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Winning The Losing Battle

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Weight Management Weight Management

Weight gain and subsequent loss is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Here’s how to formulate for the specific reasons why individuals want to slim down.

Some people think it’s as simple as “just shutting your mouth” to lose weight, meaning, just stop eating as much. Well, if that were the case, there wouldn’t be a multi-billion-dollar weight-loss industry!

Throughout one’s life, weight will fluctuate. There are others who continuously gain, ballooning up to obesity. For every overweight individual, there have been times of failure to lose weight, despite the fact that just about everyone understands that eating a healthy diet with portion control and exercise is the way to go. Again, because of multiple diet-attempt failures, the weight loss industry continues to boom and flourish.

According to Bruce Abedon, PhD, director of scientific affairs for Icon Group LLC of Vermont, there are several reasons why people have difficulty losing weight. Many individuals often have difficulty changing their diet to reduce the number of calories consumed and maintaining the newer, healthier diet for long periods. Limiting the diet often leads to increased irritability that decreases the joys of life, making it difficult to maintain the diet. Other people may not have time, interest, or a commitment to engage in exercise that promotes healthier lean body mass and enhances weight/fat loss.

“That’s why consumption of dietary supplements containing clinically tested weight-management ingredients such as Synetrim CQ is so important,” he asserted. Synetrim CQ helps to inhibit the absorption of dietary fat and starch through a mechanism that inhibits digestive enzymes that break down these nutrients. Research has shown that Synetrim CQ can also help enhance feelings of emotional well-being which may improve a dieter’s mood.

Weight gain, said Lynda Doyle, global vice president of marketing, OmniActive Health Technologies, New Jersey, is both biological—and commercial. “The body is very good at preserving energy, and dieting invariably slows metabolism making weight loss more difficult,” she explained. “Yo-yo dieting also makes subsequent weight loss more difficult. Couple that with the allure of the mythological magic bullet supplements and a glut of weight loss programs all promising fast and easy results and it’s apparent why consumers are confused about their choices and the lack of commitment for weight management.”

Well, let’s face it and own it—”It’s because chocolate cake, cheeseburgers and pizza are just so darn delicious,” emphasized Mitch Skop, senior director of product development, Pharmachem Laboratories Inc., New Jersey. “Some people can eat to live. Others live to eat. Obviously a large percentage of consumers fall into the latter category. These comfort foods, coupled with our aging population make losing weight very very difficult, and especially once the weight is lost, to keep it off.”

Putting reality into perspective, Paul Djikstra, CEO, InterHealth Nutraceuticals, based in California, noted that to lose one pound of fat, one must burn 3,500 calories more than consumed; “so you can see how hard it is to exercise your way through a poor diet. Instead, you have to watch what you eat and exercise,” he remarked.

Many causes of weight gain are indeed known and understood, but there are less known factors, pointed out Shaheen Majeed, marketing director of Sabinsa Corp., dually based in Utah and New Jersey. Factors such as lack of sleep, side effects of drugs, consumption of foods or beverages high in fructose can increase one’s weight. “A holistic approach to weight management with a blend of natural extracts can be a safe and effective approach to weight management, no matter what the cause of increased weight may be,” he said. “Once the fat forms and is deposited in the body, it is very difficult to curb weight increase and to lose the accumulated fat, because of the complex nature of fat. Thus prevention is better than cure. Mechanisms that can prevent fat deposition and increase existing fat oxidation may support weight management.”

A high-fat diet stimulates the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which results in accelerated building of body fat—this creates a truly vicious circle, according to Vladimir Badmaev, MD, PhD, CEO of American Medical Holdings of New York. “Therefore, normalizing the overactive ECS, preventing excess fat intake and body fat build-up may prevent metabolic deterioration and obesity. Arguably, the stimulation of the ECS starts with excess dietary fatty acids that gradually incapacitate hepatocytes (liver cells), and compromise one of the major functions of the liver, which is oxidation and utilization of fat for energy. A liver burdened with accumulated fat can be compared to a vacuum cleaner clogged with excess dirt. As a result nutritional fat is deposited throughout the body, leading to a characteristic central or abdominal obesity pattern.”

Specialized Circumstances

The Centers for Disease Control tallies the current obesity rate in the U.S. as between 26 and 32 percent, accounting for approximately one out of every three individuals who are classified as obese. Concurrently, there’s been an increase in the number of obese individuals who undergo some form of bariatric surgery. Citing the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, the educational website, obesityreporter.com reported that in 2013, there were approximately 179,000 bariatric surgeries performed, broken down as follows: “34.2 percent of surgeries as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, 14 percent gastric banding, 42.1 percent gastric sleeve, 1 percent as duodenal switch, 6 percent as revisional surgery and 2.7 percent classified as other.”

Before being labeled a successful candidate for this surgery, many individuals are told they need to lose some weight prior. Sounding counter-intuitive, it is a measure of not only commitment but to see how the individual handles a significantly reduced diet. Can supplements help candidates become successful?

