Steve Myers, Senior Editor

September 19, 2011

32 Min Read
Ingredients for Improved Weight Management

The problem with overweight and obesity is no secret in todays world of instant news and endless online reference materials. Diet and weight management-loss products have long been popular with consumers, and manufacturers are untiring in their efforts to stay in front of the market with innovative, cutting-edge products based on the latest ingredient research.

The research on natural weight management ingredients continues to be a hot area. However, unlike in decades past, the focus isnt just on simple weight-loss but on controlling appetite, boosting satiety, burning fat, blocking fat and carbs, and swapping fat mass for lean muscle mass.

Satiety, the feeling of fullness after a satisfying meal, is regulated by several hormones including leptin. Produced in adipose tissue, leptin helps control appetite and energy intake by targeting receptors in the hypothalamus region o f the brain. In short, it tells the brain when the stomach is full, resulting in feelings of satiety.

Niacin-bound chromium formulated with Gymnema sylvestre and Garcinia cambogia, which contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA), appears to target leptin. In a Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, study, obese adults received either 2,800 mg/d of HCA (as Super CitriMax®, from InterHealth); 4,667 mg of combined HCA, niacin-bound chromium (as ChromeMate®, also from InterHealth) and G. sylvestre extract; or placebo.1 The researchers reported HCA reduced body weight and BMI, and suppressed appetite and increased serum leptin; the combination supplement had an even greater effect, compared to placebo. Another trial involving chromium found overweight or obese subjects taking 600 mcg/d of chromium picolinate (as Chromax®, from Nutrition 21) for eight weeks experienced reduced appetite, food intake and carb craving, compared to placebo.2 Similar results were published by Louisiana State University scientists who found various doses of chromium picolinate (0, 1, 10 or 50 mcg/kg/d ) in rats may have a direct impact on brain factors in satiety and appetite.3

Additional results on leptin-related peptides were published in 2011. Researchers from InterHealth Nutraceuticals, Laila Nutraceuticals and University of Houston College of Pharmacy investigated a synergistic formulation (Merastin, from InterHealth and Laila) of the extracts of Sphaeranthus indicus and Garcinia mangostana on several weight management factors in human subjects.4 The randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study involved 60 subjects (six males and six females aged 22 to 50 years) with a BMI of 30 to 40 receiving either 400 mg of Merastin or placebo capsules twice daily for eight weeks. All participants followed a calorie-controlled diet (2,000 Kcal/d) and a 30-minute walking regimen (five days a week) for the same eight weeks. Researchers reported significant net reductions in body weight, BMI, and waist and hip circumferences in the Merastin-supplemented group versus placebo. Those taking Merastin also had reduced blood cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose and LDL/HDL ratio and an increase in fat metabolites. Further, the intervention modulated serum adipokines such as adiponectin and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) levels, more significantly than did placebo. Adiponectin is complementary and similar to leptin in the way it interacts with the brain in weight reduction. PAI-1 is increased in obesity and metabolic syndrome.

Another hunger hormone is ghrelin, which is manufactured in the stomach. Ghrelin levels are high when hungry, such as before a meal, but they fall after a filling meal. Like leptin, it also signals the hypothalamus region of the brain; lack of sleep can negatively affect ghrelin levels and activity. The hunger management system also features several peptides. Cholecystokinin (CCK) aids in the digestion of fats and protein in the small intestine; it binds to CCK receptors in the central nervous system (CNS), where it influences anxiety and nausea, as well as satiety and hunger. Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and peptide YY (PYY) each provide signaling support in promoting fullness in both the brain and stomach, in addition to helping to slow the movement of food in the gut, ensuring maximum digestion of nutrients and a decreased appetite.

