Research

Ashwaganda

Ashwaganda is a plant extract that is used in weight loss programs. A study done by Ashwinikumar shows that this plant extract causes a reduction in the LDL (low density lipoproteins) and total cholesterol. The low density lipoproteins are implicated in high cholesterol levels. Ashwaganda also lowers the total body fat percentage. Unlike high density lipoproteins, the low density lipoproteins are responsible for the body’s unhealthy fat accumulates and have been implicated in cardiomyopathy associated with high cholesterol.

In another study by Sachin Wankhede et al, it was reported that subjects given ashwaganda supplements showed gain in muscle strength, indicating that there was a reduction total body fat. Muscle bulk increase is inversely proportional to fat bulk. Therefore, an increase in total muscle bulk will decrease the total body fat.

It can thus be concluded that the outcome of ashwaganda dietary intake will decrease the total body fat, thereby, reducing the weight of the individual.

References

1. Ashwinikumar et al. Exploratory study to evaluate tolerability, safety, and activity of Ashwagandha (withania somnifera) in healthy volunteers.

2. Sachin Wanhede et al. Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015; 12: 43.

Caffeine

Caffeine reduces body fat when combined with exercise. A study done by Wilcox AR shows that there was 22% reduction in body weight, 25% reduction in epidermal fat cells, with reduction in retroperitoneal fat pad weights. It was concluded that the effects of caffeine as a supplement for weight loss was enhanced when combined with aerobic exercise. Fat accumulates abundantly in the retroperitoneal area, thus manifesting as truncal fat or truncal obesity. Other fat deposit areas are the epidermis and hypodermis. I can thus be concluded that the effect of caffeine reduces the accumulation of fats, thus reducing the weight of an individual.

There is also evidence to show that caffeine intake supports the maintenance of weight loss. The effective caffeine is that found in coffee. Trials on subjects have revealed that caffeine and coffee increase the metabolic rate, thereby, showing an increase in the amount of weight lost in both normal and obese individuals.

In another study by Boozer CN, weight loss was observed in subjects taking herbal caffeine. There was a reduction total body fat and an improvement in blood lipid levels.

It can thus be concluded that caffeine, whether in the herbal form, or in coffee, has a positive effect in weight maintenance, because it hinders the accumulation of fats.

References

1. Wilcox AR. The effects of caffeine and exercise on body weight, fat-pad weight, and fat-cell size. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1982;14(4):317-21.

2. Jacobson TL1, Febbraio MA, Arkinstall MJ, Hawley JA. Effect of caffeine co-ingested with carbohydrate or fat on metabolism and performance in endurance-trained men. Exp Physiol. 2001 Jan;86(1):137-44.

3. Acheson KJ, Zahorska-Markiewicz B, Pittet P, Anantharaman K, Jéquier E. Caffeine and coffee: their influence on metabolic rate and substrate utilization in normal weight and obese individuals. Am J Clin Nutr. 1980 May;33(5):989-97.

4. Icken D1, Feller S2, Engeli S3, Mayr A4, Müller A1, Hilbert A5, de Zwaan M1. Caffeine intake is related to successful weight loss maintenance. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2016 Apr;70(4):532-4. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2015.183. Epub 2015 Nov 11.

5. Boozer CN1, Daly PA, Homel P, Solomon JL, Blanchard D, Nasser JA, Strauss R, Meredith T. Herbal ephedra/caffeine for weight loss: a 6-month randomized safety and efficacy trial. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2002 May;26(5):593-604.

Iodine

Iodine deficiency was observed in obese women, indicating that iodine supplements when not administered, worsen the obesity. Addition of iodine as a nutrient supplement can benefit the individual because it acts on the thyroid gland, which regulates body weight. A conclusion can be made that iodine is an adjunct to be used in weight loss programs.

Iodine has an effect on the thyroid gland, which helps to control and regulate the basal metabolic rate. Therefore, when there is iodine deficiency, the thyroid gland cannot function well as a regulator of weight. This causes weight gain, due to irregularities in metabolic rate, inducing weight gain. The effects of the thyroid gland in diseased state can be observed in patients with hypothyroidism, as they present with weight gain. Conversely patients suffering from hyperthyroidism present with weight loss because of over activity of the thyroid gland, with excessive iodine.

