Tag Archives: supplements

Top Ten Supplements

photo used under creative commons license

Dr. Donald W. Miller, Jr recently published an article listing the top ten supplements that he takes on a daily basis. The article is particularly informative, as it also lists both recommended dosages and the benefits of taking each supplement. These are the top ten supplements he recommends:

  1. Vitamin D3
  2. Iodine
  3. Selenium
  4. Vitamin K2
  5. Magnesium
  6. Alpha Lipoic Acid
  7. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
  8. L-Carnitine
  9. Omega 3 Fatty Acids
  10. Resversatol

To read more about the benefits of taking each of these supplements, be sure to read the full article HERE. As always, be sure to consult with your physician before starting any new supplements!

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Inquire about booking Dr Norton for a speaking engagement

Read About Dr Norton

View video about Dr Norton

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

The Science Behind Overeating

Many of my clients and readers who are seeking treatment for Binge Eating Disorder, Obesity, or Bulimia ask the question “Why do I overeat?” There are numerous factors that drive us to overeat. But first let’s identify the five main types of overeating; compulsive overeating, impulsive overeating, impulsive-compulsive overeating, anxious overeating and emotional overeating.  The following are possible causes, and ways to decrease the tendency to overeat.

The Science Behind Overeating

Compulsive Overeating

Compulsive Overeaters tend to obsess over food and are compelled to eat with very little self-control.  The condition characterized by low serotonin in the brain, which causes the portion of the brain known as the Anterior Cingulate Gyrus to overwork. The Anterior Cingulate Gyrus is the portion of the brain that is responsible for allowing us to move from thought to thought, co-operate, and see errors; it’s the brain’s gear-shifter. An overactive anterior cingulate gyrus can be caused by genetics, emotional trauma, or poor diet.

Your serotonin levels may be too low if you get thoughts stuck in your head, you worry excessively, you are easily upset, you obsess over food, or you tend to be a night time eater. Serotonin can be raised through aerobic exercise, and supplements (5HTP, saffron, inositol, vitamin B6).

Impulsive Overeating

Impulsive Overeaters often have good intentions when it comes to eating good foods, but have a hard time controlling urges when they see a not-so-healthy food.

Impulsive Overeating is characterized by low dopamine in the brain. Low dopamine decreases the function of the portion of the brain known as Pre-Frontal Cortex. The Pre-Frontal Cortex is the front third of the brain, responsible for allowing us to focus, control impulses, to be emotional organizers and planners, be empathetic and insightful, and to learn from our mistakes. You can think of it as the “then what?” part of your brain; if I eat this, then what will happen? If I say this, then what will happen?

When the function of the Pre-Frontal Cortex is decreased (either through injury or a condition like ADD), it makes it very difficult to think ahead, to focus, etc. Functionality of the Pre-Frontal Cortex is improved by raising dopamine levels. Dopamine may be raised through aerobic exercise and supplements (L-tyrosine, green tea extract, ginseng, rhodiola).

Impulsive-Compulsive Overeating

Impulsive-Compulsive Overeaters constantly think about food and have a difficult time controlling themselves around food.  This condition is characterized by low dopamine and serotonin.  Impulsive-Compulsive Overeating is commonly seen in those suffering from eating disorders, as well as children and grandchildren of alcoholics.

Impulsive-Compulsive Overeating can be improved by increasing both dopamine and serotonin. This can be accomplished through aerobic exercise and supplements (5HTP and L-Tyrosine in the right proportions).

Anxious Overeating

Anxious Overeaters typically use food in an attempt to alleviate feelings of anxiety and fear.

Anxious Overeating is common in those with overactive Basal Ganglia. The Basal Ganglia is a large collection of cells that are located deep within the brain. It’s the portion of the brain that integrates thought with movement; clapping our hands when we’re excited, jumping when we’re frightened.

Symptoms of overactive Basal Ganglia include anxiety, nervousness, tension, the tendency to predict the worst, the tendency to use food as a way to medicate, and physical symptoms of stress (headaches, stomach aches, irritable bowel syndrome etc). Functionality of the Basal Ganglia can be improved through hypnosis, meditation, learning to correct negative thinking patterns, limiting alcohol and caffeine consumption, assertiveness training, and supplements (gaba and magnesium).

