Open Sesame! What Is Sesamin And Can It Help Fight Obesity?

Can Sesamin help with the current epidemic that is known as obesity? Find out what this seed has to offer everyone.

A meager wood cutter, Ali Baba, happens to see and overhear a big band of thieves - forty in all - visiting their treasure stockpile in the forest where he is cutting wood.

The thieves' treasure is in a cave, the mouth of which is sealed by magic - it opens on the words "Open Sesame", and seals itself on the words "Close Sesame."

Just like the treasure kept in the cave in, "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves," from the story Arabian Nights, nature contains treasures that are hidden away and seem to only be revealed by some sort of magical chance.

"Close Sesame!"

Obesity is one of todays most obviously visible - and yet most neglected - public health problems. There is no band of 40 thieves in our story "Globesity"; however nobody seems too concerned with the paradox coexisting with starvation, the escalating global epidemic of lard asses, aka obesity, that is now taking over many parts of the world.

Obesity is an epidemic running rampant and if immediate action is not taken, millions will suffer from an array of serious health disorders.

So what is the obesity epidemic response?

"Open Sesame!"

Ali Baba's magical words seem to reveal much more than treasures stashed in a cave. In fact, these magical words very much hold a key to combating obesity. Let me explain!

Being highly valued for their oil, sesame seeds may be the oldest condiment known to man dating back to as early as 1600 BC. "Open Sesame," our famous phrase from The Arabian Nights, reflects the distinguishing feature of the sesame seed pod, which bursts open when it reaches maturity.

What's inside the husks of our open sesame seed pod is a wonderful little nutrient that puts the Heisman move on obesity. Recognized as a lignan, sesamin is found in the husks of our open sesame-seed.

The Sesame Seed:
History tells us that sesame seed is the first recorded seasoning, dating back to 3000 B.C. Assyria. It grows widely in India and throughout the Orient.

The seeds were brought to America by African slaves, who called it benne (pronounced BEHNnee) seed, and it subsequently became very popular in Southern cooking. These tiny, flat seeds come in shades of brown, red and black, but those most commonly found are a pale grayish-ivory.

What has me so excited to talk to you today is that science has revealed some truly remarkable properties of our lignan friend that may very well indefinitely prove that sesamin and the magical words "Open Sesame" could be the key to the Obesity Epidemic!

Science, Straight-Up!

Science has revealed that sesamin supports liver and kidney health, positively stimulates cholesterol levels and posses potent antioxidant activity by increasing the absorption, use and recycling of vitamin E.

This alone warrants the use of sesamin on a daily basis and is truly good stuff, but here is where it gets exciting for those of us who are interested in Revealing The Steel and Sex Appeal. Sesamin is a power fat burning nutrient.

Birdie, Bogie? - PPAR!

      As mentioned, sesamin is a lignan (a lignan is a chemical compound known as a phytoestrogen). It initiates its assault on fat by literally PPAR-ing the course. Let me explain.

Sesamin activates the Peroxisome Proliferator-Activator Receptor Alpha (PPAR alpha). There are 3 different classes of PPAR's:

      1. Alpha - Expressed in kidney, heart, muscle, adipose tissue, and others.

      2. Gamma - Though transcribed by the same gene, this PPAR exists in three forms:

        • y-1 (expressed in virtually all tissues)
        • y-2 (expressed primarily in fat tissue)
        • y-3 (expressed in macrophages, intestines and white adipose tissue)

      3. Delta - Expressed in many tissues but markedly in brain, adipose tissue and skin

In case you are interested, PPAR's are nuclear receptors that play major roles in fat metabolism, cellular energy balance and insulin sensitivity. Basically they are small complexes that have major impact on many systems in our body and many systems that contribute to fat loss and nutrient usage/expenditure/storage.

      The PPAR alpha receptors can be found expressed in the muscle, liver, and kidneys, and is specifically involved in the transcription of the genes involved in the beta-oxidation (burning) of fatty acids and lipogenesis (the storing of fat).

Basically, all you need to be concerned with or know is that sesamin is a potent and effective activator of the PPAR alpha receptor and as such, it does two significant things for fighting Globesity.

    1. It produces the phenomenon known as fat oxidation by augmenting the release of potent thermogenic enzymes through optimized liver function. Meaning it helps increase the rate at which fat gets converted to energy. And that means, leaner thighs, tighter buns and shredded abs!

    2. It prevents the storage of fat by inhibiting the function of fat storing enzymes. Meaning the food you take in on a daily basis is less likely of making deposits in Bank Of Fatty-Bo-Tatty!

Destroy Fat!

      As you can see, sesamin can alter metabolism to be one that preferentially utilizes fat as an energy source as well as foil its storage. Supplemental to stopping the storage of body fat, sesamin's positive effects on cholesterol and reduced lipid synthesis do something else that might be even more important in reference to obesity by helping to maintain insulin sensitivity.

Another thing of importance to the war on globesity is that PPAR alpha activation (of which sesamin is extremely potent) also increases uncoupling-proteins (UCPs). What this means is that an increase in UCPs would increase the calories needed to produce the same amount of energy.

In other words, this activation is like taking a stone to an egg shell, it literally destroys fat, by increasing the rate and capacity at which cells can vaporize fat.

One more thing to be noted is that sesamin is a powerful anti-inflammatory. One study showed that flaxseed and sesame lowered blood levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha and PGE-2, two inflammatory mediators.

Imagine a supplement that improves overall health, burns fat, optimizes the fat burning properties of other supplements/compounds or drugs and actually allows you to eat more food without you having to worry about turning into William "The Refrigerator" Perry! That is sesamin!