A good deal of satiety research including ghrelin and supporting peptides has featured proteins, fats and fibers. Based on Dutch research, a high-protein breakfast may decrease postprandial ghrelin levels more than a high-carb breakfast does.5 According to Purdue scientists, morning is the ideal time for this high-protein meal, as their research showed eating such a meal at breakfast more significantly influenced satiety than did eating such a meal at other times during the day.6

The type of protein consumed is also a factor in satiety promotion. A pair of Dutch trials found a high-casein meal (25-percent protein) led to 33-percent higher satiety than a low-casein meal (10-percent protein),7 and a high-soy meal (25-percent protein) was more satiating than a low-soy meal (10-percent), based on measurements of various hunger hormones, insulin and the amino acid taurine.8

A 2011 study from Nestlé found high-protein meals promote more fat burning than high-carb meals, and whey burns more fat than casein or soy proteins.9 The randomized, double blind, crossover design involved 23 lean, healthy subjects consuming four test meals that were similar in caloriesthree meals consisted of 50-percent protein (whey, casein or soy), 40-percent carbohydrate and 10-percent fat, and a fourth meal consisted of 95.5-percent carbohydrate. A control glucose meal provided the same glucose load as the test meals. Researchers measured energy metabolism, satiety and glucose control on separate occasions, just before and 5.5 hours after consumption of each meal. Energy expenditure and thermic effect were greater with the protein-rich meals than the high-carbohydrate meal, and the effects of whey, including fat oxidation, were significantly greater than those of casein and soy. Further, subjective appetite sensations suggested casein and soy were more satiating than whey, but whey was the most well-liked of the protein types.

University of Toronto research found postprandial ghrelin, GLP-1, insulin and CCK may play a role in protein satiety.10 Overweight men taking preloads of casein, whey, lactose or glucose experienced a 71-percent higher CCK plasma concentration at 90 minutes after the protein preloads, compared with men taking preloads of glucose and lactose. The hormone increases were linked to subsequent increases in satiety and reduced appetite among the high-protein subjects.

Some scientists focused on glycomacropeptide (GMP) found in whey and casein. University of California, Berkeley, researchers tested several different combinations of GMP whey and whey-protein isolate on satiety and CCK levels in both men and women.11 They found a greater increase in satiety after the whey-protein preloads than after either the GMP-only or control preloads in women, but not in men. These results suggest GMP may not be satiating on its own, but instead may have a unique role in compensatory intake regulation managing daily energy intake.

A protein extract from potatoes (as Slendesta, from Kemin Health) has also demonstrated an effect on hunger via the CCK mechanism. Proprietary studies conducted at Iowa State University revealed the proteinase inhibitor II (PI2) found in Slendesta promotes satiety and weight loss. In one study, participants taking Slendesta before a meal experienced significantly greater fullness and a decreased appetite compared to those taking a control supplement; CCK levels rose and remained elevated for a longer period of time post meal in those taking Slendesta. In the other study, Slendesta supplementation with either 300 mg/d or 600 mg/d of Slendesta (providing 15 mg or 30 mg PI2, respectively) for 12 weeks resulted in statistically significant reductions in weight, waist and hip measurements.

As with protein, various types of fibers have shown an impact on satiety and ghrelin. A hospital-based trial involving tube-fed patients found consumption of a formula containing 10 g/L of pea fiber and 5 g/L of fructo-oligosaccharide (FOS) insoluble fiber resulted in higher mean fullness, minimum fullness and minimum satiety, compared to the standard enteral formula.12 In a trial involving healthy adults taking 21 g/d FOS for 12 weeks, researchers noted supplementation not only reduced bodyweight, but had a positive effect on glucose, ghrelin and PYY levels, resulting in reduced calorie intake.13

In soluble fiber satiety research, oat and wheat glucans consumed in a functional beverage (10.5 g total fiber), increased fullness and perceived satiety, and decreased the desire to eat compared to a beverage without fiber.14 However, 7.8 g of soluble fiber from a guar gum beverage had the greatest effect on both endpoints. Similarly, 14 weeks of supplementation with 4 g/d of oat and barley beta-glucan soluble fiber (as ViscoFiber®, from Natraceutical Canada) led to weight loss and increased fasting PYY, fasting GLP-1 and satiety at one hour following a standard meal.15