Emotional Overeating

Emotional Overeaters tend to use food to alleviate feelings of negativity and hopelessness.

Emotional Overeating is characterized by low levels of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine in the brain. Low levels of these neurotransmitters cause the Deep Limbic System to become overactive. The Deep Limbic System sets our emotional tone; when it’s working at a normal level we tend to be more hopeful and positive.

You may have low levels of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine if you experience a lot of negative thoughts, are sad or depressed, have trouble sleeping, and/or experience a lack of motivation.  These neurotransmitters can be increased though aerobic exercise, learning to replace automatic negative thoughts with healing, rational thinking, and supplements (fish oil, DHEA, S-adenosyl methionine aka SAMe).

Let’s Connect

Take my new Eating Disorder survey!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Inquire about booking Dr Norton for a speaking engagement

Read About Dr Norton

View video about Dr Norton

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

Sources:

KNOW YOUR BRAIN: One Size Does Not Fit Everyone — Targeted Interventions Just For You

Amen, D. G., & M.D., F. (2012). Change your brain, change your body, use your brain to get and keep the body you have always wanted. Three Rivers Press.

Choosing a Healthy Protein Powder

photo used under a creative commons license

“I’ve been treating eating disorders (ED’s) and obesity for nearly 25 years and have always had good outcomes. My rate of success improved dramatically, however, when I discovered the critical role that processed food plays in causing as well as in preventing recovery from Anorexia, Bulimia, Bulimarexia, (a combination of the two) Binge Eating Disorder (BED,) Emotional Eating and Obesity. To this end, I find it of great importance to provide both my patients and readers with relevant nutrition information to aid in their recovery. You can view all my Nutrition, Fitness, and Health articles here.” 

Currently, Americans spend over $2.7 billion dollars on sports nutrition products. One of the most popular products? Protein powder. The majority of stores have an overwhelming amount of various brands of protein powders, even gas stations are selling pre-mixed protein shakes in their beverage coolers! With so many brands on the grocery store shelf, how can we be sure we are picking the healthiest protein powder?

Look for a protein powder that is ‘undenatured’ or ‘cold processed’. The majority of protein powders in stores are subjected to extreme heat when they are being processed. Protein powders contain glutamic acid, which is normally healthy. Glutamic acid becomes a problem when it is exposed to heat. When protein powder is manufactured, it is exposed to extreme heat, which converts glutamic acid into free glutamic acid, also known as monosodium glutamate (MSG). You can read more about the dangers of MSG here (link to MSG article).

Always avoid soy protein powder. Soy is one of the most genetically modified crops in the US. They contain phytoestrogens, goitrogens, phytates, and trypsin inhibitors; you can read about all of these here. Soy protein is typically made from the sludge that is left over from deriving soy oil from the soy bean. Food Renegade describes it well in her article “The Dangers of Soy” when she says “Soy foods aren’t real food. They aren’t traditional. They aren’t old. They’re industrial waste products dressed up in pretty clothes and marketed to an ignorant public.” Instead of soy protein, I typically use whey protein.

Next, look at the ingredients label. Be sure the powder doesn’t contain any neurotoxins or other additives such as high fructose corn syrup. Additionally, most protein powders contain hidden sources of MSG. How do companies get away with not listing MSG on the ingredients label? Thanks to the FDA, it’s quite easy. If an ingredient is less than 99% pure glutamate, than it doesn’t need to be listed as MSG on the label! Here’s a list of hidden sources of MSG that ALWAYS contain MSG:

Glutamic acid,  Glutamate
Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
Monopotassium glutamate
Calcium glutamate
Monoammonium glutamate
Magnesium glutamate
Natrium glutamate
Yeast extract
Anything “hydrolyzed”
Any “hydrolyzed protein”
Calcium caseinate,  Sodium caseinate
Yeast food, Yeast nutrient
Autolyzed yeast
Gelatin
Textured protein
Soy protein, soy protein concentrate
Soy protein isolate
Whey protein, whey protein concentrate
Whey protein isolate
Anything “…protein”
Vetsin
Ajinomoto