It can thus be concluded that the use of iodine in weight loss programs will cause weight loss, due to its action on the thyroid gland.

References

1. Lecube A, Zafon C, Gromaz A, Fort JM, Caubet E, Baena JA, Tortosa F. Iodine deficiency is higher in morbid obesity in comparison with late after bariatric surgery and non-obese women. Obes Surg. 2015 Jan;25(1):85-9. doi: 10.1007/s11695-014-1313-z.

2. Manikya Kuriti et al IODINE CONTENT OF U.S. WEIGHT-LOSS FOOD. Endocr Pract. 2014 Mar 1; 20(3): 232–235.

Magnesium glycinate

Magnesium glycinate is micro nutrient that is used as a supplement for nutrition and as an adjunct for weight loss. Its action on the liver enzymes, lipid profile and blood sugar make it ideal for its use in weight loss programs.

In a study done by Majid K et al, it was concluded that magnesium glycinate had an effect of weight loss, observed in patients with a fatty liver. Magnesium’s action on the liver causes activation of the liver enzymes that work on the degradation of fatty acids, thus reducing the amount of stored fats in the body.

The reduction of the total body fat improves the body’s lipid profile, to a healthy state. Increased blood sugar causes inefficiency of insulin, which results in increased storage of fats and causes weight gain due to the effects of hyperphagia. The action of magnesium on blood glucose helps to control the blood glucose levels, thus it has an indirect effect on reducing the amount of stored fats.

References

1. Majid K et al.The effect of magnesium supplementation and weight loss on liver enzymes in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. J Res Med Sci. 2013 Jul; 18(7): 573–579. PMCID: PMC3897024

Selenium

Selenium (Se) is a trace element which has majors effects in the process of fat cell generation (adipogenesis). It also causes hypertrophy of the adipocytes, leading to an increase in total body fat percentage. Its role in adipocyte hypertrophy and adipogenesis has been associated with the development of obesity, in some studies.

However, selenium intake from the diet has shown that it accounts for total body fat variation in 9% to 27%, with some studies showing that high dietary selenium intake is associated with beneficial body composition profile.

In a study done by Alizadeh M, subjects that were taking selenium showed reduction in obesity. This is attributed to the fact selenium acts on insulin resistance, thereby, improving the action of insulin on blood glucose levels, resulting in weight loss.

From the evidence gathered in research, it can be concluded that selenium does have some positive effect which may benefit certain individuals in weight loss programs.

References

1. Alizadeh M1, Safaeiyan A, Ostadrahimi A, Estakhri R, Daneghian S, Ghaffari A, Gargari BP.Effect of L-arginine and selenium added to a hypocaloric diet enriched with legumes on cardiovascular disease risk factors in women with central obesity: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Ann Nutr Metab. 2012;60(2):157-68. doi: 10.1159/000335470. Epub 2012 Apr 18.

2. Yongbo Wang,1 Xiang Gao,2,3 Pardis Pedram,2 Mariam Shahidi,4 Jianling Du,1 Yanqing Yi,5 Wayne Gulliver,2 Hongwei Zhang,2 and Guang Sun. Significant Beneficial Association of High Dietary Selenium Intake with Reduced Body Fat in the CODING Study. Nutrients. 2016 Jan; 8(1): 24.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 has an effect as an adjunct to weight loss medications. It has been reported by Rodriguez-Rodriguez E that subjects that consume Vitamin B6 supplements show an increase in fat free mass percentages. Vitamin B6 has a positive effect on the decrease of the activity of fat cells, thus it is recommended that nutritional status, during weight loss programs should be maintained.

When used in combination with leucine, Vitamin B6 has shown to reduce adipocyte tissue lipid storage. The use of the vitamin B6 as a supplement is thus ideal for weight loss programs. Reduced fat storage implies that there are reduced reserves of fats in the body, thereby causing a reduction in total body mass.

In another study, vitamin B6 used on rats showed it was involved in metabolic rate regulation, thereby playing a role in total fat and cholesterol. A high metabolic rate implies that the fat cells and energy reserves are utilized at a fast rate, making the storage of fats unnecessary. This high metabolic rate therefore, causes less storage of fats and reduction in total body mass and weight.