Glucomannan, derived from the konjac plant, is another soluble fiber studied for effects on satiety. A 2007 study publication reported a fiber mixture containing 1 g of glucomannan and 3 g of Plantago ovata husk taken twice or three times daily was more effective than placebo in promoting postprandial satiety in obese and overweight patients.16

Soluble galactomannan from fenugreek is another fiber exhibiting benefits in the satiety segment of weight management. A University of Minnesota, St. Paul, study, featured obese subjects who ate a breakfast containing either 0 g, 4 g or 8 g of isolated fenugreek fiber and were measured for hunger, satiety, fullness and prospective food consumption every half hour for 3.5 hours.17 The highest dose of fenugreek fiber significantly increased mean ratings of satiety and fullness, while reducing hunger and food consumption.

A handful of branded fibers generated some satiety-related research results in 2011. Fibersol®2 (from Matsutani Chemical Industry Co. Ltd.), a digestion-resistant maltodextrin fiber from corn, affects satiety by decreasing hunger, prolonging satiation or increasing satiety signals from the gut, according to unpublished clinical studies conducted by researchers at Iowa State University.

A 2011 review reported gut microflora health affects obesity by supporting fermentation of indigestible carbohydrates to short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) that provide excess energy to the body.18 They said alteration in the ratio of bacteroidetes and firmicutes can change fermentation patterns that could explain weight gain.

A novel chitin-glucan fiber ingredient (as ARTINIA, from Stratum Nutrition) promoted the growth of beneficial bacteria, and suppressed weight gain and inhibited fat deposits in a Belgium animal study.19 Obese mice on a high-fate diet supplemented with Artinia experienced significantly decreased high-fat-induced body weight gain and fat mass development. Researchers noted unlike prebiotics that more specifically target the Bifidobacteria species, Artinias effect was independent of GLP-1 production, because expression of portal GLP-1 and its precursor proglucagon was not modified by the supplementation.

An oligofructose-enriched inulin fiber (as Orafti® Synergy1, from Beneo-Orafti) lowered energy intake in overweight and obese adults, according to a new study presented at the 18th European Congress on Obesity (ECO). University of Ulster, Ireland, researchers used a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled, crossover intervention design involving 36 overweight or obese men and women volunteers who took 6 g of Orafti®Synergy1 twice dailyat breakfast and lunch, as a supplement dissolved in a beverageor a placebo (maltodextrin) over the course of three weeks. Synergy1 intake resulted in a significantly lower energy intake in all subjects, with the effect more pronounced in the women.

Fats and fatty acids can address hunger, appetite and weight management through both hormonal and mechanical methods. The long-chain fatty acids in Korean pine nut oil, namely pinolenic acid, impact appetite via hormone regulation. Proprietary research found 3 g/d of pinolenic acid (as PinnoThin, from Stepan Specialty Products) controlled hunger by stimulating the release of the hormones CCK and GLP1. A 2006 study showed capsules with 3 g PinnoThin given in conjunction with a light breakfast to overweight women (BMI = 25 to 30) induced CCK after 30 minutes and GLP1 after 60 minutes, relative to placebo.20 At 30 minutes, the "desire to eat" and the "prospective food intake" scores were 29- and 36-percent lower relative to placebo, respectively.

Beyond hormones, certain fats can employ a method called ileal brake to curtail digestion of foods that make it beyond the usual digestion point (duodenum) in the small intestines to the ileum; this process also triggers a satiety response. The ileal brake was the central mechanism in a series of unpublished trials on a patent-protected combination of oat and palm oils (as Olibra®, now Fabuless, from DSM Food Specialties). Two University of Ulster, Ireland, studies involved 200 g of yogurt (5 g Fabuless and 1 g milk fat) given to men in one trial and women in the other. Results showed mean energy intakes were significantly lower after the test yogurt compared with the control yogurt in both studies; similar reductions were noted for fat, protein and carbohydrate intakes in both of the studies. In other Ulster research, 200 g of yogurt containing Fabuless was effective on satiety in obese men and women.21 And a Dutch trial found Fabuless reduced appetite in overweight women (aged 18 to 55), limiting weight re-gain after six weeks of weight loss and 18 weeks of Fabuless supplementation.22 Compared to placebo, the women taking Fabluess also reported a steady BMI and decreased appetite.

