration of 7-keto-DHEA does not affect plasma levels of steroid hormones.12,13Similarly to DHEA, 7-keto-DHEA is rapidly converted to the sulfated form, known as 7-keto-DHEAS14.

    Areas Of Benefit
    Clinical studies have been conducted on supplementation with both DHEA and 7-keto-DHEA. Based upon that research, DHEA offers potential benefits for adrenal support, youthful skin, sexual support, bone mineral density, mood support/ mental function, healthy inflammatory response in body tissues, fatigue reduction, menopause, weight loss, and insulin sensitivity. Clinical studies on 7-keto DHEA have identified three major areas of potential benefit, including weight loss, cognitive function, and immune function. Following is an overview of the research on each of these dietary supplement ingredients.

    DHEA: Adrenal Support
    In individuals with suboptimal adrenal function, daily supplementation with 20–50 mg DHEA seems to improve feelings of well-being, skin and hair, and sexuality responsiveness.15,16 DHEA also helps support healthy maturation of the adrenal glands in children with suboptimal adrenal function.17

    DHEA: Youthful Skin
    As previously discussed. DHEA levels decline with age. In research with individuals 60–79 years old, taking 50 mg DHEA daily helped reverse certain parameters of aging skin. Subjects experienced an increase in epidermal thickness, sebum production, skin hydration, and decrease facial skin pigmentation.18

    DHEA: Sexual Support
    Aging males supplemented with 50 mg DHEA daily for six months experienced improvements in parameters of male performance, including erection, orgasmic function, sexual desire, and overall sexual satisfaction. DHEA helped improve male performance in men with suboptimal blood pressure balance or whose performance was suboptimal for unknown reasons, but did not improve performance in individuals with diabetes or neurological disorders.19,20

    In postmenopausal women, clinical evidence has demonstrated that a single 300 mg dose of DHEA improved sexual response, including significantly greater mental and physical sexual arousal.21 Furthermore, vaginal application of DHEA was found to be effective in reducing vaginal atrophy in elderly postmenopausal women.22

    DHEA: Bone Mineral Density
    Loss of bone mineral density (BMD) is common with aging. Daily supplementation with 50–100 mg DHEA has been shown to improve BMD in older women and men with suboptimal BMD.23,24 It also helps improve BMD in younger women with eating disorders.25

    DHEA: Mood Support / Mental Function
    Experiencing moodiness or “the blues” is common during the lifecycle but can increase with age.26Some clinical research suggests that taking DHEA orally might improve symptoms of moodiness in elderly subjects.27,28,29 Taking DHEA orally seems to improve healthy mental function in individuals with suboptimal perception or expression of reality.30

    DHEA: Healthy Inflammatory Response In Body Tissues
    Some individuals experience acute and chronic inflammation of various tissues of the body resulting from an attack by their body’s own immune system. Taking DHEA orally in conjunction with conventional treatment may help support a healthy inflammatory response in various tissues.31,32,33,34,35,36,37 It may also help promote the normalization of symptoms such as muscle ache.38 In addition, DHEA also seems to improve bone mineral density in such individuals whose conventional medications adversely affect bone mineral density.39,40,41

    DHEA: Fatigue Reduction
    Some individuals, who experience a period of high physical and/or emotional stress, also experience the onset of fatigue of a chronic nature. DHEA may be able to help. In a clinical study, supplementation with DHEA led to a significant reduction in associated pain, fatigue, limitations in activities of daily living, helplessness, anxiety, difficulty thinking, poor memory, and sexual problems over the period of the study.42

    DHEA: Menopause
    In a clinical study, 25 mg of DHEA daily increased the levels of all the hormones that derive from DHEA metabolism. It also increased neurosteroids and endorphin levels. The results were an improvement of vasomotor symptoms such as hot flashes, as well as psychological symptoms throughout 12 months of therapy.43

    DHEA: Weight Loss & Insulin Sensitivity
    In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, fiftysix elderly subjects took 50 mg DHEA daily for six months. Subjects taking the DHEA experienced a significant decrease in abdominal fat, and improvements in insulin sensitivity compared to those using the placebo.44

    7-keto: Weight Loss
    7-keto-DHEA is thought to be beneficial in weight loss by increasing metabolism and thermogenesis. Early evidence in animals suggests 7-keto-DHEA can increase thermogenesis, possibly by stimulation of thermogenic enzymes in the liver45 ; however this effect has not yet been reported in humans. Clinical evidence suggests 7-keto-DHEA might increase basal metabolism.

    In obese patients, 7-keto-DHEA can significantly increase the thyroid hormone triiodothyronine (T3) when used over four weeks.46 This effect on thyroid function may positively influence metabolism47, helping patients reduce body weight and body fat. In fact, one clinical study seems to support the hypothesis that the supplement can enhance weight loss.

    Thirty overweight adults were randomized into a prospective, double-blind, placebo controlled eight-week study.48 Fifteen subjects received 100 mg 7-Keto DHEA twice per day whereas the other 15 subjects received a matching placebo. All subjects exercised three times per week, 60 minutes per session of cross-training (aerobic and anaerobic) under the supervision of an exercise physiologist. The exercise plus 7-Keto DHEA group lost a significant amount of body weight as compared with the exercise plus placebo group.

    When analyzed per a four-week interval, the 7-Keto DHEA group lost 3.17 lbs per interval, whereas placebo lost 1.09 lbs. In terms of actual body composition changes, the exercise plus 7-Keto DHEA group lost 1.8 percent body fat as compared to 0.57 percent for the placebo group. When viewed as a change in body fat per four-week interval, the 7-Keto DHEA group lost 0.89 percent body fat per interval as compared to 0.29 percent for the placebo.

    In a later randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial49, 7-Keto DHEA was tested in overweight adults maintained on a calorie-restricted diet to determine efficacy in increasing the resting metabolic rate (RMR). The results were that RMR increased significantly by 1.4 percent in the 7-Keto DHEA group, whereas RMR decreased by 3.9 percent in the placebo group. In this study, 7-Keto reversed the decrease in RMR normally associated with dieting and was generally well tolerated with no serious adverse events.

    7-Keto: Cognitive Function
    Research has indicated that that DHEA administration might be beneficial in terms of neuroprotection against agerelated loss of brain functions like learning and memory.50 Furthermore, DHEA showed insignificant effects on both learning/memory ability in aging rats.51 Higher DHEAS levels are also independently and favorably associated with executive function, concentration, and working memory in humans.52 In addition, other research suggests that 7-keto-DHEA improves chemically-induced and age-related memory impairment.53

    7-Keto: Immune Function
    7-keto DHEA has also been studied for its potential immuneboosting properties. This includes immunomodulatory effects by stimulating interleukin-2 production by human lymphocytes in-vitro.54 Researchers think that it may also stimulate the activity and effectiveness of T-lymphocytes. These T-lymphocytes may in turn stimulate additional immune system functions.55 Studies based on these observations suggest that 7-keto DHEA may have a future as an important immune system enhancer.56,57 Thus, 7-keto DHEA could prove to be therapeutically useful in a wide range of conditions. Studies suggest that DHEA may reduce the replication of certain types of viruses.58


