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science nutrition <strong>blog</strong>

By Steve Blechman


Research has shown that taking 6.25g of whey protein with a high dose of leucine (5g) can enhance protein synthesis at the same rate as four times as much whey protein (25g)! Leucine is the key anabolic trigger of muscle protein synthesis. Increases in muscle protein synthesis are dependent on leucine concentration. 5 grams of leucine can increase the anabolic effects of protein synthesis when eating less protein, which is ideal on a ketogenic diet. Older adults (people over 40) show a blunted muscle protein synthesis (MPS) and anabolic resistance compared to younger adults. Recent research has suggested that the anabolic resistance can be overcome by consuming greater quantities of leucine. In a recent study, published in the Journal of Nutrition on July 1, 2018, it is confirmed that leucine and not total protein content of a “… supplement is the primary determinant of muscle protein anabolic responses in healthy older women.” Lower-protein supplements with added leucine may represent an advantageous approach in older adults to maintain skeletal muscle anabolic sensitivity and attenuate muscle loss.

Research has shown that pure leucine is more anabolic than leucine in food (Nutrients, October 2018). Leucine is the key amino acid for enhancing the mTOR pathway that regulates cell growth and protein synthesis. Leucine is an essential amino acid that serves as a building block for muscle protein synthesis. Leucine is a powerful anabolic trigger— it’s the most potent branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) and a key activator of the mTOR pathway that is critical for muscle protein synthesis that promotes muscle growth. Testosterone acts through the mTOR pathway to promote muscle protein synthesis. Leucine has many benefits: powering muscle growth, preventing muscle loss, increasing insulin sensitivity, enhancing fat metabolism and enhancing recovery.

A most recent study has found that taking pure leucine supplements alone (or with very small amounts of whey protein) may be better for muscle protein synthesis and more anabolic than food! In a randomized crossover study (Nutrients, October 18, 2018) 10 healthy, young Japanese men underwent tests under different conditions: consuming 2 grams of leucine alone; a mixed meal with 2.15 grams of leucine without any additional leucine supplementation; 2 grams of leucine right after a meal; and the final serving consisted of 2 grams of leucine, 180 minutes after a meal.

The study’s conclusion was, “based on the aforementioned discussions, the intake of free leucine alone markedly increased the plasma leucine concentration. However, the increase in leucine concentration after the intake of a mixed meal containing the same amount of leucine was significantly less than that of free leucine intake alone. Moreover, when free leucine was ingested after a mixed meal with the purpose of increasing the plasma leucine concentration, the maximum plasma concentration was attenuated when it was ingested immediately after the mixed meal, despite the fact that the total leucine content was doubled. These results suggest that when free amino acids are ingested with the purpose of increasing plasma amino acid concentrations, the timing in relation to the mixed meal intake needs to be considered.”

Increase in muscle protein synthesis is dependent on leucine concentration. Research has shown that leucine stimulates the anabolic effect of muscle protein synthesis on its own (Wilkinson et al., J Physiol 2013). When leucine is taken on an empty stomach (or with low amounts of whey protein), it has a powerful anabolic switch that turns on protein synthesis.

By taking pure leucine on an empty stomach (or with small amounts whey protein), you will get a better spike in blood levels than if you take leucine with food, because food can slow leucine’s absorption. The addition of isoleucine and valine may hinder the benefits of leucine due to competition for transport into muscle cells. Leucine supplements increase mTOR activity for several hours after ingestion. This makes AML™ THERMO HEAT® FAT BURNING PROTEIN more anabolic than 100% whey protein! As we said earlier, when 5 grams of leucine is taken with small amounts of whey protein (6.25 grams), it can spike blood levels of leucine and mTOR activation. The combination will also provide all the essential amino acids for protein synthesis.

AML™ THERMO HEAT® FAT BURNING PROTEIN contains potassium and magnesium citrate. These are added as important electrolytes and acid buffers (alkalinizers) when following low-carb and ketogenic diets. Low-grade chronic acidosis (which can increase muscle protein breakdown and bone loss), dehydration, electrolyte (mineral) loss and kidney stones are more prevalent in those people following a low-carb or ketogenic diets. Potassium citrate may help preserve lean body mass by reducing blood acidity in those following a low-carb, ketogenic diet. Also, recent research has shown that potassium citrate can help prevent kidney stones in those people following a low-carb or ketogenic diet!