References

1. Coburn SP, Mahuren JD, Schaltenbrand WE, Wostmann BS, Madsen D. Effects of vitamin B-6 deficiency and 4'- deoxypyridoxine on pyridoxal phosphate concentrations, pyridoxine kinase and other aspects of metabolism in the rat. J Nutr. 1981 Feb;111(2):391-8.

2. Henning BF, Tepel M, Riezler R, Gillessen A, Doberauer C. Vitamin supplementation during weight reduction--favourable effect on homocysteine metabolism. Res Exp Med (Berl). 1998 Jul;198(1):37-42.

3. Michael B Zemel and Antje Bruckbauer Effects of a leucine and pyridoxine-containing nutraceutical on body weight and composition in obese subjects. Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2013; 6: 309–315.

4. Rodríguez-Rodríguez E, López-Sobaler AM, Navarro AR, Bermejo LM, Ortega RM, Andrés P. Vitamin B6 status improves in overweight/obese women following a hypocaloric diet rich in breakfast cereals, and may help in maintaining fat-free mass. Int J Obes (Lond). 2008 Oct;32(10):1552-8. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2008.131. Epub 2008 Aug 5.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is essential for DNA synthesis and for cellular energy production. There is not enough evidence to support the use of vitamin B12 as a weight loss drug. However, it has been observed that it reduces appetite, thereby causing weight loss in the elderly and cancer patients.

Because of its role in DNA synthesis and cellular energy production, vitamin B 12 can thus be appropriately used in weight loss programs as a drug that will enhance cellular energy production and usage, thus preventing less storage of energy in the form of fats, consequently reducing the weight of the individual.

References

1. Egidio Del Fabbro, M.D., David Hui, M.D., Shalini Dalal, M.D., Rony Dev, M.D., Zohra Noorhuddin, M.D., and Eduardo Bruera, M.D. Clinical Outcomes and Contributors to Weight Loss in a Cancer Cachexia Clinic. J Palliat Med. 2011 Sep; 14(9): 1004–1008.

2. Fiona O’Leary and Samir Samman. Vitamin B12 in Health and Disease. Nutrients. 2010 Mar; 2(3): 299–316. Published online 2010 Mar 5. doi: 10.3390/nu2030299

3. Gupta NK, Powers JS.Vitamin B12 deficiency and severe weight loss in an elderly patient. Tenn Med. 2008 Feb;101(2):35-6.

Vitamin D

A trial study reported that in instances of low vitamin D intake, there is associated obesity. This concludes that Vitamin D supplements reduce weight. Vitamin D acts on the adipocytes, by reducing their size, thereby reducing the total fat cell mass in the body.

Weight loss, associated with a reduction in total body fat, is associated with increased levels of vitamin D (serum 25(OH)D ) concentration in overweight or obese women, thereby being an adjunct in weight loss programs. Therefore, vitamin D supplements are ideal for use as adjuncts in the management weight gain.

In another study, Vitamin D3 supplementation during weight loss did not increase weight loss or associated factors compared with placebo. However, vitamin D, just like most vitamins is used as a nutritional supplement in patients on weight gain and weight loss programs. It cannot however, be used as a weight loss drug but can be used as an adjunct to weight loss drugs, thus it can improve the chances of the treatment outcome in weight loss programs.

References

1. Mallard SR ,Howe AS, Houghton LA. Vitamin D status and weight loss: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized and nonrandomized controlled weight-loss trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Oct;104(4):1151-1159. Epub 2016 Sep 7.

2. Mason C, De Dieu Tapsoba J, Duggan C, Imayama I, Wang CY, Korde LA, Stanczyk F, McTiernan A. Effects of vitamin D supplementation during weight loss on sex hormones in postmenopausal women. Menopause. 2016 Jun;23(6):645-52. doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000000600

3. Rock CL, Emond JA, Flatt SW, Heath DD, Karanja N, Pakiz B, Sherwood NE, Thomson CA. Weight loss is associated with increased serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D in overweight or obese women. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2012 Nov;20(11):2296-301. doi: 10.1038/oby.2012.57. Epub 2012 Mar 8.