    1. Lardy H, Partridge B, Kneer N, Wei Y. Ergosteroids: induction of thermogenic enzymes in liver of rats treated with steroids derived from dehydroepiandrosterone. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1995;92:6617–9.
    2. Moffat SD, Zonderman AB, Harman M, et al. The relationship between longitudinal declines in dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate concentrations and cognitive performance in older men. Arch Int Med 2000;160:2193–8.
    3. Pepping J. DHEA: dehydroepiandrosterone. Am J Health Syst Pharm 2000;57:2048-50, 2053– 4, 2056.
    4. Oelkers W. Dehydroepiandosterone for adrenal insufficiency (editorial). N Engl J Med 1999;341:1073– 4.
    5. van Vollenhoven RF. Dehydroepiandrosterone in systemic lupus erythematosus. Rheum Dis Clin North Am 2000;26:349- 62.
    6. Tchernof A, Labrie F. Dehydroepiandrosterone, obesity and cardiovascular disease risk: a review of human studies. Eur J Endocrinol 2004;151:1– 14.
    7. Mortola J, Yen SSC. The Effects of Oral Dehydroepiandrosterone on Endocrine-Metabolic Parameters in Postmenopausal Women. J Clin Endocrin 1990;71(3): 696–704.
    8. Morales AJ, Nolan JJ, Nelson JC, Yen SS. Effects of replacement dose of dehydroepiandrosterone in men and women of advancing age. J Clin Endocrin 1994;78(6):1360– 7.
    9. Lardy H, Partridge B, Kneer N, Wei Y. Ergosteroids: induction of thermogenic enzymes in liver of rats treated with steroids derived from dehydroepiandrosterone. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1995;92:6617–9.
    10. Davidson MH, Weeks C, Lardy H, et al. Clinical Safety and Endocrine Effects of 7-KETO-DHEA. Abstract presented at: Experimental Biology 98, April 19-22, 1998, San Francisco, CA. Abstract obtained from Humanetics Corporation website.
    11. Colker CM, Torina GC, Swain MA, Kalman DS. Double-Blind Study Evaluating the Effects of Exercise Plus 3-Acetyl-7-oxodehydroepiandrosterone on Body Composition and the Endocrine System in Overweight Adults. Journal of Exercise Physiology Online 1999;2(4):Abstract #30.
    12. Davidson M, Marwah A, Sawchuk RJ, et al. Safety and pharmacokinetic study with escalating doses of 3-acetyl-7-oxo-dehydroepiandrosterone in healthy male volunteers. Clin Invest Med 2000;23:300–10.
    13. Sulcova J, Hill M, Masek Z, et al. Effects of transdermal application of 7-oxo-DHEA on the levels of steroid hormones, gonadotropins and lipids in healthy men. Physiol Res 2001;50:9– 18.
    14. Davidson M, Marwah A, Sawchuk RJ, et al. Safety and pharmacokinetic study with escalating doses of 3-acetyl-7-oxo-dehydroepiandrosterone in healthy male volunteers. Clin Invest Med 2000;23:300–10.
    15. Arlt W, Callies F, van Vlijmen JC, et al. Dehydroepiandosterone replacement in women with adrenal insufficiency. N Engl J Med 1999;341:1013–20.
    16. Johannsson G, Burman P, Wiren L, et al. Low dose dehydroepiandrosterone affects behavior in hypopituitary androgen-deficient women: a placebo-controlled trial. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2002;87:2046– 52.
    17. Kim SS, Brody KH. Dehydroepiandrosterone replacement in Addison’s disease. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 2001;97:96– 7.
    18. Baulieu EE, Thomas G, Legrain S, et al. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), DHEA sulfate, and aging. Contribution of the DHEAge study to a sociobiomedical issue. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2000;97:4279- 84.
    19. Reiter WJ, Pycha A, Schatzl G, et al. Dehydroepiandosterone in the treatment of erectile dysfunction: A prospective, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Urol 1999;53:590– 5.
    20. Reiter WJ, Schatzl G, Mark I, et al. Dehydroepiandrosterone in the treatment of erectile dysfunction in patients with different organic etiologies. Urol Res 2001;29:278–81.
    21. Hackbert L, Heiman JR. Acute dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) effects on sexual arousal in postmenopausal women. J Womens Health Gend Based Med 2002;11:155– 62.
    22. Labrie F, Diamond P, Cusan L, et al. Effect of 12 month dehydroepiandrosterone replacement therapy on bone, vagina, and endometrium in postmenopausal women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1997;82:3498–505.
    23. Sun Y, Mao M, Sun L, et al. Treatment of osteoporosis in men using dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate. Chin Med J (Engl) 2002;115:402–4.
    24. Villareal DT, Holloszy JO, Kohrt WM. Effects of DHEA replacement on bone mineral density and body composition in elderly women and men. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) 2000;53:561– 8.
    25. Gordon CM, Grace E, Emans SJ, et al. Effects of oral dehydroepiandrosterone on bone density in young women with anorexia nervosa: a randomized trial. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2002;87:4935– 41.
    26. Hybels CF and Blazer DG. Epidemiology of late-life mental disorders. Clinics in Geriatric Medicine 2003; 19:663– 696.
    27. Wolkowitz OM, Reus VI, Keebler A, et al. Double-blind treatment of major depression with dehydroepiandosterone. Am J Psychiatry 1999;156:646–9.
    28. Bloch M, Schmidt PJ, Danaceau MA, et al. Dehydroepiandrosterone treatment of midlife dysthymia. Biol Psychiatry 1999;45:1533–41.
    29. Wolkowitz OM, Reus VI, Manfredi F, et al. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) treatment of depression. [Abstract] Biol Psychiatry 1997;41:311–8.
    30. Strous RD, Maayan R, Lapidus R, et al. Dehydroepiandrosterone augmentation in the management of negative, depressive, and anxiety symptoms in schizophrenia. Arch Gen Psychiatry 2003;60:133– 41.
    31. van Vollenhoven RF, Morabito LM, Engleman EG, et al. Treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus with dehydroepiandrosterone: 50 patients treated up to 12 months. J Rheumatol 1998;25:285– 9.
    32. van Vollenhoven RF, Engleman EG, McGurie JL. Dehydroepiandrosterone in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Arth Rheum 1995;38:1826– 31.
    33. van Vollenhoven RF, Engleman EG, McGuire JL. Dehydroepiandrosterone in systemic lupus erythematosus. Arthritis Rheum1994;37:1305–10.
    34. an Vollenhoven RF, Park JL, Genovese MC, et al. A double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of dehydroepiandrosterone in severe lupus erythematosus. Lupus 1999;8:181–7.
    35. Mease PJ, Merrill JT, Lahita RG, et al. GL701 (prasterone, dehydroepiandrosterone) improves systemic lupus erythematosus. 2000 American College of Rheumatology Meeting. Philadelphia, PA. October 29–November 2. Abstract 1230.
    36. Petri MA, Mease PJ, Merrill JT, et al. Effects of prasterone on disease activity and symptoms in women with active systemic lupus erythematosus. Arthritis Rheum 2004;50:2858–68.
    37. Petri MA, Lahita RG, Van Vollenhoven RF, et al. Effects of prasterone on corticosteroid requirements of women with systemic lupus erythematosus: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Arthritis Rheum 2002;46:1820–9.
    38. Petri MA, Mease PJ, Merrill JT, et al. Effects of prasterone on disease activity and symptoms in women with active systemic lupus erythematosus. Arthritis Rheum 2004;50:2858–68.
    39. Mease PJ, Merrill JT, Lahita RG, et al. GL701 (prasterone, dehydroepiandrosterone) improves systemic lupus erythematosus. 2000 American College of Rheumatology Meeting. Philadelphia, PA. October 29-November 2. Abstract 1230.
    40. Mease PJ, Ginzler EM, Gluck OS, et al. Improvement in bone mineral density in steroid-treated SLE patients during treatment with GL701 (prasterone, dehydroepiandrosterone). 2000 American College of Rheumatology Meeting. Philadelphia, PA. October 29-November 2. abstract 835.
    41. van Vollenhoven RF, Park JL, Genovese MC, et al. A double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of dehydroepiandrosterone in severe lupus erythematosus. Lupus 1999;8:181–7. 42. Himmel PB, Seligman TM. A Pilot Study Employing Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in the Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. [Abstract] J Clin Rheumatol 1999:5:56–9.
    42. Genazzani AD, Stomati M, Bernardi F, et al. Long-term low-dose dehydroepiandrosterone oral supplementation in early and late postmenopausal women modulates endocrine parameters and synthesis of neuroactive steroids. Fertil Steril 2003;80:1495–501.
    43. Villareal DT, Holloszy JO. Effect of DHEA on abdominal fat and insulin action in elderly women and men. JAMA 2004;292:2243–8.
    44. Lardy H, Partridge B, Kneer N, Wei Y. Ergosteroids: induction of thermogenic enzymes in liver of rats treated with steroids derived from dehydroepiandrosterone. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1995;92:6617–9.
    45. Colker CM, Torina GC, Swain MA, Kalman DS. Double-Blind Study Evaluating the Effects of Exercise Plus 3-Acetyl-7-oxodehydroepiandrosterone on Body Composition and the Endocrine System in Overweight Adults. Journal of Exercise Physiology Online 1999;2(4):Abstract #30.
    46. Lardy H, Partridge B, Kneer N, Wei Y. Ergosteroids: induction of thermogenic enzymes in liver of rats treated with steroids derived from dehydroepiandrosterone. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1995;92(14):6617–9.
    47. Colker CM, Torina GC, Swain MA, Kalman DS. Double-Blind Study Evaluating the Effects of Exercise Plus 3-Acetyl-7-oxodehydroepiandrosterone on Body Composition and the Endocrine System in Overweight Adults. Journal of Exercise Physiology Online 1999;2(4):Abstract #30.
    48. Zenk JL, Frestedt JL, Kuskowski MA. HUM5007, a novel combination of thermogenic compounds, and 3-acetyl-7-oxodehydroepiandrosterone: each increases the resting metabolic rate of overweight adults. J Nutr Biochem. 2007;18(9):629–34.
    49. Taha A, Mishra M, Baquer NZ, Sharma D. Na+ K(+)-ATPase activity in response to exogenous dehydroepiandrosterone administration in aging rat brain. Indian J Exp Biol. 2008;46(12):852–4.
    50. Chen C, Lang S, Zuo P, Yang N, Wang X. Treatment with dehydroepiandrosterone increases peripheral benzodiazepine receptors of mitochondria from cerebral cortex in D-galactose-induced aged rats. Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol 2008;103(6):493–501.
    51. Davis SR, Shah SM, McKenzie DP, Kulkarni J, Davison SL, Bell RJ. Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate levels are associated with more favorable cognitive function in women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2008;93(3):801–8.
    52. Shi J, Schulze S, Lardy HA. The effect of 7-oxo-DHEA acetate on memory in young and old C57BL/6 mice. Steroids 2000;65:124–9.
    53. Nelson R, Herron M, Weeks C, Lardy H. Dehydroepiandrosterone and 7-KETO-DHEA augment Interleukin 2 (IL2) Production by Human Lymphocytes In Vitro. Abstract presented at: The 5th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, February 1–5, 1998, Chicago, IL. Abstract obtained from Humanetics Corporation.
    54. Whittington R, Faulds D. Interleukin-2. A review of its pharmacological properties and therapeutic use in patients with cancer. Drugs 1993;46(3):446–514.
    55. Nelson R, Herron M, Weeks C, Lardy H. Dehydroepiandrosterone and 7-keto DHEA Augment Interleukin 2 (IL2) Production by Human Lymphocytes in Vitro. The 5th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections. Chicago, IL. Feb 1998;598:49.
    56. Hampl R. 7-Hydroxydehydroepiandrosterone--a natural antiglucocorticoid and a candidate for steroid replacement therapy? Physiol Res 2000;49 Suppl 1:S107–12.
    57. Henderson E, Yang JY, Schwartz A. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and synthetic DHEA analogs are modest inhibitors of HIV-1 IIIB replication. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses1992;8(5):625–31.
  • Well, it’s the New Year! Perhaps you’ve made a resolution to lose weight. If so, good for you. Of course you know and I know that it’s not that simple. For those of us who have struggled with the battle of the bulge, we know for a fact that losing weight isn’t easy. Furthermore, one of the primary reasons that this is so has to do with appetite control. Simply put, if you’re not hungry it’s easy to lose weight. If you’re not hungry you can keep your calorie consumption down, feel satisfied and easily fit into your jeans. Unfortunately, that elusive sense of satiety is hard to come by for so many overweight and obese individuals.

