It’s probably the most common question we get: “What supplement is best for fat-loss?” You can’t flip through a gossip magazine without seeing 6 or 7 full page advertisements for the “latest, greatest, hidden secret, 100% guaranteed” fat-loss supplement. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry with thousands of “happy” clients (of course, that’s according to the before and after pictures in the ads). So what is the answer?
Obesity is at an all-time high. It’s reached epidemic proportions in the U.S. And with it comes costly chronic diseases like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arthritis, and type 2 diabetes. Hence, it’s an extremely profitable niche if a solution can be found. By extremely profitable, I mean hundreds of millions of dollars of profit per year. That’s the kind of profit that will let you buy your own island or even small country. If Big Pharma hasn’t found an answer yet, a supplement company with 1/10,000th of a research budget of Big Pharma isn’t going to. So if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
There is one supplement we actually do recommend. It’s called Green Tea Extract (GTE). Although it has been shown to be an effective weight loss remedy, we actually like it for its overall health benefits.
The Research on Weight Loss
- Researchers presented their findings in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in 2011 that showed over a 10 week period the group that consumed GTE burned more fat, as compared to carbohydrates, during exercise. The researchers concluded GTE shifted the body into fat burning mode by activating the beta oxidation of fat.
- In 1999, Dr. Dulloo presented his research results to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that showed the group that took GTE burned on average 78 more calories per day than the placebo group, as well as 20% more fat. In 2005, Dr. Berube-Parent confirmed those results with her own study published in the British Journal of Nutrition. The GTE group in her study burned on average 178 more calories per day than the placebo group.
- Dr. Westerterp and her colleagues publisher her research in the journal Obesity Research that showed the group that took GTE post-diet, actually continued to lose weight, while the group that didn’t take GTE, actually gained on average 40% of the weight they lost during the diet back.
- Dr. Baile and researchers at the University of Georgia showed that fat cells exposed to GTE died at a much higher rate than fat cells exposed to the placebo chemical. He also showed that GTE slowed the creation of new fat cells.
What else can it do
Researchers have seen the following positive results from GTE:
- help lower cholesterol
- help lower blood sugar
- help strengthen the immune system
- help cancer cells
- help reduce inflammation
Before you go out and buy a bottle, don’t expect a magic pill that will cure all of your ailments. Although GTE is quickly becoming one of the most studied supplements in the world, the research is still far from conclusive. Most studies have been done on cell cultures and mice. The studies that included humans have been small, where results can easily be influenced by confounding variables. Thus far the research looks good, but it’s still in its infancy.
How much and when
The majority of the research has used 90mg of ECGC (the active component of GTE) three times daily.When you purchase a GTE product, make sure you look to see what the % of ECGC is in the product, as most manufacturers will just list the total GTE dosage, not the dosage of ECGC. You may have to do a little math. If a product says 250mg of GTE with 50% ECGC, you’re getting 125mg of ECGC, which is good.
Most GTE products do contain small amounts of caffeine, so if you’re extremely sensitive to caffeine’s stimulant effects, be careful. You can find a few products that are caffeine free.