I tend to avoid protein powders that contain a long list of ingredients, especially if many of the ingredients are impossible to pronounce. As with all foods, as a general rule, if I can’t pronounce it, I don’t eat it. Here’s a good example of one of the most popular heat-processed protein powders on the market:

Micellar Alpha And Beta Caseins And Caseinates, Rich In Alpha-Lactalbumin, Whey Isolates, Whey Peptides, L-Glutamine, Taurine, Lactoferrin), Lean Lipids(TM) (Trans Fat Free Lipid Complex Consisting of Canola Oil, Sunflower And/Or Safflower Oil, MCT’s, L-Carnitine), Fructose, Cocoa Powder, Maltodextrin, CytiVite I(TM) (Vitamin And Mineral Premix Consisting Of Vitamin A Acetate, Ascorbic Acid, Folate, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Niacinamide, Pyridoxine HCL, Cyanocobalamin, Biotin, Pantothenic Acid, Di-Calcium Phosphate, Potassium Iodine, Potassium Chloride, Ferrous Fumarate, Magnesium Oxide, Copper Gluconate, Zinc Oxide, Chromium Nicotinate), Natural And Artificial Flavors, Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose, Soy Lecithin.

Next, look for protein powder that is made from hormone-free grassfed milk. Grassfed milk contains five times more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), the perfect ratio of essential fatty acids, and contains more beta-carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin D than grain-fed milk. You also want to make sure the protein is a “concentrate” and not an “isolate”. Isolates are proteins stripped away from their nutritional cofactors.

After all these criteria, it may seem that almost every protein powder on the shelf is eliminated, right? I have found one protein powder that is delicious and meets all of the above criteria called, One World Whey. There are a few other cold-processed, grassfed protein powders available such as Upgraded Whey Protein Powder, Mercola Pure Power Protein, and Miracle Whey, but I haven’t personally tried these brands.

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Inquire about booking Dr Norton for a speaking engagement

Read About Dr Norton

View video about Dr Norton

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

 

Vitamins and Supplements – Read Your Labels

photo used under creative commons license

“I’ve been treating eating disorders (ED’s) and obesity for nearly 25 years and have always had good outcomes.  My rate of success improved dramatically, however, when I discovered the critical role that processed food plays in causing as well as in preventing recovery from Anorexia, Bulimia, Bulimarexia, (a combination of the two) Binge Eating Disorder (BED,) Emotional Eating and Obesity. To this end, I find it of great importance to provide both my patients and readers with relevant nutrition information to aid in their recovery. You can view all my Nutrition, Fitness, and Health articles here.

I recently listened to a podcast that was discussing the drawbacks of prescription-strength vitamins, specifically prenatal vitamins. My first reaction was, this can’t be right. Prenatal vitamins? The vitamins needed at the most critical time for the health of the mother, to say nothing of the health of the unborn child?   I never cease to be amazed at what, we as  Americans will swallow assuming it to be safe.  The claims made by the podcast turned out to be true.   I’ve done my own research; this is what I found for one of the more popular prenatal vitamins:

 Soy lecithin – According to Dr. Kaayla Daniels, author of “The Whole Soy Story”, ingesting soy can lead to:

  • Digestive distress
  • Malnutrition
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Cognitive decline
  • Reproductive disorders
  • Infertility
  • Birth defects
  • Immune system breakdown
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer

Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil or “trans fats” have been proven to lead to colon cancer, depression, endometriosis, heart disease and infertility.

Gelatin (and soy lecithin) – Both are sources of monosodium glutamate (MSG). MSG is known to cause:

  • Brain damage
  • Endocrine disorders (obesity and reproductive disorders)
  • Behavior disorders
  • Adverse reactions
  • Neurodegenerative disease
  • Obesity
  • Retinal degeneration
  • Migraine
  • Seizures
  • Cancer
  • Heart irregularities
  • Asthma

Sorbitol – An artificial sweetener that can cause:

  • severe bowel problems
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal pain
  • weight loss,
  • an increase or decrease in urination
  • vomiting, and seizures (in severe cases)

Glycerin – A petroleum product. Petroleum products are obesogens and affect the endocrine system. Studies show obesogens cause stunted growth in children.

