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It is probably a fair statement to say that most individuals in our society are aware that proper metabolism of protein, carbohydrates, and fat is essential to shedding excess body fat and keeping it off, even if they don’t think of it in exactly those words. But did you know that it is just as important to athletes, and for that matter, anyone who wishes to maintain a healthy immune system, vibrant and consistent physical energy, and mental acuity? As we have discussed before, the habits and behaviors that produce optimum health also create and maintain a lean body composition as a natural and inevitable result.

It is a common belief that merely keeping the fats out of the diet will prevent and/or decrease fat storage. It’s just not that simple. Serum glucose derived from dietary carbohydrates and not immediately converted to energy or glycogen (the cell stored form of glucose), is converted into fat stores and cholesterol in the liver. This tendency can be substantially higher for individuals who chronically maintain excess body fat stores due to the diminished fuel needs of a slow basal metabolism and concurrent reduced glycogen storage capability and insulin resistance.

Garcinia fruit extract is a naturally occurring source of (-)hydroxycitrate or HCA (verified by HPLC analysis to be no less than 50 percent by weight). HCA tightly binds to and thereby severely reduces the activity of ATP-citrate lyase, an enzyme necessary for the conversion of glucose to Acetyl Coenzyme A. Acetyl CoA, a key compound necessary for fat and carbohydrate metabolism, is ultimately converted to lipid or fat molecules (lipogenesis) and stored in adipose cells throughout the body. Animal studies employing HCA have demonstrated 40 to 80 percent reductions in post-meal fatty acid synthesis spanning periods of 8 to 12 hours — extremely significant figures.

When conversion of glucose to fat and cholesterol is retarded, it remains in circulation, providing a twofold benefit. Glycogen conversion is allowed to continue, increasing liver glycogen stores, and extended blood glucose levels cause satiety signals to be sent to the brain, resulting in appetite suppression.

Increasing stores of glycogen has tremendous potential for elevating athletic performance, but there is another benefit of equal importance to athletes and those on a fat loss program: increased retention of precious muscle tissue. When the level of blood glucose and glycogen stores are low, and especially in the chronically depleted state which can result from calorie-restricted diets and/or consistent intense physical activity, protein stores (muscle tissue) are converted or catabolized to provide necessary components for various body functions including energy production and immune function. Increasing stores of glycogen can offer a valuable form of protection against muscle catabolism.

Okay, we’ve talked about retarding lipogenesis, increasing glycogen stores, and reducing appetite. However, any increase in serum glucose normally initiates a corresponding pancreatic response of insulin release. Depending on a myriad of factors, one of the most important being the rate/quantity of serum glucose level increase (how fast and how much dietary carbohydrate appears as blood sugar), insulin response can often be higher or lower than is necessary to complete normal functions.

Extended glucose circulation and homeostasis require a proper insulin response in order to become a true health and performance benefit. This leads us to the complementary synergistic partner. Chromium functions in carbohydrate and fat metabolism and stabilization of blood glucose levels by increasing the effects of insulin. Insulin is responsible for transporting glucose and amino acids from the serum into the cell, thus regulating both protein metabolism and synthesis. By enhancing the activity of insulin, chromium helps to stabilize serum levels of this hormone. Excess insulin production and release can result in fluctuations in blood glucose levels which can cause immediate symptoms of dizziness, headache, and lethargy. If the condition becomes chronic, it can be a major contributor in more serious health problems such as insulin resistance, which contributes to obesity and even diabetes. Conversely, proper levels of insulin and chromium allow optimum fuel production and amino acid and protein synthesis — events critical to peak immuno-response, muscle maintenance and growth, and neurochemical stability.

Current statistics indicate that dietary intake of chromium for the general population is only about one-half of the minimum considered necessary for average health. Calorie restricted (fat loss) and nutrient deficient (junk food) diets further reduce chromium content. Physical stress (defined to include any level of exercise performed on a regular basis) increases chromium excretion in direct proportion to the level of intensity. These factors indicate the value of dietary chromium supplementation in preventing deficiency, to say nothing of reaping added benefits.

by Kevin Lawrence

This article was prepared by an independent author. It has been reproduced in its entirety or as a collection of information gathered from multiple resources and research data. WIN is not liable for any inaccuracies found in any third party written articles or research.