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science nutrition blog

science nutrition <strong>blog</strong>

 By Steve Blechman


Over 70 percent of Americans are overweight. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that just being overweight, not obese, can result in severe illness and even premature death!

Semaglutide (under brand names Wegovy and Ozempic) is Hollywood's latest diet craze! Semaglutide was first FDA approved as an injectable glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in December 2017.

In June 2021, the FDA approved semaglutide (Wegovy) for the treatment of obesity. Clinical trials have reported 15% to 18% weight loss when taken as a once-weekly subcutaneous injection in the abdomen. Semaglutide, an insulin regulator and GLP-1 agonist in the gastrointestinal tract, controls appetite and gastric emptying, making you feel full. As a GLP-1 receptor agonist, researchers have also shown that semaglutide can enhance brown adipose tissue (brown fat). Semaglutide, a GLP-1 receptor agonist, also stimulates adipose tissue thermogenesis and enhanced energy expenditure. Brown fat activation is most likely one of the key mechanisms of action for the weight-loss benefits of semaglutide; but one barrier for the use of semaglutide for weight loss is its cost of over $1,000 per month, and often not covered by insurers.

The most common side effects from using semaglutide are nausea, diarrhea, stomach (abdominal) pain, vomiting and constipation. Pancreatitis is also a potential side effect in some individuals.

In 2022, many studies have been published in the scientific literature supporting the potential weight loss/fat loss and health benefits of brown fat. And for the past 6 years, I have written many articles on the health and fat-loss benefits of brown adipose tissue (brown fat).

In January 2023, further research supports brown adipose tissue (brown fat) and regulation of human body weight. (Diabetes Metab Res. Rev., Jan. 2023)

Certain health benefits of brown fat are being explored in Alzheimer’s disease “such as regulating energy metabolism, secreting hormones, improving insulin sensitivity and increasing glucose utilization in adult humans.” (Metab Brain Dis., Jan. 2023)

New research has shown that cold exposure may reduce tumor growth by inducing brown fat activation. “However, cardiovascular safety is of concern, given the increase in heart rate and blood pressure observed.” (Signal Tranduct. Target Ther., Jan. 2023)

The widely held belief that all body fat is bad is currently being heavily scrutinized, due to the recent discovery of a different type of fat in humans known as brown fat. This type of body fat can actually burn off energy in the form of heat by a process known as thermogenesis, which can ultimately reduce overall body fat.

The body has two forms of fat: white fat, or unwanted fat that can lie directly underneath the skin, and brown fat, which often is found in the shoulder blade region or the neck. Unlike white fat, brown fat is the good fat as it can help burn more calories. The more brown fat you have, the more calories you burn.

Brown fat is packed with mitochondria loaded with UCP-1, the protein that uncouples fat burning with ATP (energy) production instead of converting the energy into heat via thermogenesis, making the mitochondria effectively the furnace of the cell. The emergence of brown fat as a readily available fat-burning furnace is revolutionary, but like any fire, it requires the proper kindling materials. The ability to get lean by producing extra brown fat, or enhancing the activity of existing brown fat, represents a promising way to burn fat and lose weight.

Several landmark discoveries and approaches to enhancing brown fat function are being explored at major research centers and universities worldwide, with great excitement. Brown fat weight loss research is a hot topic today.

Research has found that exposure to cold temperature (65 degrees Fahrenheit) and consumption of spicy foods such as capsaicin and capsinoids found in chili peppers can activate brown fat. Also, the spices Grains of Paradise, ginger and cinnamon. Plus, research has found that caffeine and coffee can also increase brown fat, as well as virgin olive oil and polyphenols found in grapes, grape skins and other fruits. And the sleeping aid melatonin. Research has shown that the dietary supplement Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) is not effective for increasing brown fat in the body (in vivo) of humans or for weight loss.

It was also reported in ScienceDaily on January 4, 2021 that a study published in the journal Nature offered compelling evidence: among over 52,000 participants, those who had detectable brown fat were less likely than their peers to have type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease.

The Nature report also acknowledged that individuals with more brown fat had lower risk of elevated blood lipids, cerebral vascular disease, hypertension and congestive heart failure.

“The study, by far the largest of its kind in humans, confirms and expands the health benefits of brown fat suggested by previous studies. For the first time, it reveals a link to lower risk of certain conditions,” says Paul Cohen, the Albert Resnick, M.D., Assistant Professor and senior attending physician at The Rockefeller University Hospital. “These findings make us more confident about the potential of targeting brown fat for therapeutic benefit.”

“Large-scale studies of brown fat, however, have been practically impossible because this tissue shows up only on PET scans, a special type of medical imaging.”

“In collaboration with Heiko Schoder and Andreas Wibmer at Memorial Sloan Kettering, the researchers reviewed 130,000 PET scans from more than 52,000 patients and found the presence of brown fat in nearly 10 percent of individuals.”

“The team plans to further study the biology of brown fat, including by looking for genetic variants that may explain why some people have more of it than others -- potential first steps toward developing pharmacological ways to stimulate brown fat activity to treat obesity and related conditions.”

Over the last seven years, I’ve launched AML™ THERMO HEAT®, the most scientifically advanced brown fat and thermogenic supplement line ever developed! This new brown fat revolution in weight loss is the focus of the book Thermo Heat™ Weight Loss Revolution by Michael J. Rudolph, Ph.D. that includes the foreword by Daniel L. Friedman, MD and Eugene B. Friedman, M.D. You can click the link to order on Amazon here published by Advanced Research Media, Inc. You can also get a free PDF version here.

© Published by from Advanced Research Media, Inc. 2023

© Reprinted with permission from Advanced Research Media, Inc.


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