Adipose tissue is undoubtedly one of the reasons why, for millions of years, humans have managed to survive famines, diseases, and climate warming and cooling (1).
A slim, healthy man, weighing around 75 kilos, is thought to have an an energy reserve of about 100,000 kcals in his adipose tissue, a significant amount.
The problem is that adipocytes, cells able to accumulate excess fatty acids in the form of triglycerides, have an almost infinite capacity for storage. Worse still, and contrary to long-held belief, recent studies suggest that the body is capable of making new ones (2).
Consequently, any excess consumption of alcohol, simple sugars or fats leads to fat accumulating in adipocytes. In fact, all surplus calories are converted into triglycerides stored in adipocytes: if your calorie intake exceeds your energy expenditure, you accumulate fat.
It’s the great disease of the 20th and 21st centuries: a sedentary lifestyle with little physical activity, coupled with a diet high in calories, alcohol, fat and simple sugars, has resulted in a global pandemic of excess weight and obesity: incidence of obesity has almost trebled since 1975, and in 2016, 39% of the world’s population was overweight, of which 13% were obese (3).
Also known as Malabar tamarind, the tree Garcinia cambogia is part of the mangosteen family, the bark and fruits of which have been used for thousands of years, especially for flavoring Asian cooking, but also in traditional pharmacopoeia.
Recent in vitro studies have demonstrated the effect of Garcinia cambogia’s active principle on the body. Hydroxycitric acid appears to inhibit ATP-citrate lyase which converts sugars into fat. Other studies have shown hydroxycitric acid to have a hunger-suppressing effect, a property from which you can benefit by taking certain supplements (such as Garcinia cambogia standardized to 60% hydroxycitric acid) (4).
Garcinia cambogia is thus recognized today as an aid to weight control and to reducing fat storage, as well as for helping to maintain normal blood sugar levels.
A perennial plant from the lamiaceae family, Coleus forskohlii, or Indian Coleus, has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine.
This plant’s most powerful active principle is actually a diterpene called forskolin which acts on adenylate cyclase. This is an enzyme involved in lipolysis, the breaking down of fats in adipocytes (5).
Coleus forskohlii is thus an essential tool for helping to combat the accumulation of fat: it offers recognized support for weight control and the metabolism of lipids. You’ll find it, along with other active principles and natural plants, in targeted supplements (such as Advanced Fat Burner).
Consumed for thousands of years across the world, from Africa and Asia to the Mediterranean, liquorice is popular among those with a sweet tooth, but less well-known for its health benefits.
Containing glycyrrhizic acid and highly-antioxidant bioactive flavonoids such as glabidrin, liquiritoside and isoliquiritoside, liquorice supports gastro-intestinal and immune health, helps to maintain healthy skin, and also offers antioxidant properties.
What’s less well-known is that according to recent research, it plays a role in reducing visceral fat, the kind found under the abdominal muscles and around organs, and which is highly present in overweight and obese individuals (6).
So to help you stay healthy and prevent the accumulation of excess fat, opt for a liquorice supplement (such as Viscerox, a formulation extracted from liquorice root and standardized to 30% polyphenols and 3% glabidrin).
It gives dishes a kick and can bring you out in a sweat: chilli is a spice loved by some and avoided by others. What you may not be aware of is that the molecule responsible for its ‘heat’, capsaicin, also offers benefits for health.
Currently, it features mainly in medical treatments for neuropathic pain, but capsaicin is also starting to be used to fight obesity.
In actual fact, capsaicin activates TRPV1 nociceptors which are involved in increasing body temperature and the sensation of pain. In doing so, the receptors transfer calcium to cells. This stimulates mitochondrial biosynthesis, increases muscle protein production and results in the secretion of adrenalin (7-8).
In short, capsaicin increases base metabolism, the rate at which your body burns calories. It also promotes a feeling of satiety.
This is why chilli is recognized for helping to maintain a healthy weight and is therefore an important aid in combatting the accumulation of fats (it features, along with the above-mentioned Garcinia cambogia and many other beneficial compounds, in the synergistic supplement Metadrine).
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