    What would really help is something that safely and effectively helped to reduce appetite and promote satiety. Of course there are many products out there claiming to do just that. The fact is, however, that the overwhelming majority of them just don’t seem to work. The sad truth is there is no magic weight loss pill—despite marketing claims to the contrary. The good news is there are two commonly available substances that can help with appetite control and satiety. These substances are not the miracle answer to weight loss, but they may very well be able to help you with the process. These two common substances are fiber and protein—or more specifically, a certain type of fiber and protein.

    Oligofructose-enriched inulin: a preferred fiber
    In general, fiber is known for its ability to help suppress appetite. The way it works is that fiber absorbs water or other liquids and expands in the stomach, helping to create a full feeling. While this is generally true of any fiber, there are some types that perform better than others for this purpose. One such type, derived from Chicory root, is oligofructose and oligofructose-enriched inulin (OEI). Both oligofructose and inulin are soluble fibers, and oligofructose is also identified as a functional fiber, which means it has additional beneficial physiological effects in humans.1

    In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover trial2 thirty-six overweight and obese men and women consumed either 12g/day OEI or placebo for three weeks, as two 6g supplements dissolved in a beverage, with breakfast and lunch. The result was the subjects using the OEI consumed significantly less calories. In another randomized double-blind, cross-over study,3 31 healthy men and women received 10g oligofructose, 16g oligofructose or 16g placebo daily for 13 days. The result was that the subjects consumed significantly less calories with 16g/ day oligofructose. In a third randomized, double blind, parallel, placebo-controlled trial,4 a total of 10 healthy adults received either 16g/ day OEI or 16g/ day placebo for two weeks. Results showed that the OEI treatment lowered hunger rates and ate less calories than the placebo group. Additional studies have shown similar results.5,6,7,8 Furthermore, other research has shown that supplementation with OEI provided additional benefits: it helped improve calcium absorption9,10,11,12 and it acted as a prebiotic that promoted the growth of healthy bifidobacteria probiotic colonies in the gut.13,14,15,16

    Multiple studies17 have shown that increasing the protein content of meals without increasing total calories has resulted in subjects eating less overall calories. Furthermore, other studies18 have shown that a higher protein intake increases thermogenesis (i.e. fat burning) and satiety compared to diets of lower protein content. Some evidence suggests that diets higher in protein result in an increased weight loss and fat loss as compared to diets lower in protein.

    While almost any protein source could offer satiety enhancing benefits, whey protein (WP) has been shown to be particularly effective for this purpose, as well as providing other benefits that may help support weight loss. One of the mechanisms by which it does this is that it delays gastric emptying more effectively than other forms of protein tested. In other words, it keeps food in the stomach longer so you feel fuller for a longer period of time.19 Other research20 has shown that WP was more effective than other forms of protein tested at reducing the amount of fat in the blood stream after meals in obese individuals. This not only bodes well in helping to decrease cardiovascular disease risk, but lowering blood fats is also conducive to supporting weight loss goals.

    With regard to reducing appetite and improving satiety, there are so many studies that it is not practical to review them in this article. Instead, I’ll just provide the accompanying summary table below.

    Losing weight can be difficult, especially when your appetite gets in the way. However, if you use some fiber and protein before a meal, you may be able to “spoil” your appetite on purpose, allowing you to eat less and feel satisfied—which is likely to bode well for your weight loss efforts.

    Amount used in studyResults
    30g WP + 30g carbs21• Extended the duration of satiety
    20g WP 3X daily + Exercise22• WP + exercise reduced total and regional body fat
    • WP + exercise promoted healthy insulin sensitivity
    54g WP/day23• WP effectively promoted satiety and fullness
    60g WP24• Food intake was lower following ingestion WP
    50% WP + 40% carb25 + 10% fat meal (average protein intake was 57g/d)• Thermogenesis was greater after WP
    • Fat oxidation was greater after WP
    • Glycemic response to glucose attenuated 32% by proteins
    50g WPI26• WP meal reduced appetite and decreased food intake at a subsequent meal
    10–40g WP27• WP (20–40g) reduced food intake
    • WP (10–40g) reduced post-meal blood glucose and insulin
    Whey-protein breakfast with protein/ carbohydrate/fat balance as:
    • 10/55/35% (normal)
    • 25/55/20% (high)28
    • 10% WP decreased hunger
    • 25% WP triggered stronger responses in hormone concentrations
    50g WP taken before a meal29• Reduced calorie intake
    55g WP taken before a meal30• Appetite and calorie intake reduced
    57g WP in yogurt31• Decreased hunger more than regular yogurt