Propylene Glycol – A chemical which is also found in anti-freeze. It is suspected to cause:

  • liver damage
  • kidney damage
  • contact dermatitis
  • inhibited skin cell growth
  • nausea, vomiting
  • depression

FD&C blue No.1 – An artificial color, synthesized from petroleum (kind of like ingesting blue crude oil, yum). Studies show this dye can trigger:

  • Learning disabilities
  • Asthma attacks
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Nervousness
  • Lack of concentration
  • Cancer

Titanium Dioxide – Tiny pieces of titanium, a chemical that has never been tested for safety for human ingestion. Titanium Dioxide has been linked to:

  • Cancer
  • Allergies and immunotoxicity
  • Organ system toxicity

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

Sources:
The Real Essentials – Is Your Shampoo, Toothpaste, and Soap Destroying Your Health? – http://www.therealessentials.com/care1.html
Down with Basics – The 5 Hidden Dangers in Toothpaste – http://downwithbasics.com/?p=7
EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database – http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/
University of Maryland Medical Center – Trans Fats 101 – http://www.umm.edu/features/transfats.htm
Michaels, J. (2011, November 11). Supplements, Target Areas & Libidos. The Jillian Michaels Show Podcast. Podcast retrieved from www.apple.com/itunes.

Why is Coconut Oil Good For You?

We have been brain-washed into believing that saturated fat is bad for us.  I have always had trouble with this idea because both of my sets of grandparents were dairy farmers whose diets were heavy in delicious saturated fats.  None of them had a weight problem, nor did any of their 15 children.  Indeed, my maternal grandmother never weighed more than 90 pounds soaking wet, even after a dozen or so children! She and my mother loved buttermilk (yuck), put heavy cream in everything, and slathered toast with homemade butter.  I can still remember the mouthwatering poached our eggs mom made by poaching them in butter and milk.Speaking of the milk that we drank growing up, it had to have the cream skimmed off the top.  This we used to make our own version of “ice cream”.  We lived between Kings Mills and Loveland, Ohio back then, close to Landen Farms.  (This was when it was still an actual farm, now it is a subdivision.)  My mother was no fan of the milkman and his homogenized/pasteurized dairy products!  So she drove to Landen for milk, eggs and butter several times a week. Old habits die hard.My grandparents are all gone.  Some died young, some reached old age, but none were overweight by today’s standards.  My mother is also gone.  She died very young of a rare form of lymphoma, but was also a normal weight all her life despite what would be considered today a diet very high in saturated fat.  Every once in a while when I put the unsweetened apple butter on my whole grain or pumpernickel toast,  I remember how mom used to butter her toast with regular full-fat butter, then put on a layer of peanut butter and then top it off with a liberal amount of apple butter! Scrumptious!Just one more walk down memory lane;  if you happened to catch the John F. Kennedy special that aired on HBO this winter, you may have noticed, as I did, how different everyone looked.  At first I thought they all looked like concentration camp victims because they seemed so thin.  Then I realized, they were all a normal weight and I’m just not accustomed to seeing so many people in one place that are a normal weight.  For example, I am sitting in the Barnes & Nobel bookstore in the Sycamore Center mall, which is north of Cincinnati, Ohio, a pretty typical Midwest city.  Of the 17 people within eyesight, 4 are a normal weight, and the rest range from overweight to morbidly obese.  What’s my point? I would be willing to bet that most of the people that I can see, whether or not they are overweight,  do not drink whole milk or eat real butter.  And I’m not even sure you can buy buttermilk anymore, so I’m almost positive they’re not drinking that. (Thank Goodness! Sorry mom.) I would also be willing to bet that at least a sizeable proportion of the overweight individuals I can see try to avoid saturated fats.  If I’m correct, it isn’t working.  So maybe saturated fats are not the problem.

