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1. Calcium. Most people think of calcium as something you should take to minimize bone loss with the onset of andropause or menopause, and indeed this is true. But calcium also has many other health benefits, including the ability to aid in fat reduction. An article in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, which evaluated five clinical studies involving 780 women in their thirties, fifties, and eighties, showed that taking 1,000 mg calcium daily was associated with as much as an 8 kg (17.6 pounds) loss in body weight over four years.

A random analysis of forty-three other studies showed that 1,000 mg calcium a day over a period of two weeks led to a significant reduction in blood pressure. Calcium also lowers serum cholesterol. A recent study conducted on 223 healthy postmenopausal women showed that taking 1,000 mg calcium per day produced a 7 percent increase in HDL and a 6 percent decrease in LDL.

Early in life, taking calcium carbonate is all right because your body is able to readily absorb it. But as you move into your fifties, you should switch over to calcium citrate, which is twice as easy to absorb. You need stomach acid to absorb calcium, and as you get older your levels of stomach acid may drop. This is one of the reasons why taking Tums, which is an acid neutralizer, is not the best way to get your calcium. I suggest taking 1,000 to 1,500 mg calcium citrate with meals, as recommended by your physician.

Since calcium needs vitamin D to be absorbed, make sure you are getting 400-600 mg of D daily. Check your multiple vitamin for sufficient levels of vitamin D.

2. Magnesium. Taking magnesium will greatly enhance the effects of calcium. Magnesium is an essential partner in many enzymatic reactions that govern neuromuscular function and the maintenance of cardiovascular tone. Recent studies are beginning to find a correlation between magnesium and fat loss. People who are obese have very low levels of magnesium as compared to those with a normal body weight. If you have type 2 diabetes, taking magnesium helps to decrease insulin resistance.

Magnesium has the ability to increase calcium's effectiveness in lowering blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels. I suggest taking 450 mg magnesium glycinate or aspartate (not in combination with calcium but as a separate supplement) before bedtime.

If you have a kidney disorder, you may need to check with your doctor before supplementing with magnesium.

3. Chromium Picolinate. This supplement helps to burn fat because it increases the body's sensitivity to glucose. I usually recommend that clients take 200 mcg twice daily with a meal while they are on my program. I usually see the greatest results from this supplement after six weeks. Any good multiple vitamin should include 200 mcg chromium picolinate, so please read your vitamin/mineral label before you take an additional dose. After two months, you can drop down to a 200 mcg maintenance dose. A study from the University of Vermont also shows that chromium picolinate significantly improves glucose sensitivity in diabetics. For this reason, if you have diabetes or are hypoglycemic, speak with your doctor before taking this supplement. This is especially crucial if you are taking insulin, because chromium picolinate could change your body's insulin requirements.

4. Coenzyme Q10. Besides being a powerful antioxidant, coenzyme Q10 improves metabolic efficiency and endurance when taken before an exercise session, helps to decrease insulin resistance, and doubles your body's ability to eliminate metabolic toxins. I recommend 50 mg for women and 100 mg for men, which should be taken before cardiovascular exercise or interval training. Taking this supplement with a snack containing fat (like a small handful of nuts or a tablespoon of peanut butter) will help your body to absorb it.

There has been extensive research in the United States and Japan regarding the treatment of cardiovascular disease with coenzyme Q10. Taking this supplement will certainly help to keep your heart healthy. Most recently, coenzyme Q10 has been shown to be effective in treating high-risk breast cancer. Since this supplement is an immune function enhancer, it could also be used to decrease cancer risk.

5. Acetyl-L-Carnitine. I always use acytyl-L-carnitine in conjunction with coenzyme Q10 because this combination enhances mitochondrial function. I have found that most people who have become overfat are not only insulin resistant and glucose intolerant but have impaired mitochondrial function. In essence, the mitochondria in their cells—the little fat-burning furnaces—are no longer able to work efficiently. When I have women take

500 mg acetyl-L-carnitine and men 1,000 mg, along with their coenzyme Q10, I see a steady increase in metabolic efficiency and exercise endurance, as well as an increase in fat loss. Take this supplement before aerobic exercise or interval training.

6. Green Tea Extract. This extract, 200 to 300 mg taken 30 to 45 minutes before a workout, will increase your fat-burning efficiency. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that "green tea extract has thermogenic properties and promotes fat oxidation beyond that explained by its caffeine content." Other studies have shown that green tea causes fat loss in three ways:

1. The catechin polyphenols in green tea inhibit the action of the enzyme in the body that breaks down norepinephrine, extending that hormone's life in the body as a fat burner.

2. Green tea partially inhibits the action of lipase in the stomach and intestines. Lipase is a soap-like enzyme responsible for changing the fats we eat into a form the body can absorb.

3. Green tea helps insulin to more effectively remove sugar from the bloodstream, keeping blood sugar levels more consistent.

A recent article in Nutrition showed that green tea can protect against gastritis (inflammation of the mucous membrane of the stomach) and stomach cancer.

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