    1. Slavin J. Fiber and Prebiotics: Mechanisms and Health Benefits. Nutrients. 2013 Apr; 5(4): 1417–35.
    2. McCann MT, Livingstone MBE, Wallace JMW, Gallagher AM, Weich RW. T1:P.082 Oligofructose-enriched Inulin supplementation decreases energy intake in overweight and obese men and women. Obes Rev. 2011;12 (Suppl. 1): 86–7.
    3. Verhoef SP, Meyer D, Westerterp KR. Effects of oligofructose on appetite profile, glucagon-like peptide 1 and peptide YY3-36 concentrations and energy intake. Br J Nutr. 2011 Dec;106(11):1757–62.
    4. Cani PD, Lecourt E, Dewulf EM, Sohet FM, Pachikian BD, Naslain D, De Backer F, Neyrinck AM, Delzenne NM. Gut microbiota fermentation of prebiotics increases satietogenic and incretin gut peptide production with consequences for appetite sensation and glucose response after a meal. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Nov;90(5):1236–43.
    5. Cani PD, Joly E, Horsmans Y, Delzenne NM. Oligofructose promotes satiety in healthy human: a pilot study. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2006 May;60(5):567-72.
    6. Hume M, Nicolucci A, Reimer R. Prebiotic Fiber Consumption Decreases Energy Intake in Overweight and Obese Children. FASEB J. 2015;29(1):S597.3.
    7. Parnell JA, Reimer RA. Weight loss during oligofructose supplementation is associated with decreased ghrelin and increased peptide YY in overweight and obese adults. Am J Clin Nutr.2009 Jun;89(6):1751–9.
    8. Daud NM, Ismail NA, Thomas EL, Fitzpatrick JA, Bell JD, Swann JR, Costabile A, Childs CE, Pedersen C, Goldstone AP, Frost GS. The impact of oligofructose on stimulation of gut hormones, appetite regulation and adiposity. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2014 Jun;22(6):1430–8.
    9. Holloway L, Moynihan S, Abrams SA, Kent K, Hsu AR, Friedlander AL. Effects of oligofructose-enriched inulin on intestinal absorption of calcium and magnesium and bone turnover markers in postmenopausal women. Br J Nutr. 2007 Feb;97(2):365–72.
    10. Abrams SA, Griffin IJ, Hawthorne KM, Liang L, Gunn SK, Darlington G, Ellis KJ. A combination of prebiotic short- and long-chain inulin-type fructans enhances calcium absorption and bone mineralization in young adolescents. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Aug;82(2):471–6.
    11. Griffin IJ, Davila PM, Abrams SA. Non-digestible oligosaccharides and calcium absorption in girls with adequate calcium intakes. Br J Nutr. 2002 May;87 Suppl 2:S187–91.
    12. van den Heuvel EG, Muys T, van Dokkum W, Schaafsma G. Oligofructose stimulates calcium absorption in adolescents. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Mar;69(3):544–8.
    13. Gibson GR, Beatty ER, Wang X, Cummings JH. Selective stimulation of bifidobacteria in the human colon by oligofructose and inulin. Gastroenterology. 1995 Apr;108(4):975–82.
    14. Rao VA. The prebiotic properties of oligofructose at low intake levels. Nutr. Res. 2001;21(6):843–48.
    15. Langlands SJ, Hopkins MJ, Coleman N, Cummings JH. Prebiotic carbohydrates modify the mucosa associated microflora of the human large bowel. Gut. 2004 Nov;53(11):1610–6.
    16. Evelyne M Dewulf, Patrice D Cani, Sandrine P Claus, et al. Insight into the prebiotic concept: lessons from an exploratory, double blind intervention study with inulin-type fructans in obese women. Gut. 2013 Aug; 62(8): 1112–21.
    17. Yang D, Liu Z, Yang H, Jue Y. Acute effects of high-protein versus normal-protein isocaloric meals on satiety and ghrelin. Eur J Nutr. 2014;53(2):493–500.
    18. Halton TL, Hu FB. The effects of high protein diets on thermogenesis, satiety and weight loss: a critical review. J Am Coll Nutr. 2004 Oct;23(5):373-85.
    19. Stanstrup J, Schou SS, Holmer-Jensen J, Hermansen K, Dragsted LO. Whey protein delays gastric emptying and suppresses plasma fatty acids and their metabolites compared to casein, gluten, and fish protein. J Proteome Res. 2014 May 2;13(5):2396–408.
    20. Holmer-Jensen J, Mortensen LS, Astrup A, et al. Acute differential effects of dietary protein quality on postprandial lipemia in obese non-diabetic subjects. Nutr Res. 2013 Jan;33(1):34–40.
    21. Marsset-Baglieri A, Fromentin G, Airinei G, Pedersen C, Léonil J, Piedcoq J, Rémond D, Benamouzig R, Tomé D, Gaudichon C. Milk protein fractions moderately extend the duration of satiety compared with carbohydrates independently of their digestive kinetics in overweight subjects. Br J Nutr. 2014 Aug 28;112(4):557–64.
    22. Arciero PJ, Baur D, Connelly S, Ormsbee MJ. Timed-daily ingestion of whey protein and exercise training reduces visceral adipose tissue mass and improves insulin resistance: the PRISE study. J Appl Physiol(1985). 2014 Jul 1;117(1):1–10.
    23. Pal S, Radavelli-Bagatini S, Hagger M, Ellis V. Comparative effects of whey and casein proteins on satiety in overweight and obese individuals: a randomized controlled trial. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014 Sep;68(9):980–6.
    24. Chungchunlam SM, Henare SJ, Ganesh S, Moughan PJ. Effect of whey protein and glycomacropeptide on measures of satiety in normal-weight adult women. Appetite. 2014 Jul;78:172–8.
    25. Acheson KJ, Blondel-Lubrano A, Oguey-A raymon S, et al. Protein choices targeting thermogenesis and metabolism. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Mar;93(3):525–34.
    26. Pal S, Ellis V. The acute effects of four protein meals on insulin, glucose, appetite and energy intake in lean men. Br J Nutr. 2010 Oct;104(8):1241–8.
    27. Akhavan T, Luhovyy BL, Brown PH, Cho CE, Anderson GH. Effect of premeal consumption of whey protein and its hydrolysate on food intake and postmeal glycemia and insulin responses in young adults. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Apr;91(4):966–75.
    28. Veldhorst MA, Nieuwenhuizen AG, Hochstenbach-Waelen A, et al. Dosedependent satiating effect of whey relative to casein or soy. Physiol Behav. 2009 Mar 23;96(4-5):675–82.
    29. Bowen J, Noakes M, Clifton PM. Appetite regulatory hormone responses to various dietary proteins differ by body mass index status despite similar reductions in ad libitum energy intake. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2006 Aug;91(8):2913–9.
    30. Bowen J, Noakes M, Trenerry C, Clifton PM. Energy intake, ghrelin, and cholecystokinin after different carbohydrate and protein preloads in overweight men. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2006 Apr;91(4):1477–83.
    31. Vandewater K, Vickers Z. Higher-protein foods produce greater sensoryspecific satiety. Physiol Behav. 1996 Mar;59(3):579–83.
  • Few people are surprised when told that it is relatively hard to lose weight in the fall heading into winter and relatively easy to lose weight in the spring. This is not just a matter of Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and the Super Bowl, although the grouping of these holidays hardly helps. Our bodies exhibit metabolic changes in preparation for the winter months and then tend to reverse at least some of these changes as the next year progresses. Hibernation is the classic example of these changes, but seasonal fluctuations in metabolism are shared by a quite large proportion of all mammals in temperate climates, including humans. More surprising to most of us is the fact that similar fluctuations in energy use and storage are tied to the twenty-four hour (circadian) cycle, as well, and these fluctuations are so strong that they may be more important than the usual dietary suspects — the amounts of carbohydrate, fat and protein in the diet — that typically are the targets of dietary advice.

    The Day/Night Cycle Exists Even For Genes
    A few years ago, a team of researchers experimented to learn if circadian rhythmic patterns apply to human fat tissue.1 In this particular case, they wanted to know if genes related to cortisol metabolism exhibited such rhythms in adipose tissue. (Cortisol is sometimes called the “fight or flight” hormone; it also plays a large role in weight gain.) Sure enough, the scientists found rhythmicity in cells from both men and women and in fat cells both from under the skin (subcutaneous) and around the abdomen (visceral deposits), with the amplitude of the circadian rhythmicity being greater in the visceral fat tissue genes.

    Yet another circadian pattern involving cortisol is important for weight gain in those under mild chronic stress, including the stress associated with diabetes. Under normal circumstances, the body tends to have a period of time during inactivity — our sleep cycle — in which cortisol levels in the blood exhibit a prolonged “trough” of reduced presence. Mild stress may only slightly elevate the total daily glucocorticoid level, yet still alter the way in which tissue receptors respond. In an animal model, healthy animals after several days of added glucocorticoid (via pellets under the skin) showed reduced adrenal and thymus weight, i.e., adrenal exhaustion and reduced immune response, and elevated insulin levels.2 This would seem to be similar to early stage Metabolic Syndrome as the animals struggle to regulate the excess sugar being released into the system by the glucocorticoid. In diabetic animals, insulin levels drop dramatically with continued glucocorticoid challenge, which means that the ability to regulate blood sugar also drops. Conversely, food intake and blood triglycerides increase in diabetic animals versus controls. Chronic exposure to cold in this model has the same type of effect as does added glucocorticoid, including the same disruption of the circadian rhythm of reduced glucocorticoid during the rest period. As the authors of this study observe, “studies in man suggest that perceived chronic stress also flattens the amplitude of the circadian cortisol rhythm by elevating trough and reducing peak levels; subjects who reported increased stress were abdominally obese, hyperinsulinemic and hypertensive.”

    With the foregoing evidence in mind, it is easy to grasp that activities such as exercise and meal timing may play significant roles in body weight and health. Hunger levels, the ability to dispose of meal calories and the degree of metabolic response, including metabolizing excess calories, all respond to stress levels and the timing of activities.

    Calorie Storage Depends On Meal Times
    It has been known for several decades that the composition of the initial meal of the day tends to set the body’s response to food intake later in the day. Not eating breakfast, for instance, tells the body that it should reduce energy expenditures and conserve in the face of famine conditions. Eating refined carbohydrates and sugars causes an insulin release that blocks fat metabolism, forces the body to rely on stored glycogen for energy and leads to energy peaks and valleys, the blood sugar “roller coaster.” Protein breakfasts including either fat or carbohydrates tend to even out energy levels and retain what is known as “metabolic flexibility,” the ability to harness either glucose or stored fat for fuel as needed.