A 2010 research report from Uppsala University, Sweden, detailed the controlled, double blind, crossover-design study on Fabuless and a control milk fat in 16 subjects with healthy weight.23 Total lipids, mainly as free fatty acids, almost doubled in the Fabuless group, compared to controls, and higher amounts of lipids in the middle section of the small intestine and the presence of fatty acid crystals influenced appetite via the ileal brake mechanism. The researchers confirmed Fabuless enhanced the satiety messaging between the gut and the brain.

A 2011 study on krill oil (as Superba, from Aker Biomarine) found the ingredient normalized the endocannabinoid system, which is dysregulated in obesity.24 Researchers noted feeding a high-fat diet to mice, compared to animals given a low-fat diet, resulted in an elevation of endocannabinoids (EC), lipid messengers that can activate specific receptors; this influenced not only enzyme activities, but also appetite, energy balance, mood, memory and pain perception, indicating the EC system contributes to visceral fat accumulation. Subsequently, eight weeks of Superba supplementation reduced EC levels in several different tissues, and helped lower triglycerides, cholesterol and a marker of inflammation.

In addition to the macronutrients such as protein, fiber and fat, micronutrients have weighed in on satiety. Multivitamins have demonstrated an ability to affect appetite parameters in both healthy and obese subjects.25

Citicoline is made in the body from choline, which is often grouped with the B vitamins, and may affect satiety by acting on dopamine and associated receptors in the brain. In 2010, researchers from McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School reported six weeks of open-label treatment with citicoline (as Cognizin®, from Kyowa Hakko) at two dosages (500 mg/d and 2,000 mg/d) decreased appetite at the higher dose level;26 This correlated to functional brain response to food stimuli, as gauged by brain imaging.

Several botanicals have shown potential in appetite control. In a study from St. John's National Academy of Health Sciences, Bangalore, India, adult men and women, aged 25 to 60 years with a BMI greater than 25, took either 1 g/d of Caralluma fimbriata (as Slimaluma, from Gencor Pacific) or placebo for 60 days.27 Results showed waist circumference and hunger levels declined in the Slimaluma group, compared to placebo; researchers noted glycosides in C. fimbriata likely inhibited the hunger sensory mechanism of the hypothalamus.  In 2010, researchers using a diet-induced obesity animal model found 90 days of Slimaluma supplementation in rats fed a cafeteria diet produced significant and dose-dependent inhibition of food intake, with dose-related prevention of gains in body weight, liver weight and fat pad mass.28 Then in 2011, a study found treating mouse pre-adipocyte cell line samples with Slimaluma resulted in inhibition of pre-adipocyte cell division, indicating Slimaluma has the potential to inhibit hyperplastic obesity.29

Hoodia has enjoyed lots of press in the weight-loss market for its promise in controlling appetite. In a 2007 South African study, extracts from two hoodia species (Hoodia pilifera and Hoodia gordonii) demonstrated appetite suppressing properties, as one glycoside was linked to a reduction in food intake and a subsequent decrease in body weight.30

French researchers reported an eight-week study in mildly overweight women showed consumption of a novel extract of saffron stigma (as Satiereal®, from P.L. Thomas) produces a reduction of snacking and creates a satiating effect that could contribute to body weight loss.31

Similarly, University of Kansas researchers reported in 2005 oral ingestion of an extract of Coleus forskohlii (as ForsLean®, from Sabinsa) for a 12-week period favorably altered body composition while increasing bone mass and serum free testosterone levels in overweight and obese men.32 Then in 2008, an unpublished study found Sabinsas LeanGard®a blend of ForsLean, G. cambogia (as Garcitrin®) and black pepper/peperine extract (as Bioperine®)taken by overweight adults enhanced overall weight loss and reductions in body fat, in addition to supporting increased in lean body mass.