The Fridge!
Perry attended Clemson University and in 1985 was a first round draft pick for the Chicago Bears. He gained his unique nickname due to his considerable size -- standing 6'2" tall and weighing as much as 370 lbs. his stature quickly brought to mind notions of a walking refrigerator.

Perry became famous for his excellent work as a defensive lineman. Perry was used in a surprise play during a Pro Bowl game as offensive lineman. Perry even had the opportunity to run the ball during Super Bowl XX.

I must make it clear, that as wonderful as sesamin is - And It is all of that and a bag of chips - that I do not endorse the consumption of the "Super Size Me" phenomenon that is somewhat exclusive to the USA. You should still be focused on eating good, clean and nutrient dense foods if your primary goal is better aesthetics and health.

Sesamin can basically be summarized as a nutrient that can:

    • Promote fat oxidation
    • Prevent fat storage
    • Increase insulin sensitivity
    • Prevent free radical damage
    • Act as a potent anti-oxidant
    • Promote anti-inflammatory effects
    • Reduce Cholesterol
    • Improve liver and kidney health
    • Enhance nutrient usage

The Final Word!

Say it and achieve it - Open Sesame! - And get leaner, healthier and stronger. The sesamin lignan from our open sesame seed pod has been shown to possess multiple health benefits.

Used alone and in synergy with other compounds, sesamin can be used to achieve a fitter and healthier body. It truly is a gift from god, a natural treasure that appears to have no negative side effects to be concerned of.

For better overall health and body fat reducing effects, Sesamin can be used with compounds such as:

Lignans in general, of which sesamin appears to be the most efficacious are potent stimulators of fatty acid oxidation, a key processes involved in weight control.

Manipulating biochemical processes in the body, sesamin promises to help reduce the risk for many of today's most common diseases, including the global epidemic of obesity.

Real World Results

      Finally, it should be noted that sesamin is tried and true by real people like you and I. The results have been nothing short of spectacular!

Dramatic reduction of bodyfat, increased vitality, increased recovery and the ability of being able to eat more food without putting on excessive bodyfat have been well-documented in the hard core bodybuilding circle/subculture.

Introduction To The Public

      I believe it was the Life Extension Foundation that first introduced sesamin as a supplement to the public; however the concentration of this product was somewhat on the low side. Although not a lot of sesamin is needed in order to realize its properties, daily doses in the rage of 750 mg to 1500 mg prove to be most useful.

I am here today to simply be a springing board to amplify the message of a fantastic compound that delivers the goods, just as advertised.

Scientific References

  • J Plant Physiol. 2005 Jul;162(7):834-43. Beyond vitamin E supplementation: an alternative strategy to improve vitamin E status. Department of Food Science, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 7051, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden.
  • Akimoto K., et al. 1993. Protective effects of sesamin against liver damage caused by alcohol or carbon tetrachloride in rodents. Ann Nutr Metab. ;37(4):218-24.
  • Ashakumary L., et al. 1999. Sesamin, a sesame lignan, is a potent inducer of hepatic fatty acid oxidation in the rat. Metabolism. Oct;48(10):1303-13.
  • Fukuda N, et al. 1999. Effect of dietary sesamin on metabolic fate of an exogenous linolelaidic acid in perfused rat liver. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). Aug;45(4):437-48.
  • J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2002 Oct;48(5):405-9. Combined effects of dietary conjugated linoleic acid and sesamin triacylglycerol and ketone body production in rat liver.Sakono M, Yuji K, Miyanaga F, Tamaru S, Fujita M, Fukuda N, Tsutsumi K, Iwata T, Kasai M, Sugano M.
  • Hirose N., et al. 1991. Inhibition of cholesterol absorption and synthesis in rats by sesamin. J. Lipid Res. Vol 32, 629-638.
  • Ide T., et al. 2001. Sesamin, a sesame lignan, decreases fatty acid synthesis in rat liver accompanying the down-regulation of sterol regulatory element binding protein-1. Biochim Biophys Acta. Nov 30;1534(1):1-13.
  • Ide T., et al. 2003. Sesamin, a Sesame Lignan, as a Potent Lipid-Lowering Food Component. JARQ 37 (3), 151 - 158.
  • Ide T. 2004. Interaction of dietary fat types and sesamin on hepatic fatty acid oxidation in rats. Biochim Biophys Acta. Jun 1;1682(1-3):80-91.
  • Ogawa H, et al. 1995. Sesame lignans modulate cholesterol metabolism in the stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rat. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol Suppl. Dec;22(1):S310-2.
  • Matsumura Y, Kita S, Tanida Y, et al. Anti- hypertensive effect of sesamin. III. Protection against development and maintenance of hypertension in stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats. Biol Pharm Bull. 1998 Jun;21(5):469-73.
  • Utsunomiya T., et al. 2000. Effects of sesamin-supplemented dietary fat emulsions on the ex vivo production of lipopolysaccharide-induced prostanoids and tumor necrosis factor in rats. Am J Clin Nutr. Sep;72(3):804-8.
  • Lemcke-Norojarvi M, Kamal-Eldin A, Appelqvist LA, Dimberg LH, Ohrvall M, Vessby B. Corn and sesame oil increase serum gamma-tocopherol concentrations in healthy Swedish women. J Nutr. 2001 Apr;131(4):1195-201.
  1. Utsunomiya T, Chavali SR, Zhong WW, Forse RA. Effects of sesamin-supplemented dietary fat emulsions on the ex vivo production of lipopolysaccharide-induced prostanoids and tumor necrosis factor alpha in rats. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Oct;72(3):804-8.