    A good example of the meaning of meal timing in practice emerged recently in several trials using animal models. Mice and rats are extremely sensitive to the level of fat in their diets, in part because their natural diets are very low in fats. Unlike humans, both animals eat more or less continuously during their waking periods of activity. Either high- or low-fat diets spread throughout their normal 12-hour feeding period exercise limited effects on food intake and energy usage. Under these conditions, the animals generally adjust consumption and expenditure to maintain balance and metabolic parameters within normal ranges. Feeding a high-fat meal at the beginning of the feeding period does not alter metabolic flexibility and, again, the animals adjust. However, the same high fat meal taken at the end of the animals’ waking period leads to increased “weight gain, adiposity, glucose intolerance, hyperinsulinemia, hypertriglyceridemia, and hyperleptinemia” independent of either total or fat-derived calories.3 The major surprise, one that runs counter to common assumptions, is this finding: “We report that high fat feeding at the transition from sleeping to waking appears to be critically important in enabling metabolic flexibility and adaptation to high carbohydrate meals presented at later time points. Conversely, high carbohydrate feeding at the beginning of the waking period dramatically impairs the metabolic plasticity required for responding appropriately to high fat meals presented at the end of the waking period.” In other words, the standard American breakfast of sweetened cereal or other refined carbohydrate products impairs the ability of the body to properly metabolize fats eaten later in the day.

    Other researchers have found similar results. Again in a mouse model, one group found that a diet sufficiently high in fat to induce weight gain and related changes if fed ad libitum did not lead to such changes if restricted to a limited feeding period.4 Not caloric restriction or fat restriction, but a restricted feeding period led to favorable results. “Timed restricted feeding provides a time cue and resets the circadian clock, leading to better health.” Simply put, a timed high-fat diet resets circadian metabolism and prevents obesity in this mouse model despite the high-fat content in an animal that normally consumes very little fat.

    What About Humans?
    A number of recent clinical experiments have confirmed the findings from these animal models as being applicable to humans, with increased protein consumption at breakfast proving to be especially helpful. For instance, in overweight/ obese, “breakfast-skipping” late-adolescent girls, breakfast, and especially a high protein breakfast led to better appetite control, better regulation of food intake and reduced evening snacking compared to not eating breakfast even though in this short study (one week) there was no change in total energy intake.5

    Another study, this one in overweight and obese adults, found that both a low-carbohydrate breakfast (not specifically high in protein) and a high-protein plus carbohydrate breakfast led to impressive weight loss over a period of 16 weeks (15.1±1.9kg and 13.5±2.3 kg, respectively) when followed in conjunction with reduced energy intake. After the diet ended, subjects were tracked for a further 16 weeks. As is found commonly in such models, there was significant weight regain in the lowcarbohydrate only breakfast group compared to the protein plus carbohydrate arm.6 This finding should surprise no one in that it is easier to add protein to more “normal” meal patterns than it is to radically reduce carbohydrates. Low-carbohydrate diets tend to lead to considerable rebound as dieters return to their normal eating habits. People who have increased their protein consumption along with changing other eating habits find it easier to continue some version of their new eating pattern.

    Yet another study, this one restricted to overweight and obese women, found that in a restricted calorie diet (~1,400 kcal) the results were significantly better at the end of 12 weeks in the women who ate a large breakfast (700 kcal breakfast, 500 kcal lunch, 200 kcal dinner) as opposed to a large dinner (200 kcal breakfast, 500 kcal lunch, 700 kcal dinner).7

    Eating breakfast, especially one that is higher in protein, has been found again and again to be superior to skipping breakfast or eating a breakfast built around carbohydrates. The shake out in meal composition revolves much more around the role of protein than fat because fats actually play a somewhat neutral role. As one paper’s title runs, “Carbohydrate-restricted diets high in either monounsaturated fat or protein are equally effective at promoting fat loss and improving blood lipids.”8 The primary difference is that in those who are overweight or obese, as opposed to in individuals who are lean or normal weight, fat has less satiating power than does protein.9 Otherwise, as long as high-fat consumption is not a marker for generally poor eating and exercise habits (low consumption of fruits and vegetables, low consumption of fiber, high consumption of sugars and refined carbohydrates), fat consumption, after 60 years of controversy, has not been shown to be innately a threat to health.10 Just remember that the foods eaten at breakfast tend to determine the body’s ability to retain metabolic flexibility later in the day. Breakfasts that container significant fat do not tend to interfere with the ability to metabolize fat rather than store it later in the day, breakfasts built around carbohydrates do, and protein is the great equalizer.

    Whether it concerns mice or men, the timing of meals is important. Eating more at breakfast and less at the evening meal leads to better appetite control and better metabolic functioning along with better weight control. Eating more protein and fewer carbohydrates at the morning meal, likewise, leads to greater metabolic flexibility later in the day. The standard American breakfast of cold, sweetened cereal is a very poor choice for control of appetite, energy levels or body weight. Fats are a largely neutral in this picture, although they certainly can replace a good portion of carbohydrates, especially if more protein is consumed. The old adage to “breakfast like a king, lunch like prince and sup like a pauper” turns out to be good advice. Best of all, changing the timing and size of meals is free!

    1. Hernandez-Morante JJ, Gomez-Santos C, Milagro F, Campión J, Martínez JA, Zamora S, Garaulet M. Expression of cortisol metabolism-related genes shows circadian rhythmic patterns in human adipose tissue. Int J Obes (Lond). 2009 Apr;33(4):473–80.
    2. Dallman MF, Akana SF, Bhatnagar S, Bell ME, Strack AM. Bottomed out: metabolic significance of the circadian trough in glucocorticoid concentrations. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2000 Jun;24 Suppl 2:S40–6.
    3. Bray MS, Tsai JY, Villegas-Montoya C, Boland BB, Blasier Z, Egbejimi O, Kueht M, Young ME. Time-of-day-dependent dietary fat consumption influences multiple cardiometabolic syndrome parameters in mice. Int J Obes (Lond). 2010 Nov;34(11):1589–98.
    4. Hatori M, Vollmers C, Zarrinpar A, DiTacchio L, Bushong EA, Gill S, Leblanc M, Chaix A, Joens M, Fitzpatrick JA, Ellisman MH, Panda S. Time-restricted feeding without reducing caloric intake prevents metabolic diseases in mice fed a high-fat diet. Cell Metab. 2012 Jun 6;15(6):848–60.
    5. Leidy HJ, Ortinau LC, Douglas SM, Hoertel HA. Beneficial effects of a higher-protein breakfast on the appetitive, hormonal, and neural signals controlling energy intake regulation in overweight/obese, “breakfast-skipping,” late-adolescent girls. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Apr;97(4):677–88.
    6. Jakubowicz D, Froy O, Wainstein J, Boaz M. Meal timing and composition influence ghrelin levels, appetite scores and weight loss maintenance in overweight and obese adults. Steroids. 2012 Mar 10;77(4):323–31.
    7. Jakubowicz D, Barnea M, Wainstein J, Froy O. High caloric intake at breakfast vs. dinner differentially influences weight loss of overweight and obese women. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2013 Dec;21(12):2504–12.
    8. Luscombe-Marsh ND, Noakes M, Wittert GA, Keogh JB, Foster P, Clifton PM. Carbohydrate-restricted diets high in either monounsaturated fat or protein are equally effective at promoting fat loss and improving blood lipids. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Apr;81(4):762–72.
    9. Brennan IM, Luscombe-Marsh ND, Seimon RV, Otto B, Horowitz M, Wishart JM, Feinle-Bisset C. Effects of fat, protein, and carbohydrate and protein load on appetite, plasma cholecystokinin, peptide YY, and ghrelin, and energy intake in lean and obese men. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2012 Jul;303(1):G129–40.
    10. Schwingshack L, Hoffmann G. Comparison of effects of long-term low-fat vs high-fat diets on blood lipid levels in overweight or obese patients: a systematic review and metaanalysis. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2013 Dec;113(12):1640 – 61.
  • Many of us start off the year with a determination—backed by a gym membership— to get into shape and lose weight. It now is February. How are those New Year's resolutions faring? Is it time for Plan B?

    If that means diets and weight loss aids, there is no one-size-fits- all. Choosing the right approach with realistic expectations as to how much can be lost and how quickly will help prevent frustration and disappointment, not to mention major weight regain later in the year. Research in advance is the key. The following are some major categories and rationales for weight loss supplements:

    • Appetite suppressants and mood enhancers
    • Calorie (carbohydrate and/or fat) absorption blockers
    • Diuretics and laxatives
    • Metabolism enhancers and thermogenic agents
    • Nutrient partitioning agents

    Of the above approaches, for many reasons, the most commonly adopted method remains that of metabolism enhancers and thermogenic agents. Typical ingredients for this tactic for weight loss are bitter orange, caffeine, country mallow, green tea, guarana, 7-keto DHEA, synephrine, yerba mate and yohimbe. Inasmuch as one or more of these ingredients can lead to side effects if used incorrectly or by individuals for whom they are inappropriate, the following observations start by examining thermogenic agents.