It turns out that the best fat we could be eating is coconut fat and it is definitely a saturated fat.  I use it for all baked goods, popcorn (yum) and anything else I am frying.  I have also recently switched to whole organic butter and whole milk, to avoid MSG, both of which have saturated fat, with no adverse effects so far, although I don’t use a lot of either.  I actually haven’t ever completely avoided saturated fats, as too many of the foods I love are made with them, such as chocolate, goat or swiss cheese not to mention the occasional steak.  I do avoid trans fats and only eat beef, fowl and pork that are organic and free range.

So what really determines whether or not a fat is good for you?

We know that trans fat raises your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and lowers your “good” (HDL) cholesterol and that this increases your risk of heart disease. What you may not know is that it’s another man-made, or genetically modified substance that is added to our food, especially the foods we eat as snacks and breakfast foods to preserve the food’s shelf life. Some shortenings and margarines are very high in trans fat.

Until very recently, it was added to commercial baked goods, such as crackers, cookies and cakes, and many fried foods, such as doughnuts and french fries, without notice to the consumer.  Presently, it must be designated as part of the nutritional information on the package.  Our government has made it clear that these things have to be apparent to us so that we can avoid them, right? Not quite.  Food manufacturers can still secretly add them to any food and state on the package that the food is “trans fat free” as long as the amount is below .5% per serving.  How often do you eat one serving of a snack food?

I can’t help wondering how this negotiation went.

The FDA says,This stuff is really bad and causes terrible diseases that cost people their lives and ups the cost of health care.  Consumers have to be notified!”

And the food manufacturers say, “That’s not fair, it will cost us a fortune in terms of shorter shelf life. Our profits will go down.” And the FDA says,Oh, ok, you can put it in and not mention it, as long as it is below .5%.” Seriously?

Why Is Coconut Oil So Good For You? It’s a Saturated Fat, Right?

We’ve been told for the past 20 years that it is the saturation of the fat molecule that matters.  There are saturated fats, which we try to avoid, and the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that we try to include. But there is another less well-known system of classification that is based on the length of the carbon chain within each fatty acid.  In this system there are short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), and long-chain fatty acids (LCFA). Coconut oil is composed predominately of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), also known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCT).

  The vast majority of fats and oils in our diets, 98% to 100%, whether they are saturated or unsaturated, or come from animals or plants,  composed of long-chain fatty acids (LCFA). Both the saturated and unsaturated fat found in meat, milk, eggs, and plants (including most all vegetable oils) are composed of LCFA.

While we have been led to believe that all saturated fatty acids are bad for us, the MCFA from the coconut, which is a saturated fat, has health benefits that rival those of fish oil, or omega-3 fats. In general, they do not raise cholesterol, but actually protect against heart disease.   They also help to lower the risk of both atherosclerosis and they can be a significant weight loss aid.

To read the history and learn of the many other benefits of the mighty coconut and it’s healing oil check out Coconut Secret  and the Coconut Research Center. For a somewhat biased, but interesting article on saturated fats in general see this article “The Truth About Saturated Fat” from T-Nation.

If you aren’t already confused enough about fat, let’s really get into it. Omega-3’s also come in short- and long-chain varieties. The short-chain form, which is alpha-linolenic acid, is found in flaxseed oil (53%), canola oil (11%), English walnuts (9%), and soybean oil (7%).  The long-chain, or marine omega-3’s are found mainly in fish and shellfish. Compared with their plant Omega 3 counterparts, the marine long chain Omega 3’s have two advantages; Firstly, they are highly unsaturated.  Secondly, they are excellent sources of low fat protein.  Bottom line, they are critical to our neurological well being.  Fish oil, when combined with exercise, is the only thing presently known to prevent Alzheimer’s.

So How Does it Work?