Hot peppers contain capsaicin, which has been studied for hunger management. Dutch researchers studying capsaicins effect on ghrelin, PYY and GLP-1 relative to hunger and satiety found feeding a capsaicin or capsaicin-free lunch to subjects with a BMI between 25 and 27 (aged 17 to 45) did not appear to affect overall satiety, but did impact hunger hormones in certain incidences.33 At 15 minutes after lunch, the capsaicin group had increased GLP-1 and decreased ghrelin, but PYY was not altered.

In a Laval University, Quebec, trial subjects given 22 g of red pepper (66 mg of capsaicinoids) and 800 mg of caffeine over a 24-hour period showed reduced energy intake and increased energy expenditure.34 Similarly, a combination of capsaicin and green tea reduced energy intake in a University of Copenhagen, Denmark, study, which reported the formula suppressed hunger and increased satiety more during negative energy balance than during positive energy balance.35

Capsaicin blends appear to not just impact satiety, but provide a kick to weight-loss regimens, especially to those involving exercise. A proprietary study investigated a capsicum extract vegetarian beadlets, bioperine (black pepper extract), niacin (vitamin B3) and caffeine (as Capsimax Plus Blend, from OmniActive Health Technologies) on various metabolic and safety parameters relative to placebo. The randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled, crossover design involved 25 subjects comprising both genders (10 to 30 years of age) who had a habit of exercising moderately each week. Half took Capsimax Plus Blend, and half took a placebo; then after a washout period, the groups took the opposite protocol. Subjects who took Capsimax Plus Blend one hour prior to exercising burned three times more calories before, 3-percent more calories during, and 12 times more calories for up to an hour after exercise, compared to when they took a placebo. This increase in metabolic rate resulted in an average cumulative total of 278 more calories burned before, during, and after exercise compared to placebo.

This method of burning calories is behind a group of ingredients dubbed thermogenics. In thermogenesis, heat is produced as a by-product of metabolism in each cell, such as when fat is oxidized as part of metabolism. Resting metabolic rate (RMR), which is crucial to basic life and survival, is important to heat production, but can wax and wane with age, body composition and activity level. In thermogenic research, the focus is on RMR, energy expenditure (EE), and burning calories into heat versus storing them in the body.

In research results presented at the XI International Congress on Obesity in July 2010, Stockholm, a single consumption of capsaicin at the right dose is enough to increase EE, especially in people with a higher amount o f brown adipose tissue (BAT)the best for burning calories. A 2010 study reported rats fed high-fat diets with capsaicin lost 8 percent of their body weight and showed changes in the levels of at least 20 key fat-based proteins that help break down fats.36 Research has also shown capsaicin and capsinoids can increase fat oxidation as a mechanism to produce energy.37,38

Green tea has shown weight-management benefits independent of the effects of caffeine. While caffeine affects uncoupling proteins (UCPs) necessary for BAT thermogenesis, increases oxygen consumption in BAT mitochondria and raises RMR, Swiss researchers have suggested an interaction between the teas catechin polyphenols (epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG) and caffeine in the body may be the mechanism behind its strong effect on fat burning.39 In a study on energy output in healthy men, green tea extract (50 mg caffeine and 90 mg EGCG) had significant effects on fat oxidation and energy expenditure in the intervention group, while those taking just caffeine (50 mg) showed no increase in EE).40 In another trial,300 mg/d EGCG increased fat oxidation significantly after only three days of supplementation.41

In a Danish study, green tea reduced body mass and increase thermogenesis in obese subjects who underwent a hypocaloric diet for four weeks before eight weeks of supplementation with a combination of green tea extract (catechins and caffeine), capsaicin, tyrosine and calcium.42