    How Do Thermogenic Agents Function Within the Body To Burn Fat?
    Thermogenesis literally means causing the production of heat. Aside from the shivering response to cold, body heat production is a side effect of exercise and or of increased basal metabolic rate. The thermic effect of food ideally should be on the order of 10 percent of calories consumed. Thermogenic products are designed to stimulate the metabolism to be above where it normally would be in order to burn additional calories and to access fatty acids for this purpose. The most common approach for achieving this is to manipulate one of the body's hormonal signals, usually norepinephrine. Green tea epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) reduces norepinephrine degradation and thereby increases catecholamine-mediated stimulation of β-adrenergic receptors and activates the sympathetic side of the nervous system. Ingesting EGCG by itself and in conjunction with caffeine prolongs the actions of norepinephrine. This increases the metabolic rate, hence increases energy expenditure by increasing the oxidation of glucose and fat for energy and increasing calorie-consuming actions. As a rule, there is a significantly greater mobilization and utilization of fat for energy than glucose—in fact, most metabolic stimulants cause fat to be released from storage so that it is more readily available for energy generation. The stimulation involved may make a person more wide awake and even more inclined to exercise, but some of the stimulation may involve what are termed "futile cycles" that consume energy and create heat, but do not lead to physical exertion.

    How Can Those Who Want To Avoid the Negative Effects of Stimulants Benefit From Thermogenic Agents?
    There are at least three side effects that dieters should look to avoid: 1) increased heart rate, 2) increased blood pressure and 3) excessive central nervous system stimulation. One solution to the cardiovascular side of things is to improve the circulation, especially to the heart. Hawthorne extracts help to open the circulation of the coronary artery, that is, the main blood supply to the heart. Herbs such as specialized grape seed extract and wild bitter melon, similarly, are useful for supporting the body in blood pressure regulation. The mineral magnesium is another aid here in that it both helps to regulate blood pressure and is calming to the nervous system.

    Excessive stimulation that overly activates the central nervous system leading to agitation, emotional control issues and/or sleeplessness actually does not usually increase thermogenesis, a fact that emerged from the ephedra-caffeine trials at Harvard and elsewhere. The clearly thermogenic combination of ephedra-caffeine increased energy expenditure at low to moderate doses, but above a not particularly high level of intake the amount of extra calories burned went down rather than up. Moreover, excessive stimulation induces a release of cortisol, which tends to cause the loss of lean tissue rather than fat tissue.

    For Consumers Who Use Caffeine To Increase Their Metabolism, What Are the Concerns Surrounding Caffeine?

    Caffeine definitely is a mixed bag when it comes to metabolism.

    • Looking only at caffeine by itself, there is evidence for acute increases in resting metabolic rate and thermogenesis, but habituation nullifies such benefits with chronic intake.
    • Habitual caffeine use reduces the benefits of caffeine/EGCG mixtures compared to findings in test subjects who do not consume significant amounts of caffeine regularly.
    • Overall, there is little or no support for the claim that caffeine by itself induces or maintains weight loss over the long term.

    In short, caffeine is more useful for metabolic effect if consumed with something like EGCG, such as from green tea, but habituation is rapid. Caffeine-related compounds in green mate appear to have more benefits over the long term than does simple caffeine. The health benefits of coffee, such as they are, come from chlorogenic acid and related compounds, not mainly from the caffeine.

    Keep in mind, an intake of 700 mg or more caffeine per day (about five cups of coffee) is often associated with depression and mood swings. Some authorities draw the line at 600 mg per day. Caffeine causes short-term increases in blood sugar levels that can be followed by dramatic downward fluctuations. Consuming caffeine, in other words, is yet another path to the sugar "roller-coaster" of energy ups and downs and sugar cravings. Cutting out caffeine and refined sugars for as little as one week has been shown clinically to improve mood in many individuals complaining of depression.1

    What Are Some of the Concerns Surrounding Weight Loss Supplements, Such as Synephrine and Yohimbe?
    No doubt, the major concerns are elevated blood pressure and elevated heart rate. In addressing these concerns, the source of synephrine is important. ρ-synephrine is an alkaloid occurring naturally in some plants and animals. A related compound is found in approved drugs as the m-substituted analog known as neo-synephrine. Bitter orange (Citrus aurantium) is a source of ρ-synephrine, which does not seem to increase blood pressure significantly, although it may have an effect on heart rate. ( m-Synephrine, often confused in the literature with ρ-synephrine, exhibits cardiovascular effects, but reportedly is not a constituent of bitter orange. It remains controversial whether ρ-synephrine exerts effects on blood pressure and heart rate if consumed with large amounts of caffeine or other stimulants.

    ρ-Synephrine is used to increase energy expenditure and lipolysis; ρ-synephrine is a β-3 adrenergic receptor agonist, which is to say, a thermogenic compound. By itself, ρ-synephrine as found in bitter orange is not associated with significantly increased blood pressure or heart rate; no significant α-adrenergic effects have been demonstrated, unlike the case with, say, ephedrine.2 Again, synthetic synephrine is a slightly different compound and can lead to high blood pressure and other effects even at relatively modest doses.

    It is neither necessary nor useful to push an intake of ρ-synephrine above approximately 50 mg. Rather, greater energy expenditure is induced by adding 600 mg naringenin to the mixture and a further increase can be induced by adding 100 mg hesperidin. (

    Another widely promoted thermogenic herb is yohimbe (Pausinystalia yohimbe). It is claimed as a thermogenic agent due to its active component, yohimbine, an α-2 receptor antagonist. Three double-blind RCTs, which included patients who were > 15–20 percent over their ideal body weight or had a BMI ranging between 28 and 48 and lasted three weeks to six months, yielded weight loss only at three weeks on a restricted diet, the loss being 1.34 kg greater than with placebo.3 However, yohimbe exhibits erratic effects on blood pressure, heart rate and neurological parameters with a high risk of toxicity.4

    How Do the Satiety Supplements 5-HTP and Hydroxycitric Acid Work?
    Items that affect serotonin, such as 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) and St. John's Wort, may influence mostly carbohydrate consumption. 5-HTP activates serotogenic pathways and at 600 to 900 mg/day induces weight loss of 3.1–3.7 pounds in 5–6 weeks without dieting. At 900 mg, 70 percent of subjects experienced significant nausea, but adjusted after six weeks.5 Although anyone being treated with pharmaceutical psychoactive drugs should not use 5-HTP without their doctor's agreement, 5-HTP otherwise has been found to be safe at ordinary dosages.6

    (–)-Hydroxycitric Acid / HCA, always sold as a mineral salt, is unusually well studied with at least 12 randomized placebo-controlled trials, but studies have used different salts and widely differing dosages. Mechanisms of action remain controversial. HCA does not cross the blood-brain barrier, hence does not influence the central nervous system directly; neither does it depend on activating nerves involving the liver (vagal afferents). HCA delays gastric emptying, however, and it prolongs glucose absorption from the small intestine. The primary effects seem to be to reduce between-meal snacking and to increase the length of time that dieters feel satiated after meals. Potassium and potassium-magnesium HCA salts are insulin sensitizing at human acceptable dosages whereas calcium- and calcium-potassium HCA salts are not. Apparently no one has tested the socalled "triple" salts even in animals. Weight loss in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) ranges from none to approximately 1/2 to one pound per week for eight weeks at higher dosages (2.8 g HCA) of potassium-based salts. In other words, approximately 4.5 grams/day of a potassium-based salt can lead to as much as one pound per week weight loss if taken as directed. Weight loss normally starts after the first or second week of usage for reasons having to do with refilling glycogen stores in the liver and muscle as well as greater hydration of muscle tissue. No toxicity or significant side effects have been found with properly manufactured HCA salts in controlled trials and safety reviews. Despite extremely widespread usage for roughly 25 years, only a handful of adverse event reports have appeared, usually with combination products and/or in cases in which the report could not even name the HCA salt involved.7,8

    Do Chia Seeds and Similar Foods Promote Satiety?
    Good fiber sources, especially very viscous fibers, increase satiety by increasing stomach distention (the feeling that the stomach is extended and full) and reducing the rate of gastric emptying. They also tend to reduce the rate at which carbohydrates release glucose into the blood stream. Viscous soluble fibers include, but are not limited to pectins, β-glucans, psyllium, glucomannan and guar gum. Foods such as ground flax seed, baked acorn squash, artichoke hearts and most legumes are good fiber sources. Oats and barley are good items, but not if they have been "instantized" since this process causes them to act more like high-glycemic foods.

