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Body fat loss achieved by stimulation of thermogenesis by a combination of bioactive food ingredients: a placebo-controlled, double-blind 8-week intervention in obese subjects

Abstract

Background:

A combination of tyrosine, capsaicin, catechines and caffeine may stimulate the sympathetic nervous system and promote satiety, lipolysis and thermogenesis. In addition, dietary calcium may increase fecal fat excretion.

Objective:

To investigate the acute and subchronic effect of a supplement containing the above mentioned agents or placebo taken t.i.d on thermogenesis, body fat loss and fecal fat excretion.

Design:

In total, 80 overweight–obese subjects ((body mass index) 31.2±2.5 kg/m2, mean±s.d.) underwent an initial 4-week hypocaloric diet (3.4 MJ/day). Those who lost>4% body weight were instructed to consume a hypocaloric diet (−1.3 MJ/day) and were randomized to receive either placebo (n=23) or bioactive supplement (n=57) in a double-blind, 8-week intervention. The thermogenic effect of the compound was tested at the first and last day of intervention, and blood pressure, heart rate, body weight and composition were assessed.

Results:

Weight loss during the induction phase was 6.8±1.9 kg. At the first exposure the thermogenic effect of the bioactive supplement exceeded that of placebo by 87.3 kJ/4 h (95%CI: 50.9;123.7, P=0.005) and after 8 weeks this effect was sustained (85.5 kJ/4 h (47.6;123.4), P=0.03). Body fat mass decreased more in the supplement group by 0.9 kg (0.5; 1.3) compared with placebo (P<0.05). The bioactive supplement had no effect on fecal fat excretion, blood pressure or heart rate.

Conclusion:

The bioactive supplement increased 4-h thermogenesis by 90 kJ more than placebo, and the effect was maintained after 8 weeks and accompanied by a slight reduction in fat mass. These bioactive components may support weight maintenance after a hypocaloric diet.

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Acknowledgements

We thank John Lind and Inge Timmermann for their expert technical assistance, and Arne Astrup and Søren Toubro for critical reading of the manuscript. The study was supported by a grant from Metabolife Inc, San Diego, CA, USA. The dietary supplements containing the ingredients examined in the present paper were manufactured by Alpine Health Products, Salt Lake City, Utah, and are not commercially available.

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Belza, A., Frandsen, E. & Kondrup, J. Body fat loss achieved by stimulation of thermogenesis by a combination of bioactive food ingredients: a placebo-controlled, double-blind 8-week intervention in obese subjects. Int J Obes 31, 121–130 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ijo.0803351

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Keywords

  • body fat loss
  • energy expenditure
  • capsaicin
  • caffeine
  • green tea

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