Another thermogenic ingredient with a growing body of supporting research is 3-acetyl-7-oxo-dehydroepiandrosterone, known as 7-oxo-DHEA . This natural substance produced by the adrenal glands, 7-oxo DHEA affects the activity of three thermogenic enzymes: glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, malic enzyme and fatty acyl CoA oxidase, leading to increased heat production and utilization of fat stores for energy.43,44 Research has shown adults taking 7-oxo-DHEA (as 7-Keto®, from Humanetics) experienced as much as three-times more weight and body fat than subjects taking placebo.45,46 Supplementation increased RMR in subjects on a calorie-restricted diet (which normally decreases RMR). In addition, randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled research showed 7-keto supplementation increased RMR (1.4 percent) in overweight subjects who adhered to a calorie-restricted diet and a washout period before the 7-day intervention.47

Thermogenesis by Citrus aurantium is due to stimulating the metabolism that enhances amino acid uptake by muscle tissue and increase lipolysis (the process of breaking down fats into fatty acids). Canadian researchers found C. aurantium (as Advantra Z®, from Nutratech Inc.) given as a meal supplement increased the thermogenic benefit of the food, an effect more pronounced in men than women.48 Results showed Advantra Z more than doubled epinephrine excretion, but did not adversely affect blood pressure. A University of California, San Francisco, study found a multiple-ingredient formula containing 5.5 mg of the C. aurantium active synephrine did raise blood pressure, but C. aurantium alone (containing the much higher dose of 49.6 mg synephrine) did not adversely affect either systolic or diastolic measurements.49

On the question of safety relative to stimulation and the CNS, Nutratech has noted C. aurantium (also known as bitter orange) impacts thermogenic beta-adrenoreceptors, without stimulating other beta-adrenoreceptors that control systems such as blood pressure, thus avoiding the side effects associated with the now-banned ephedra. Georgetown University researchers called C. aurantium perhaps the best thermogenic substitute for ephedra, although they stressed more studies are needed.50 Further, a 2011 FDA study on potential birth defects concluded administration of CA and its constituent synephrine-p in rats was not linked to fetal or maternal toxicity.

Then, in 2011, Phytotherapy Research published a definitive review of C. aurantium safety by a multi-academic panel of experts, who conducted an in-depth scientific analysis of the chemistry and safety of bitter orange drawn from 89 clinical research studies and other reference sources.51 They concluded, The use of bitter orange extract and p-synephrine appears to be exceedingly safe with no serious adverse effects being directly attributable to these ingredients. Further, they noted millions of people safely consume citrus juices that contain synephrine-p. Yet another 2011 research publication concluded ingestion of a weight-management supplement containing Advantra Z, caffeine and green tea extract does not lead to increased cardiovascular stress.52

While many thermogenics concentrate on BAT, a carotenoid from brown algae appears to stimulate white adipose tissue (WAT), which is more prevalent in adults. This carotenoid, fucoxanthin, may promote UCP-1 expression in WAT, increasing fat oxidation and mitochondrial energy production, according to one review.53 Another trial noted adding medium-chain triacylglycerols (MCTs) to fucoxanthin supplementation appears to boost the UCP-1 expression and fat loss, at least in animals researched, and adding fish oil to fucoxanthin produced similar results.54,55 An unpublished trial involving overweight adults receiving placebo or a combination of fucoxanthin plus and other ingredients (as ThinOgen Plus, from Beijing Gingko Group) found 94.5 percent of those taking 2 mg/d ThinOgen experienced significant weight loss, while 99 percent of those taking 4 mg/d ThinOgen had similar weight loss, including abdominal fat loss.

Brown seaweed also may boost weight management. An unpublished monocentric, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel double blind clinical study on a brown seaweed extract (as ID-alG,from Bio Serae Laboratories) supplementation, showed 60 overweight women given either 400 mg/d of ID-alG or placebo for two months experienced improved caloric intake control and reduced fat storage.

A proprietary blend of fucoxanthin rich brown seaweed extract and pomegranate oil (as Xanthigen, from PL Thomas) reduced body and liver fat content, and improved liver function tests in obese, non-diabetic women.56 The 2010 double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study conducted by the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, Moscow, looked at food intake, body composition, resting energy expenditure (REE) and several blood parameters weekly for 16 weeks in 151 non-diabetic, obese premenopausal women with liver fat content either above 11 percent (NAFLD, n = 113) or below 6.5 percent (NLF, n = 38). In addition to improvements in body and liver fat and function, Xanthigen increased REE.