    Protein sources also are good for satiety, although one can over-consume calories from protein just like anything else. Plant protein sources are slower to be absorbed into the tissues and thus may be especially good for prolonging satiety. At the other end of the scale, fructose is a particularly bad sugar for dieters and for health in general. Indeed, it is significantly worse than glucose or sucrose according to recent research.

    How Do Fat and Carbohydrate Blockers Aid in Weight Management?
    White kidney bean extracts and a number of other products, including bitter melon, inhibit carbohydrate digestion by inhibiting the actions of alpha-amylase and/or related compounds. The drawback of these in the American diet is that more and more calories in our diet are from corn sugar and other simple sugars. Indeed, corn sugars often are the cheapest binders and fillers available for processed foods. Carb blockers may be helpful with traditional foodstuffs, but this is modern America. Corn is subsidized and processed corn components are everywhere.

    HCA reduces the rate at which carbohydrates are available, but it is not a traditional carbohydrate blocker. Its mechanism of action is different in that it slows and prolongs the passage of glucose across the gut membrane into the blood stream via its effects on the sodium pump in the gut. There likely are a small number of other supplements that work similarly.

    A well-known lipase inhibitor (blocker of fat digestion) is derived from Cassia Nomame Mimosoides. This item was created to mimic the actions of a pharmaceutical weight loss product that inhibits the absorption of 30 percent of fat found in the diet. Concerns are sometimes expressed as to the wisdom on preventing the proper digestion of fats in the small intestine. Unlike carbohydrates, which can be acted upon by various bacteria in the large intestine, the body is poorly equipped to chronically handle fats not digested in the normal fashion. At this point in time, even the pharmaceutical fat blockers have largely disappeared and no trials seem ever to have been undertaken to demonstrate the efficacy of "natural" fat blockers claimed to be natural alternatives to the drugs.

    Begin with Your Eating and Exercise Habits
    To repeat a point made in articles in the past, diets that are inadequate in terms of vitamins and minerals, and in many cases protein, often coincide not only with weight gain, but also with low energy levels and mood swings. The consumption of a diet based largely upon sugars, refined carbohydrates, soft drinks and "junk foods" in general is just not sufficient to maintain good bodily health. If the overall quality of health is poor, it is unlikely that mental functioning and emotional well-being will fare any better. A powerful incentive for binge eating and a source of sugar cravings is the effort to counter depression and mood swings.

    Remember, as well, the place of exercise. Exercise is less important for its role in directly burning calories than for increasing basal metabolic rate in the morning and helping the body to access fats for energy. As little as 20 to 30 minutes walking every day can help the body to relearn how to burn fat for fuel. Walking early in the day has the added benefit of speeding up the metabolism when this can do the most good and also providing a daily dose of mood-brightening sunshine. Before or after the evening meal are two other good times to take a walk.


    1. Kreitsch, K., et al. Prevalence, presenting symptoms, and psychological characteristics of individuals experiencing dietrelated mood disturbances, Behav Ther 1988;19:593–604.
    2. Stohs SJ. Safety, Efficacy, and Mechanistic Studies Regarding Citrus aurantium (Bitter Orange) Extract and ρ-synephrine. Phytother Res. 2017 Oct;31(10):1463–74.
    3. Pittler MH, Ernst E. Dietary supplements for body-weight reduction: a systematic review. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Apr;79(4):529–36.
    4. Woolf AD, Watson WA, Smolinske S, Litovitz T. The severity of toxic reactions to ephedra: comparisons to other botanical products and national trends from 1993–2002. Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2005;43(5):347–55.
    5. Cangiano C, Ceci F, Cascino A, Del Ben M, Laviano A, Muscaritoli M, Antonucci F, Rossi-Fanelli F. Eating behavior and adherence to dietary prescriptions in obese adult subjects treated with 5-hydroxytryptophan. Am J Clin Nutr. 1992 Nov;56(5):863–7.
    6. Das YT, Bagchi M, Bagchi D, Preuss HG. Safety of 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan. Toxicol Lett. 2004 Apr 15;150(1):111–22.
    7. Chuah LO, Yeap SK, Ho WY, Beh BK, Alitheen NB. In vitro and in vivo toxicity of garcinia or hydroxycitric acid: a review. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:197920.
    8. Márquez F, Babio N, Bulló M, Salas-Salvadó J. Evaluation of the safety and efficacy of hydroxycitric acid or Garcinia cambogia extracts in humans. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2012;52(7):585–94
  • Like so many women, the midlife middle spread seemed to have sneaked up on me. I knew I had just emerged from two years of major life changes with its accompanying stress. Well, really, to be totally honest, MAJOR STRESS! However, I was not at all prepared for my doctor’s rather blunt comment.

    Rather tactlessly he said. “What has happened to you? You look like you are six months pregnant.”

    Now I knew I had been carrying some extra cortisol-induced weight around the midriff, but I guess denial is a really wonderful thing. I really didn’t think I looked that overweight. Stepping onto his scale really ripped the veil of illusion from my eyes!

    For most women, weight gain is the bane of our existence. It is a culturally induce fat phobia. Aside from our vanity, extra-weight is a health hazard. In 2004 the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ranked obesity as the number one health threat facing America. More than 60 percent of women over the age of 20 fall into the overweight category. That’s makes it 64.5 million of us. If we’re talking obesity that means almost 35 million more are in that category.

    Americans spend a lot of money on weight loss programs and diets—$50 billion annually! That’s an awful lot of our hard earned cash.

    Whether we like it or not, the older we get the less efficient our body becomes at detoxifying, maintaining a dynamic metabolism, balancing hormones and managing blood sugar. All of these issues can add to ever upward-creeping weight. Popular drugs also play their part. It is well acknowledged that HRT, anti-depressants, statins, and blood pressure medications list weight gain as side-effects.

    I have not been immune from this obsession with body image. There were times when I have been thin. And there were times when I have been fat. I dieted and fasted and cleansed and starved and exercised until I was blue in the face.

    Over the years I cleaned up my nutritional regime. I basically ate a gluten-free, sugar-free, soda-free, processed- food free, organic food diet. I exercised (sometimes). I made the extra effort to manage my stress levels. I took my nutritional supplements. I balanced my hormones (naturally). I went to sleep at a decent hour (going to bed after 11 p.m. and getting less than seven hours increases weight gain).

    I thought I was doing everything right but my weight loss was stalled. I couldn’t get it to budge. So, it’s no wonder that my doctor’s comment was such a blow to my self-image and my fruitless efforts.

    Enter the Ultimate Fat Loss and Body Resculpting Program One day, a chance comment about a new kind of weight loss program changed my life. I was introduced to HCG, Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, an obscure hormone that I had never heard of before.

    It seems that HCG plays a major role in our survival. I learned that although it is produced in every cell in our body, it is found in very high amounts during pregnancy. One of its jobs is to ensure the survival of the pregnant mother and fetus by signaling the hypothalamus to release stored fat to be used as fuel and nourishment. Under the command of HCG, these fats reserves will provide 1500–2000 calories a day of energy and nutrition.

    However, it is important to emphasize that HCG is a sex hormone found naturally in both sexes. Its action is identical in men, women, and children, young and old alike.

    Its message is simple—open the rusty hinges on those doors holding in long term storage fat.

    What HCG does for a pregnant women, is what it can also do for the rest of us. This amazing hormone has become the key ingredient to one of the most successful permanent fat loss and resculpting programs ever created. We have Dr. A. T. W. Simeons to thank for that.

    Dr. Simeons was an English medical doctor who discovered that HCG had a major impact on fat loss by regulating the hypothalamus. The main function of this master gland is homeostasis, or maintaining the body’s status quo. Ultimately the hypothalamus can control every endocrine gland in the body. It also regulates other factors such as blood pressure, body temperature, fluid and electrolyte balance, and body weight.

    The message that HCG gives the body is to release reserves of long-term stored fat. That’s the ugly fat that we struggle so hard to rid ourselves of. It’s the fat that is stored in our abdomen, thighs and hips. This is also the fat that accumulates as fat pads in our arms, knees, back and neck. For men, it’s the fat that piles up in their abdomen, making them look several months pregnant.

    The most frustrating thing about this variety of fat is that no amount of dieting will ever touch it. It is only accessible with HCG. The body seems to hold on to it for dear life as part of its survival strategy.

    The first to go when we start the usual, run-of-the-mill diet is water, muscle and subcutaneous fat—the fat that gives shape to our face and fullness to our breasts. No wonder most diets result in saggy and toneless skin.

