Achieve a Healthy Weight With Irvingia gabonensis

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Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

If you have diabetes, achieving a healthy weight is paramount. Unfortunately, there’s no magic bullet to help you reach that goal—but there are supplements that can help when used in combination with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

One of the newest is an extract from Irvingia gabonensis, a West African tree. Irvingia works on multiple fronts to promote weight loss. For starters, it inhibits enzymes that affect both the absorption of glucose into the blood and its conversion into triglycerides. Therefore, it lowers blood sugar and reduces fat storage. But more important, irvingia affects two hormones that are intimately involved in weight control.

Leptin is the “hunger hormone” that signals satiety and the breakdown of stored fat. You’d expect thin people to have robust levels of leptin, and they do. But, surprisingly, levels in obese people are often sky high. That’s because overweight individuals also have elevations in C-reactive protein (CRP). In addition to being a marker of inflammation, CRP binds to leptin and blocks its effects on satiety and weight reduction. By lowering CRP, irvingia frees up leptin so it can do what it’s supposed to do—put the brakes on appetite and promote fat breakdown.

Another hormone that plays a role in weight management, adiponectin, is primarily a modulator of the cells’ sensitivity to insulin. The more body fat you have, the lower your adiponectin level and the more insulin resistant you are—which explains, at least in part, the close relationship between diabetes and obesity. Irvingia has the ability to raise levels of adiponectin and thus improves insulin sensitivity and promotes weight loss.

The combined actions of this extract are profound. In one recent trial, overweight participants were divided into two groups and placed on daily supplements of irvingia or a placebo for 10 weeks. (No dietary or exercise changes were made.) At the study’s conclusion, those who had taken irvingia lost an average of 28 pounds, 16.2 percent of waist circumference, and 18.4 percent of body fat. They also had stunning reductions in average blood sugar (22 percent), total cholesterol (26 percent), LDL cholesterol (27 percent), and CRP (52 percent). There were no significant changes in the placebo group.

Irvingia gabonensis is an effective therapy for anyone with diabetes or cardiovascular disease. If you’re taking drugs for diabetes or cholesterol, be sure monitor your blood sugar and cholesterol levels to make sure they don’t fall too low. Look for irvingia in health food stores and use as directed.
 

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