Brown seaweed appears to be multifaceted in weight management. A blend of phlorotannins (PHT) from the brown seaweeds Ascophyllum nodosum and Fucus vesiculosus (as InSea2, from innoVactiv) has shown promise in inhibiting -amylase and -glucosidase enzymes (carb processors) in vitro, as well as blocking table sugar digestion in vivo, according to an unpublished trial. A 2010 Laval University, Quebec, human clinical study confirmed the ability of inSea2 to block carbs/starch, resulting in reduced blood glucose levels and improved insulin response following a high-starch meal.57

Alginate, a natural fiber found in sea kelp, may reduce fat absorption by 75 percent, according to one study.58 Researchers investigated the effectiveness of 60 different natural fibers on fat digestion and absorption in an artificial gut model, finding alginate inhibits fat absorption better than many over-the-counter (OTC) anti-obesity products.

Absorption of fat and carbs has become another popular approach to weight management.

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) reduces new fat deposits and supports new lean muscle development by inhibiting a lipase enzyme that ordinarily breaks down dietary fat for storage in the body. A Norwegian trial in healthy adults who exercised regularly and took either Tonalin® CLA (from BASF) (0.6 mg tid ) for 12 weeks had significant loss of body fat, but not overall weight, compared to the placebo group.59 In another trial, fat-mass reduction and lean muscle mass increases were attributed to supplementation with 5 g/d of Tonalin for seven weeks in conjunction with resistance weight training in healthy adults.60 Further adults taking CLA for one or two years experienced significant body mass reductions due to CLA, not diet or training.61 CLA was also found to decrease body fat in 6- to 10-year-old children who were either overweight or obese.62

On carbohydrate absorption, an extract of white bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) slows the absorption of starches. A 2010 study involving subjects who took P. vulgaris (as Phase 2 Carb Controller, from Pharmachem Labs) for 60 days resulted in significantly reduced body weight and waist size after one month of supplementation compared to placebo.63 The supplement group also had reduced BMI results, with a more pronounced effect in the first month of the trial than in the second month. The researchers suggested Phase 2 might interfere with the digestion of complex carbohydrate to simple, absorbable sugars, potentially reducing carbohydrate-derived calories.

Phase 2 is one component of a three-phase weight management line, which also includes Phase 1 Hunger Controller, which contains the vegetable-based fat ingredient Olibra, and Phase 3 Sugar Controller designed for blood glucose support.

The numerous approaches to using natural ingredients in weight management reflect the ongoing consumer drive toward more convenient, less invasive ways to control weight. Whether controlling hunger and appetite, blocking or burning fat (and carbs) or limiting fat storage in the body, several nutritional and botanical ingredients have generated significant and promising research results that could benefit any weight management formula.

References are on the next page...

Weight Management References

1. Kuriyan R et al. "Effect of Caralluma fimbriata extract on appetite, food intake and anthropometry in adult Indian men and women." Appetite. 2007 May;48(3):338-44.

2. Docherty JP et al. "A double-blind, placebo-controlled, exploratory trial of chromium picolinate in atypical depression: effect on carbohydrate craving." J Psychiatr Pract. 2005 Sep;11(5):302-14.

3. Anton SD et al. "Effects of chromium picolinate on food intake and satiety." Diabetes Technol Ther. 2008 Oct;10(5):405-12.

4. Lau FC et al. Efficacy of LOWAT A Natural Weight Management Herbal Formula in Human Subjects. FASEB J. 2011;25:(Meeting Abstract Supplement) 601.10.

5. Blom WA et al. "Effect of a high-protein breakfast on the postprandial ghrelin response." Amer J Clin Nutr. 2006; 83(2):211-20.

6. Leidy HJ et al. "Increased dietary protein consumed at breakfast leads to an initial and sustained feeling of fullness during energy restriction compared to other meal times." Br J Nutr. 2009 Mar;101(6):798-803.