    But HCG is totally different. It releases ONLY the long-term stored fat, it actually helps the body to properly redistribute weight and regain firmness in the body. So on the HCG program you not only lose pounds, you lose inches! No sagging… no loose skin. In fact, it actually helps to tone your body.

    And the most amazing thing is that Dr. Simeons discovered people were able to lose a pound of fat a day on average. While most weight loss programs recommend one or two pounds a week, the HCG program enables people to lose as much as a pound a day as well as eliminating inches.

    An important aspect of this program is the discovery that the HCG program actually resets the body’s metabolism. When the program is followed precisely, you are able to regain a healthy metabolism. This is key to making sure your weight will stay off. Yo-yoing can then become a thing of the past.

    The Thyroid Is Not the Answer
    I used to believe that the thyroid would help with fat loss. However, according to Dr. Simeons, that is not the case. In fact, the thyroid plays no part in releasing the fat that causes us to be overweight and obese. This was quite a revelation to me.

    Dr. Simeons writes: When it was discovered the thyroid gland controls the rate at which body-fuel is consumed, it was thought that by administering thyroid glandular to obese patients their abnormal fat deposits could be burned up more rapidly.

    This, too, proved to be entirely disappointing because as we now know, these abnormal deposits take no part in the body’s energy-turnover—they are inaccessibly locked away.

    Thyroid medication merely forces the body to consume its normal fat reserves, which are already depleted in obese patients, and then to break down structurally essential fat without touching the abnormal deposits. In this way a patient may be brought to the brink of starvation in spite of having a hundred pounds of fat to spare.

    Thus any weight loss brought about by thyroid medication is always at the expense of fat of which the body is in dire need.

    Dr. Simeons’ Gift to an Overweighted World
    Dr. Simeons’ program was a major innovation for the approach to permanent weight loss. He established a successful clinic in Rome it the 1960s, which catered to the rich and famous. There are many clinics in Europe and South America that continue to use Dr. Simeons’ program successfully.

    The good news is that you no longer need to be a celebrity to afford the wonderful benefits of HCG.

    While Dr. Simeons original program revolved around injections of HCG, there is now a more convenient and easy method to get the exact same results.

    Are you skeptical of such a program? Well, I certainly was. The original program required a daily subcutaneous self-administered injection of HCG. There was no way I would do that.

    But I then learned that there was another HCG option. This involved taking oral drops of an HCG homeopathic remedy daily. Homeopathy, a 200 year-old healing approach, based on the emerging science of energy medicine that imprints the energy of a substance without using the actually physical substance. The body is literally able to read the information and create the desired outcome. In the case of homeopathic HCG, it has the exact same effect as the more unpleasant and expensive HCG hormone injections.

    The Best Part is its Absolute Effectiveness and Safety
    So, I decided to give it a try. Using the HCG homeopathic drops along with following Dr. Simeons’ protocol of specific foods in specific amounts for a specific period of time I embarked on this experiment. The best part of all, this program requires no specific exercise routines nor expensive eating plans nor special dietary formulas.

    Now for most of us, stepping onto a scale to weigh in is equivalent to an extreme masochistic act. However, on this HCG program, it was closer to a religious experience. I would step on the scale in the morning and excitedly discover that a pound of fat had literally dematerialized from my body every day.

    But it wasn’t only the fat. It was also the inches. My old clothes were literally falling off me. I wasn’t hungry at all. My energy was off the charts. And before my very eyes I saw my body transforming. The midriff disappeared and my hips and thighs are the thinnest they have been since my 16th birthday! An accomplishment I never thought possible in this lifetime. And wonders of wonders—my muscle tone actually improved.

    During this 23-day protocol, I lost 15 pounds and 2 dress sizes.
    The most impressive part of this amazing program was that by resetting my hypothalamus and my metabolism, my weight has not varied more than a pound in several months. It appears that Dr. Simeons was right. By improving metabolic functioning on the HCG program, there is a greater likelihood that this new weight loss is here to stay.

    Since venturing into the HCG world, I have assisted many of my patients and friends on this protocol. Every single one of them has been successful. Men seem to have a fat loss advantage over women; they are much bigger losers on this program. However, the good news is that everyone can be a big loser.

    Not only did they loss pounds and inches, they have all gained health benefits—joint and knee aches and pains disappeared, blood sugar levels returned to normal, blood pressure was lowered, sleep improved, energy increased, skin tone rejuvenated and food cravings disappeared.

    It’s not often that a weight loss program can deliver such fabulous results. In fact, there is no weight loss program that I know of that can safely release long-term fat reserves nor reset the hypothalamus for on-going weight maintenance.

    Could the wonderful discovery of Dr. Simeons be the solution for the growing epidemic of obesity with all of the accompanying chronic health problems?

    I have no doubt that in our diet-crazed world of people desperately seeking help, this is truly the ultimate fat loss and body resculpting program.

    I have now developed an integrated program based on Dr. Simeons’ work using a comprehensive homeopathic protocol. To learn more about it please visit my Web site

    Thank you Dr. Simeons for providing the answer to our weight loss prayers.

  • Research Confirms Sugar and Carbs Are Responsible for Obesity Surge, Not Physical Inactivity

    More than one-third of Americans are obese, putting 78.6 million adults at risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but according to new research findings published in the Journal of Sports Medicine, sugar and carbohydrates are behind the obesity surge, not physical inactivity.

    Regular exercise is important for disease prevention but what researchers discovered were calories from sugar and carbs generate more health problems than physical inactivity, alcohol and smoking combined. In fact, researchers have now found that cutting down on dietary carbohydrates is the single most effective approach for reducing all of the characteristics of metabolic syndrome and should be the primary strategy for treating diabetes.

    Researchers also noted that cutting out carbs had other health benefits beyond weight loss and more research is showing that even athletes should avoid the common practice of carbohydrate loading prior to intense exercise, especially for those athletes who are already insulin resistant.


    Never before in the course of history have Americans eaten as many refined carbohydrates as they eat today. Research shows consuming excess grain and sugar carbohydrates is a primary reason why so many people suffer from:

    • Excess Weight
    • Fatigue
    • Depression
    • Brain fogginess
    • Bloating

    The body needs carbohydrates but prefers the form of carbs found in vegetables rather than grains because their composition slows its conversion to simple sugars like glucose and decreases your insulin level.

    If you notice an increase in your appetite, it may not be because your body is really hungry but could be a sign of a physical or mental health issue. If you are feeling like a bottomless pit then something is definitely up. Hunger is driven by the physiological need for calories, water, and salt but may be driven by a variety of factors including what you are eating, hormones, sleep and stress. Below are five of the top reasons why you’re always hungry and how to slow it down:

    YOU’RE CARB LOADING: This is your brain on drugs. This is your brain on starchy carbs. It may as well be the best analogy for how loading up on carbs can mess with your mind. Simple carbs such as those found in sugary, white flour foods like pastries, crackers and cookies will spike your blood sugar levels quickly then leave them plunging soon after. This causes intense hunger for more sugary carbs, and the cycle continues. The carb rollercoaster ride is behind the surge in obesity more so than physical inactivity according to new research findings in the Journal of Sports Medicine. Go for complex carbs to get your carb fix like almonds, apples, chia seeds and pistachios, or use carb blocking supplements like the clinically studied white kidney bean extract, Phase 2, to reduce the sugar spikes.

    YOU’RE DEHYDRATED: The confusion starts in your hypothalamus, the part of the brain that regulates both appetite and thirst. Wires can get crossed leading you to grab a bag of chips when you really need a bottle of water. When you feel the hunger urge, reach for water first and then wait 15 to 20 minutes and see if your hunger pains subside.

    YOU’RE BOMBARDED BY FOOD PORN: Social media is not helping the urge to splurge with food photo bombs coming at you from Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. The connection between what we see and our desire for it has been documented by science. A 2012 study in the journal Obesity found that just looking at food cranked up the hunger hormone, ghrelin. Limit your exposure by skipping TV commercials and maybe block or un-follow those food-obsessed friends.

    YOU’RE TOSSING AND TURNING: If you are getting too little sleep, your ghrelin hormone will surge and stimulate your appetite, while simultaneously decreasing the levels of the hormone leptin, responsible for making you feel full. After a night of poor sleep you are also likely to have serious fatigue and brain fog causing your system to be desperate for a shot of energy, which can trigger cravings for sugar carbs, even if you’re not hungry. A new study in the journal Sleep shows obesity can cause routine drowsiness during the day (so it can be an endless cycle of sleep deprivation). A full eight hours of sleep will get your energy levels and hunger hormones back on track.

    YOU’RE TAKING CERTAIN MEDS: Antidepressants and corticosteroids that you may take on a regular basis could be the reason for recent refrigerator raids. If it becomes a problem, talk with your doctor about switching to another drug.