Based on a 2015 published peer-review study, FB3, a proprietary blend of Coleus forskohlii, Salacia reticulata, and Sesamum indicum, from American Medical Holdings, supplies a safe, effective and synergistic method preventing excess body fat, by limiting gastrointestinal dietary fat absorption, according to Badmaev. In addition, another 2015 published clinical study on FB3’s component Coleus forskohlii indicates that it may improve insulin sensitivity in obese individuals which regulates lipid metabolism in the body. The clinical studies also show FB3 led to diminished food cravings and caloric intake.

“FB3 addresses the emerging target in dietary intervention to normalize body fat and the ECS,” Badmaev explained. “The endocannabinoid system in the human body operates via one of the oldest structures in the brain, the limbic system, which regulates most basic functions commanding one’s daily life. The ECS regulates metabolic functions, satiety and energy homeostasis and also regulates mood, memory and pain sensation.”

“Committing to bariatric surgery requires that an individual commit to a healthier lifestyle,” Doyle said. “Basic nutritional requirements are the first priority because bariatric surgery can predispose individuals to certain deficiencies.” Doyle believes that supplements can indeed help—naming a multivitamin, calcium/vitamin D, B complex with sufficient levels of B12 and iron as primary. In addition, the candidate should consume adequate levels of protein as an excellent way to start managing weight and also an important requirement both before and after bariatric surgery.

Through the process of managing a new healthier diet pre-surgery, the ability to limit a portion of carbohydrate absorption is certainly beneficial. Skop mentioned that Pharmachem’s Phase 2 Carb Controller helps by safely reducing the digestion of starchy foods like breads, rice, pasta and potatoes and does so without side effects.

The reality is, there are indeed some individuals who, despite considerable effort to lose weight, cannot experience normal loss due to genetics, difficulty changing or moderating their diet or lifestyle, or other factors, according to Abedon. “If the decision to undergo gastric surgery is made, an initial period of weight loss prior to surgery can be aided through supplementation with products containing proprietary, clinically tested Synetrim CQ Cissus quadrangularis extract, WellTrim iG African Mango extract, and other branded weight management nutraceuticals. In addition to weight loss, these ingredients also help promote metabolic wellness in the areas of blood sugar balance and cardiovascular health, which helps support overall health,” he explained.

Djikstra agreed. Several clinical studies have shown that adding weight-management supplements to a slim-down routine may provide advantages more than just diet and exercise alone. “For instance,” he said, “InterHealth’s Meratrim clinical findings demonstrate that Meratrim in combination with a standard diet (2,000 kcal/day) and moderate daily exercise, produces a clinically significant incremental reduction in body weight, waist and hip size over diet management and exercise alone.”

According to Majeed, most gastric surgeries principally target reduction in food intake and also focus on education about healthier meal choices to reduce weight. “However, weight that has already been accumulated may benefit from the intervention of safe and effective weight management ingredients.”

Sabinsa has three proprietary science-backed weight-management ingredients that approach weight reduction in several different ways. ForsLean is a standardized extract from the roots of Coleus forskohlii, available with 10, 20 or 40 percent forskohlii. There have been several clinical studies showing ForsLean plays a role in promoting lean body mass. Citrin and GarCitrin (Garcinia cambogia) have been demonstrated through pre-clinical and clinical studies as a natural weight loss aid. Its bioactive constituent (-) Hydroxy Citric Acid has been evaluated for its three pronged mechanism for weight loss; studies show it may inhibit fat formation, increase fat oxidation and induce satiety. Sabinsa’s LeanGard blends ForsLean, GarCitrin and Sabinsa’s bioavailability enhancer BioPerine; this formula, said Shaheen, works synergistically to support satiety, lean body mass, and a healthy body composition.

On the seemingly opposite end of the spectrum are the “vanity” folks—those who want to achieve the perfect body and weight by losing a few pounds for summertime or a major event, such as a reunion or wedding.

Echoing the one-size-does-not-fit-all idea, Abedon explained, “These groups differ in their initial BMI (body mass index) so it is important that each group takes a supplement that contains one or more ingredients that have been tested and shown to be effective for their BMI class. Often ingredients that may help reduce weight for obese (BMI >30) individuals are not effective for those who are overweight (BMI 25-30). One of the many attributes of Synetrim CQ and WellTrim iG branded ingredients is that they each have been shown to be effective in helping to promote healthy weight management in multiple human clinical trials that included both overweight and obese subjects.”

According to Badmaev, metabolic aging starts at approximately age 25, when adults tend to accumulate fat and lose lean body mass, i.e. muscle mass and bone mass independent of lifestyles. “Also, aging gradually sets us up for the pro-inflammatory processes in the body, with lessened regenerative abilities, which negatively affect our metabolic rate gradually becoming less responsive and sluggish,” he explained. “After about age 30, the extra 10 or so pounds is not as easy to shed.”