7. Veldhorst MA et al. Comparison of the effects of a high- and normal-casein breakfast on satiety, satiety hormones, plasma amino acids and subsequent energy intake. Br J Nutr. 2009 Jan;101(2):295-303.

8. Hochstenbach-Waelen A et al. "Effects of high and normal soyprotein breakfasts on satiety and subsequent energy intake, including amino acid and 'satiety' hormone responses." Eur J Nutr. 2009 Mar;48(2):92-100.

9. Acheson KJ et al. Protein choices targeting thermogenesis and metabolism. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Mar;93(3):525-34

10.Bowen J et al. "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;91(8):2913-9.

11. Burton-Freedom BM. "Glycomacropeptide (GMP) is not critical to whey-induced satiety, but may have a unique role in energy intake regulation through cholecystokinin (CCK)." Physiol Behav. 2008 Jan 28;93(1-2):379-87.

12. Whelan K et al. "Appetite during consumption of enteral formula as a sole source of nutrition: the effect of supplementing pea-fibre and fructo-oligosaccharides." Br J Nutr. 2006 Aug;96(2):350-6.

13. Parnell JA and 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.

14. Lyly M et al. "Fibre in beverages can enhance perceived satiety." Eur J Nutr. 2009 Jun;48(4):251-8.

15. Greenway F et al. "Fourteen Weeks of Treatment with Viscofiber Increased Fasting Levels of Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 and Peptide-YY." J Med Food. 2007 Dec;10(4):720-4.

16. Sala-Salvado J et al. "Effect of two doses of a mixture of soluble fibres on body weight and metabolic variables in overweight or obese patients: a randomised trial." Br J Nutr. 2008 Jun;99(6):1380-7.

17. Mathern JR et al. "Effect of Fenugreek Fiber on Satiety, Blood Glucose and Insulin Response and Energy Intake in Obese Subjects." Phytother Res. 2009 Nov;23(11):1543-8.

18. Di Felippo C et al. Impact of diet in shaping gut microbiota revealed by a comparative study in children from Europe and rural Africa. Proc Nat Acad Sci. Aug. 2, 2011. Online ahead of print.

19. Neyrinck AM et al. Dietary modulation of clostridial cluster XIVa gut bacteria (Roseburia spp.) by chitinglucan fiber improves host metabolic alterations induced by high-fat diet in mice. J Nutri Biochem. 2011; 149(3): 183-190.

20. Einerhand AW et al. "Korean pine nut fatty acids affect appetite sensations, plasma CCK and GLP1 in overweight subjects." FASEB Journal. 2006;20:A829.

21. Burns AA et al. "Short-term effects of yoghurt containing a novel fat emulsion on energy and macronutrient intakes in non-obese subjects." Int. J Obesity. 2000; 24(11):1419-25.

22. Burns AA et al. "The effects of yoghurt containing a novel fat emulsion on energy and macronutrient intakes in non-overweight, overweight and obese subjects." Int J Obesity. 2001; 25(10):1487-95. 

23. Knutson L et al. Gastrointestinal metabolism of a vegetable-oil emulsion in healthy subjects. AJCN. Online ahead of print June 23, 2010.

24. Piscitelli F et al. Effect of dietary krill oil supplementation on the endocannabinoidome of metabolically relevant tissues from high-fat-fed mice. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2011 Jul 13;8(1):51.

25. Major GC et al. " Multivitamin and dietary supplements, body weight and appetite: results from a cross-sectional and a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled study." Br J Nutr. 2007 Nov 1;:1-11.

26. Presented at SupplyExpo, March 2011.

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About the Author(s)

Steve Myers

Senior Editor

Steve Myers is a graduate of the English program at Arizona State University. He first entered the natural products industry and Virgo Publishing in 1997, right out of college, but escaped the searing Arizona heat by relocating to the East Coast. He left Informa Markets in 2022, after a formidable career focused on financial, regulatory and quality control issues, in addition to writing stories ranging research results to manufacturing. In his final years with the company, he spearheaded the editorial direction of Natural Products Insider.

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