4. Simon Vanlint. Vitamin D and Obesity. Nutrients. 2013 Mar; 5(3): 949–956.

Zinc

Zinc is involved in several metabolic pathways, as a co enzyme. Some of the metabolic pathways are involved in the control of metabolic rate. This role of zinc places it at the center of regulation of weight gain and weight loss because of its effect on basal metabolic rate.

Zinc is a growth factor and it is involved in cell division, thereby promoting the growth of an organism. It is also involved in several biochemical and hormonal functions, including those that control appetite, weight gain and weight loss. When combined with a hypocaloric balanced diet, zinc has shown to reduce the body weight, body mass index, body fat percentage and total body fat, with reduction in plasma levels of triglyceride.

Zinc is therefore an ideal weight loss program supplement, due to its effect on the basal metabolic rate and multiple effects on several factors that play a role in weight gain.

References

1. Cheng HL, Griffin HJ, Bryant CE, Rooney KB, Steinbeck KS, O'Connor HT. Impact of diet and weight loss on iron and zinc status in overweight and obese young women. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2013;22(4):574-82. doi: 10.6133/apjcn.2013.22.4.08.

2. Ishikawa Y, Kudo H, Kagawa Y, Sakamoto S Increased plasma levels of zinc in obese adult females on a weight-loss program based on a hypocaloric balanced diet. In Vivo. 2005 Nov-Dec;19(6):1035-7.

Hypogonadism

Hypogonadism in men, characterised by a reduced concentration of serum testosterone, causes a constellation of signs and symptoms that may include decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, decreased volume of ejaculate, loss of body and facial hair, weakness, decreased bone density, decreased lean body mass, increased body fat, fatigue and anaemia

Hypogonadism in adult men is often overlooked, even in the presence of associated symptoms, because hypogonadal men often ignore their symptoms or attribute them to alternate causes, including ageing.

The impact of hypogonadism on morbidity is largely unknown because there are few data from large cross-sectional studies that address this aspect. However, small epidemiological studies point towards an association of hypogonadism with morbidity resulting from low testosterone states in ageing men.

References

1.Mulligan T, Frick MF, Zuraw QC, et al. Prevalence of hypogonadism in males aged at least 45 years: the HIM study. International Journal of Clinical Practice, 2006;60(7):762-769

Androgen deficiency

Androgen deficiency is a clinical diagnosis confirmed by hormone assays.

In the absence of characteristic underlying testicular or pituitary disorders, new diagnosis of androgen deficiency in older men is difficult because of the non-specific symptoms and the decline in blood testosterone levels seen in healthy ageing and chronic medical disorders.

There remains no convincing evidence that androgen therapy is either effective treatment or safe for older men unless they have frank androgen deficiency.

References

1.Handelsman DJ, Zajac JD. Androgen deficiency and replacement therapy in men. Med J Aust 2014;180: 529-35

Erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is when a man is unable to get and/or keep an erection that allows sexual activity with penetration. It is not a disease, but a symptom of some other problem, either physical or psychological or a mixture of both.

Erectile dysfunction is very common and becomes more common as men age. An Australian survey showed that at least one in five men over the age of 40 years has erectile problems and about one in ten men are completely unable to have erections. With each increasing decade of age, the chance of having erectile problems increases.

Many factors can affect a man’s ability to get and keep an erection. Two or three factors, that may be a combination of physical and psychological factors, are often present at one time. Often erectile dysfunction is a sign of another serious health problem that may be undiagnosed. Sometimes there is no clear reason for the erectile dysfunction.

References

1. Andrology Australia, 2014, "Erectile Dysfunction",

Premature ejaculation

Premature ejaculation happens when a man is unable to control the timing of ejaculation, and ejaculates before he and/or his partner feels ready for this to happen, and this causes distress.

For a heterosexual man, a commonly used definition of premature ejaculation is ejaculating within about one minute of his penis entering the woman’s vagina. However, there is no fixed time for ‘too soon.’ Premature ejaculation is a loss of control over ejaculation, and the distress it can cause to one or both partners, not just the time it takes a man to ejaculate.

Premature ejaculation is the most common male sexual problem and affects men of all ages. Premature ejaculation is more common in younger men. This is because ejaculation generally takes longer as men get older and younger men may be less sexually experienced or feel less secure with the situation in which they are having sex.

References

1. Andrology Australia, 2016, "Premature Ejaculation",

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