Doyle observed that there is a common goal across these two categories: people want to maintain or achieve a healthy weight. Therefore, healthy diet and exercise should be the foundation for any weight management regimen; and natural approaches for support, such as supplements, she said, can help achieve any of these goals. OmniActive’s Capsimax capsicum extract, which contains the active capsaicinoids, is an example she offered. “Capsaicinoids have been well-researched in over 90 human clinical studies. Specific research on Capsimax supports its ability to support weight management by promoting lipolysis—the breakdown of fat—for energy production,” she reported. “A recent presentation at Experimental Biology demonstrated that Capsimax can support appetite control and a healthy body composition at a small dose of only 2 mg.”

OmniActive’s OmniLean, a proprietary Salacia extract is called “a metabolic synergizer,” Doyle explained. “From a dietary perspective, effective weight management pivots on caloric consumption and the body’s ability to metabolize carbohydrates and lipids effectively. OmniLean is a single ingredient that addresses key areas of metabolic health (carbohydrate and fat metabolism) that play a crucial role in weight management and health.”

Phase 2 is also highly appropriate for the “quick slim down” of a few pounds while getting into fighting shape before summer or an event. Carbohydrates are part of everyone’s daily diet—it’s nearly impossible to avoid this macronutrient. According to Skop, in the largest human study conducted on Phase 2 Carb Controller to date, those subjects taking a proprietary extract of the white bean, PhaseLite (Phase 2 Carb Controller) lost an average of 7 lbs. more than those on placebo after 12 weeks. In addition, 73.5 per cent of the participants in the weight management phase successfully maintained their body weight after 24 weeks. Study results were published in the journal, Obesity. After 12 weeks, the active arm in the weight-loss study experienced a statistically significant decrease in their desire as well as in their frequency and strength of food cravings for chocolates and other sweet foods, whereas the placebo group experienced a significant increase in the difficulty in resisting particular types of food.

“While attaining a perfect body is perceived as a matter of only better physical appearance, it is more important for one to attain a healthy body composition, which means focus on increasing the ration of lean body mass,” Majeed asserted. Supplements containing natural extracts that are safe and efficacious will benefit those wishing to slim down for the season or an event to have a lean and fit body that can be sustained, particularly when accompanied by exercise. Bioactive compounds in natural extracts galvanize effective weight reduction through specific mechanisms such as inhibition of citrate lyase or enhance cyclic AMP or by inducing satiety.

The Stress Factor

There are also numerous “stress eaters” who find comfort in food and thus gain a size or two, and after the period of distress subsides, want to regain their original weight and size. During prolonged periods of stress, those who are gaining weight by indulgence may also want to halt the process.

Skop noted that “when people are stressed, they tend to reach for comfort foods, typically carbs such as mashed potatoes, pasta, breads, crackers.” In this case, a carb controller, such as Phase 2 can be a valuable weight management tool.” Study participants who used Phase 2 lost three times more weight than those on diet and exercise alone. Individuals suffering from stress, he noted, should also try to determine the cause of their stress, and find ways to reduce it, including professional help.

Abedon agreed, explaining that stress eating occurs when people cope with stress by eating high-calorie carbohydrate—and fat-laden foods because consumption of these foods helps lead to an improved mood and a state of relaxation. “The best type of supplement for this type of consumer is one that contains a clinically tested, mood-enhancing ingredient that helps reduce stress and anxiety,” he said. Sensoril is a multi-patented, clinically tested extract of ashwagandha root and leaf, which contains what Abedon noted is the highest levels of ashwagandha bioactives in the industry. In one human clinical trial of 98 subjects, consumption of Sensoril resulted in significant reductions in stress and irritability which helped improve mood. “This type of response can help provide resistance to stress-related overeating for stress eaters,” he said.

Relora, from InterHealth Nutraceuticals, is effective for this population as well. According to Djikstra, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study showed that Relora was able to maintain body weight in stress eaters. In the study, subjects who self-identified as eating in response to stress completed the trial. Subjects took 250 mg of Relora or a placebo three times a day for six weeks. Compared to the study baseline, there was significant weight gain for the placebo group. But no significant weight gain for the group taking Relora.

Natural phytoextracts such as GarCitrin, said Majeed, may also work here as the naturally occurring content of HCA has been shown to provide a sense of satiety, “which is an ideal solution for the numerous consumers for whom stress eating is a way of life.”

Further, other groups that place weight loss—or control—include new mothers who want to shed the baby weight, and people who gain weight after quitting cigarettes. Marketing weight-control products to these groups and encouraging your retailer network to cross-merchandise your supplements in the women’s health and natural smoking cessation categories will serve as reminders and add the convenience of purchase.

Overall, when an individual commits to getting into better physical shape through losing weight, he or she has a specific circumstance. Therefore, promotions, marketing materials and social media campaigns can be tailored for each group—even for the same supplement. Consumers are more willing to “bond” with brands that speak to their specific circumstances rather than those that just have a global approach. NIE

For More Information:
■ Icon Group, (802) 257-5345
■ InterHealth Nutraceuticals, (800) 783-4636
■ OmniActives, (866) 588-3629
■ Pharmachem Laboratories Inc., (800) 526-0609
■ Sabinsa, (801) 465-8400; (732) 777-1111

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