AML™ THERMO HEAT® FAT BURNING PROTEIN is also more effective in burning fat than other proteins. Research has shown that leucine can enhance fat loss and promote weight loss during energy restriction. Leucine improves mitochondrial biogenesis and fatty acid oxidation and fat burning through SIRT-1 and AMPK-dependent pathways. AMPK (5 adenosine-monophosphate-activated protein kinase) regulates energy expenditure by modulating NAD metabolism and SIRT-1 activity. Leucine also increases glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), often referred to as the “satiety hormone.” Leucine is a solely ketogenic amino acid; it is not glucogenic (it is not converted to glucose in the liver). Isoleucine is ketogenic and glucogenic and valine is 100% glucogenic. Whey protein also contains other glucogenic amino acids that may not be desirable in those people following a ketogenic diet. By keeping the whey protein in the AML™ THERMO HEAT® FAT BURNING PROTEIN low and boosting the leucine, this will keep isoleucine and valine low— which are both glucogenic amino acids, especially valine. A most recent study found that valine has no effect on weight loss or satiety in healthy adults (Nutrients, January 5, 2019).

AML™ THERMO HEAT® FAT BURNING PROTEIN contains 5 grams of citrulline per serving, which can increase nitric oxide. Citrulline can also enhance muscle growth by stimulating the expression of IGF-1 and skeletal muscle peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma co-activator (PGC-1 alpha), which increases mitochondrial biogenesis and lean muscle mass! PGC-1 alpha can also enhance fat burning, thermogenesis, brown fat activation and mitochondria uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1). Plus, prolong exercise time to exhaustion and improve exercise performance (Molecular Nutrition Food Research, June 2018).

Citrulline also increases brown fat activity, thereby increasing caloric expenditure and fat burning. Citrulline and arginine enhance nitric oxide, brown fat activity and thermogenesis. Citrulline is a more effective supplement than arginine for promoting intracellular nitric oxide! The more brown adipose tissue (BAT), the more calories you burn. Citrulline has also been shown to reduce blood sugar production in the liver and stimulate abdominal fat loss. In addition, citrulline has also been shown to increase levels of hormone-sensitive lipase by 150%, further enhancing fat burning. Nitric oxide promotes fat oxidation and fat suppression. It also regulates feeding and satiation (Appetite, January 1, 2019, Journal of Nutrition, February 2009). A randomized double-blind placebo controlled clinical trial found that 2 grams of citrulline over 12 weeks lowered inflammation and c-reactive proteins (BMC Research, 2019).

AML™ THERMO HEAT® FAT BURNING PROTEIN also contains other nutrients that have been shown to increase nitric oxide. Nitric oxide has been shown to activate BAT and thermogenesis. Not only is citrulline supplementation good for increasing nitric oxide, but also grapeseed extract has been shown to increase nitric oxide production. Polyphenols are being studied on their role in fat metabolism and obesity management. Folic acid also boosts nitric oxide availability, by increasing BH4 and decreasing homocysteine levels. Research has shown that folic acid can lower homocysteine levels, increase insulin sensitivity and lower fasting insulin levels in type 2 diabetes. Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), grains of paradise (40mg - standardized for 12% paradol, a clinically effective dose) and BioPerine® black pepper fruit extract are all included for further activation of brown adipose tissue (BAT) and thermogenesis. Grains of paradise, a spice containing 6-paradol, like chili peppers containing capsaicin, activate BAT, increase whole-body energy expenditure, and decrease visceral fat (deep abdominal fat) in humans. Allulose is added as a natural, low-calorie, fat-burning, thermogenic sweetener. It is approved for low-sugar/low-carb or ketogenic diets. Allulose does not impact blood sugar or insulin levels.

Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) naturally increase the production of ketones in the liver and stimulate ketogenesis. Research has shown that MCT supplements do not cause feedback inhibition or reduce ketone production. MCTs also help reduce appetite and food intake, enhance fatty acid oxidation, fat burning, energy expenditure, and thermogenesis and reduce body fat accumulation in humans. Research has shown that MCTs (a saturated fat) also do not have a negative effect on blood lipids in humans. MCTs significantly increase “good” HDL cholesterol with no effect on triglycerides or “bad” LDL cholesterol. Don’t confuse MCTs with coconut oil. Claims that the majority of fat in coconut oil are MCTs is untrue. The thermogenic/weight-loss research has been done on pure MCT oil, not coconut oil. It’s inaccurate to apply the research on pure 100% MCT oil to coconut oil, which only has 13% of MCTs.

Research has shown that vitamin D-3 is the most active form of vitamin D and can potentiate protein synthesis and the muscle-enhancing effects of leucine; and is added to help boost the lean body mass effect of leucine. A randomized controlled trial found that vitamin D-3 combined with leucine and medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) can increase muscle strength and function (Journal of Nutrition, 2016.) Also, recent research has shown that vitamin D supplements may enhance fat loss and improve waist-hip ratio and fasting blood glucose in vitamin D-deficient individuals.

AML™ THERMO HEAT® FAT BURNING PROTEIN does not contain pure ketone supplements such as beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB). Ketone supplements in the form of BHB salts and ketone esters only provide a temporary increase in blood ketone levels. Ingesting exogenous ketones may briefly interrupt your body’s natural production of ketones. BHB salts do not stimulate ketogenesis. Ketone supplementation reduces lipolysis and free fatty acids availability and may inhibit the body’s natural ability to burn its own body fat for fuel. A most recent study has shown that feeding ketone BHB supplements in healthy humans may have an undesirable effect by activating the innate immune response and increasing inflammation. If you want to get the anti-catabolic and fat-loss effects of a ketogenic diet, ketone supplements are not desirable. Also, ketone supplements such as calcium BHB are high in calcium; people on ketogenic diets are at higher risk of kidney stones. High serum calcium levels can increase the risk of kidney stones in susceptible individuals. High calcium supplementation has also been linked to an increase risk of cardiovascular disease. Ketone supplements do not build muscle, lean body mass, or enhance weight loss, fat burning or cognitive function, according to the recent research (Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, 2018; Frontiers in Physiology, 2017). Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) naturally increase production of ketones in the liver and stimulate ketogenesis in humans. Research has shown that MCTs do not cause feedback inhibition or reduced ketone production. MCT stimulate the body’s natural ketone generation.

The book entitled Thermo Heat® Weight Loss Revolution by Michael Rudolph, Ph.D. outlines, in chapter 2, The Thermo Heat HIIT Workout, plus The Thermo Heat Total-Body Fat-Incinerating Exercise Plan. The book also provides a calorie-controlled, low-carb Mediterranean diet, 30-day meal plan and exercise program. It says that you should limit yourself to 100 grams of carbohydrates per day, or less. If you want to follow the ketogenic diet, carbohydrates should be kept at less than 50 grams per day.

In conclusion, just as the title states, NEW AML™ THERMO HEAT® FAT BURNING PROTEIN is the better whey to grow and is a more potent anabolic and fat burner than other protein sources! No lower-quality hydrolyzed collagen protein is present! It is designed and formulated based on the latest scientific research on preserving lean body mass and enhancing fat loss on a low-calorie and low-carb ketogenic diet and as part of an aerobic and resistance training program. Losing muscle mass during dieting can decrease one’s metabolic rate and result in burning fewer calories over a 24-hour period. As we stated earlier, 6.25g of whey protein with a high dose of leucine (5g) can enhance protein synthesis at the same rate as four times as much whey protein (25g); this is ideal for people on the ketogenic diet. Eating too much protein on the ketogenic diet can throw you out of ketosis, which isn’t desirable. Remember, a healthy weight loss is one that enhances reduction of body fat and preserves lean body mass while dieting.



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  1. The Thermo Heat® Weight Loss Revolution, by Michael J. Rudolph, Ph.D., including the foreword by Daniel L. Friedman, MD and Eugene B Friedman, MD.