Long chain fatty acids (LCFA) found in plant and animal fat are not easily absorbed by the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and require pancreatic enzymes and bile salts to break them down so that they can be absorbed by the intestine. Next, the long chain fatty acids must go through a complicated process through which they are delivered to a variety of tissues, including adipose, cardiac and skeletal tissue, and are then transported to the liver, and are finally oxidized for energy use.  This is how all saturated fat, unsaturated fat, and cholesterol that consists of long chain fatty acids (almost all of your dietary fat) is transported throughout the body.

In contrast, medium chain fatty acids found in coconut oil are absorbed by the GI tract with ease, they do not require any pancreatic enzymes to break them down, which means less work for your pancreas. Next, medium chain fatty acids are transported through the blood stream, directly to the liver, where they go directly into mitochondria and are immediately oxidized for energy. Medium chain fatty acids from coconut oil do not get packaged into lipoproteins, and do not get transported to a variety of tissues and are not stored as body fat, they go directly to the liver and are metabolized for energy.

The bottom line is that medium chain fatty acids from coconut oil produces almost exclusively energy, whereas, long chain fatty acids found in all other dietary fats produce body fat (and some energy).

Coconut Oil Boosts Energy

Because the medium chain fatty acids found in coconut oil are easily and rapidly transported into the mitochondria, unlike long chain fatty acids, they are immediately used for energy, which “heats up” the body and increases metabolism. Several animal studies and clinical studies have proven that ingestion of coconut oil increases metabolism and decreases body fat both in animal studies performed on mice, and humans. Rats that were fed a diet consisting of medium chain fatty acids had less subcutaneous fat, a visibly evident decrease in overall body fat, and increased metabolism and increased thermogenesis.[1]

The energy burst that is produced by medium chain fatty acids is also important for athletic endurance. In one study, researchers tested the physical endurance of mice that were fed medium chain fatty acids vs. those fed a diet high in long chain fatty acids for six weeks. The mice were subjected to a swimming endurance test, where they had to swim against a current, every other day. The mice that were fed medium chain fatty acids continually performed better then the others and displayed a much higher physical endurance.[2] These studies in mice provide us with evidence that medium chain fatty acids increase metabolism and promote the loss of fat while providing a burst of energy that increases physical endurance. Yes, this boost in energy means you feel less lethargic, and it can help you feel less tired as you perform daily activities.

Coconut Oil Decreases Body Fat

Numerous studies have shown that coconut oil clearly has an effect on men and women very analogous to what has been demonstrated in other mammalian animal models: it increases metabolism and decreases overall body fat. For example, healthy men and women were administered either medium chain fatty acids or long chain fatty acids in addition to a diet similar in fat, protein, and carbohydrates for 12 weeks. Throughout the 12 weeks, individuals that took medium chain fatty acids had significantly less body weight and, specifically, body fat[3].

It Gets Even Better!

Not only do you store less body fat, studies have shown that medium chain fatty acids also increase the oxidation of long chain fatty acids that are already in your body, tucked away in your love handles!  So not only does it prevent weight gain, it aids in weight loss.[4] Similar to the animal studies, medium chain fatty acids also boost energy production in humans by speeding up metabolism.[5] Finally, for those with cholesterol problems, this study found that people with high triglyceride levels who were given medium chain fatty acids for eight weeks had a 14.5%  decrease in their triglyceride levels! [6]

Bottom line: for those of you that have completely lost focus:

1.    Coconut oil, which is a medium chain fatty acid, is metabolized by a different process than long chain fatty acids, this process expedites use as energy instead of storage.

2.   Because the body has to preferentially burn the fat off, it ramps up the metabolism by increasing thermogenesis.

3.   This ramping up of the metabolism then proceeds to not only burn off coconut oil, but long chain fatty acids pre-existing the consumption of coconut oil.

4.   These effects have been demonstrated both in animal studies, and more importantly, human studies as well.

 


[1] (Lipids 22 (6): 442-444).
[2] (Journal of Nutrition 125 (3):531-9)
[3] (The Journal of Nutrition 131 (11): 2853-2859)
[4] (International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders: Journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity 24 (9): 1158-1166)
[5] (Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental 38 (7): 641-648)

[6] (European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 63 (7): 879-886).

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’