What better way to lose body fat than to simply make it disappear?
This is the promise of liposuction and, in fact, it does deliver somewhat as liposuction is one of the most effective ways to decrease body fat. But it has some serious problems to overcome before it becomes everyone's favorite way to lose body fat.
One Benefit Of Lipo
The good thing about liposuction is that it basically takes fat out of the metabolic equation. You don't have to worry about the calories in that fat since it's physically removed.
Up to now any other method of losing body fat has involved increasing the calorie deficit by either exercising or dieting, and usually both, so that the fat is burned as fuel to make up the calorie deficit.
Some Drawbacks Of Lipo
But liposuction has its problems. First of all liposuction is a surgical procedure and like all surgery, it carries inherent morbidity and mortality risks—you can get sick and even die from the surgical procedure alone. Also liposuction is best used for small problem areas.
In fact it doesn't do that good a job on large areas since it can leave the areas looking lumpy and uneven. And doing large areas carries much more risk. And last of all liposuction doesn't just suck out your body fat, it can also suck your wallet dry.
Wouldn't it be much nicer if you could just take the fat out of the equation, the same way that liposuction does, but do it naturally? And wouldn't it also be nice if you could take the fat off in the problem areas and everywhere else at the same time, and not have to mortgage your house to do it?
Fat Burners and Fat Flushers: An Alternative
Well now you can. There are products made to help you burn off fat more efficiently, as well as flush some of your it out of your body, just like liposuction does - so fat is completely out of the metabolic equation.
But unlike liposuction, these products can do it in the problem areas and also evenly all over your body, leaving you with an aesthetic looking body with just the right look.
Choline and Carnitine: The Dynamic Duo For Fat Loss
Choline and carnitine are commonly used nutritional supplements, usually used alone or in combination and typically for the purposes of fat loss. Carnitine is essential for fatty acid transport and proper muscle function, and some studies have shown that carnitine supplementation improves exercise performance.
Choline is a lipotropic agent that prevents deposition of fat in the liver. It is an essential nutrient for humans by giving cell membranes structural strength and providing structure to cell membranes and is involved in the signaling across this membrane as well as synthesis and release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Like carnitine, choline supplementation may also improve physical performance.
The possible synergistic interaction between carnitine and choline has been known for several years. A study on rats published a few years ago clearly showed that choline in combination with caffeine plus carnitine resulted in a significant conservation of carnitine and augmented exercise performance and promoted fatty acid oxidation as well as disposal in urine.
As well, the use of the three supplements resulted in two other beneficial effects, a decrease in blood triglycerides and an increase in the triglyceride content of skeletal muscles.
Since muscle fat is used to supply energy to exercising muscles, and actually increases muscle size, much like glycogen, this is a whole different thing to increasing fat in subcutaneous skin and other fatty areas of the body. The increase in intramuscular fat also helps endurance and recovery and would be useful on any diet.
But there's more to the story. A recent study has shown that choline and carnitine supplementation with or without exercise alters carnitine status, body fat and biochemical markers of fat oxidation in humans.
In this study nineteen women were placed in three groups:
- Placebo, choline or carnitine preloading period of 1 week
- Supplementation with choline plus carnitine during week 2-week 3
- All groups exercised in week 3
There were several interesting results of this study outlining the effects of choline, and choline plus carnitine supplementation.
Without going into all the details the study showed that the choline-induced decrease in serum and urinary carnitine is buffered by carnitine preloading, and these supplements shift tissue partitioning of carnitine that favors fat mobilization, incomplete oxidation of fatty acids and disposal of their carbons in urine as acylcarnitines in humans.
Flushing out fat in the urine has another interesting and useful effect for those trying to lose body fat. Flushing out fat in the form of acylcarnitines acts as an osmotic diuretic and increases urine flow, in some people more than others.
The bottom line is that choline and carnitine supplementation increased fat loss by both increasing the breakdown and burning of body fat and, interestingly enough, actually flushing fat (in the form of acylcarnitines, which are actually chunks of fatty acids combined with carnitine) into the urine and out of the body.
In this latter action, it's as close as you can get to being the nutritional supplement equivalent of liposuction!
Guarana & CLA Combo:
Conjugated Linoleic Acid.
This combo has been shown to not only decrease the size of fat cells but also to decrease cell number.
Both CLA and guarana have been shown to increase weight and fat loss and improve body composition. For example, studies in mice fed CLA showed a marked reduction in body fat and an increase in body protein levels. Other animal studies demonstrated similar or even better results.
But CLA has marked effects in humans as well. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that those who were given CLA for a four week period had significant decreases in abdominal fat.
As well, a recent study concluded that long term CLA supplementation not only helps to decrease body fat but also helps to maintain weight loss in the long term.
Even more revealing, however, is the synergism shown by the combination of guarana (from a plant found in the Amazon and used for its effects on decreasing appetite and increasing weight loss) and CLA. While studies have shown that CLA can reduce the volume of fat cells, in one study two groups of mice given CLA or CLA plus guarana had a significant reduction in fat mass.
However, the group of mice that were fed the CLA/guarana combination not only showed a decrease in the size of the fat cells but also a decrease in the number of fat cells (FASEB Journal, v. 16, no. 5, pt. I; March 22, 2002).
- Neumann, G. Effects of L-carnitine on athletic performance. Seim, H. Loster, H. eds. Carnitine: Pathophysiological Basics and Clinical Applications 1996:61-71 Ponte Press Bochum, Germany.
- Sandage BW, Sabounjian L., White, R, Wurtman, RJ. Choline citrate may enhance athletic performance. Physiologist 1992; 35:236 (abs.).
- Sachan DS, Hongu N. Increases in VO(2)max and metabolic markers of fat oxidation by caffeine, carnitine, and choline supplementation in rats. J Nutr Biochem. 2000; 11(10):521-526.
- Hongu N, Sachan DS. Carnitine and choline supplementation with exercise alter carnitine profiles, biochemical markers of fat metabolism and serum leptin concentration in healthy women. J Nutr. 2003; 133(1):84-9.
- DeLany JP, Blohm F, Truett AA, Scimeca JA, West DB. Conjugated linoleic acid rapidly reduces body fat content in mice without affecting energy intake. Am J Physiol 1999 Apr; 276(4 Pt 2):R1172-R1179.
- Blankson H, Stakkestad JA, Fagertun H, Thom E, Wadstein J, Gudmundsen O. Conjugated linoleic acid reduces body fat mass in overweight and obese humans. J Nutr 2000; 130:2943-2948.
- Riserus U, Berglund L, Vessby B. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) reduced abdominal adipose tissue in obese middle-aged men with signs of the metabolic syndrome: a randomised controlled trial. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2001; 25(8):1129-35.
- Gaullier JM, Halse J, Hoye K, Kristiansen K, Fagertun H, Vik H, Gudmundsen O. Supplementation with conjugated linoleic Acid for 24 months is well tolerated by and reduces body fat mass in healthy, overweight humans. J Nutr. 2005 Apr; 135(4):778-84.
- Dulloo1 AG,Jacquet J, Montani1 JP. Pathways from weight fluctuations to metabolic diseases: focus on maladaptive thermogenesis during catch-up fat. International Journal of Obesity 2002; 26(Suppl 2):S46-S57.