Life Extension Magazine®

Issue: Feb 2011

Suzanne Somers’s New Mission to Lift the Veil of Scientific Ignorance

Life Extension® has published solid scientific data showing that age-related diseases can be postponed or prevented altogether. Celebrity Life Extension® member Suzanne Somers’s new book, Sexy Forever, examines seven key nutrients everyone should take to safely induce long-term weight loss.

Suzanne Somers’s New Mission to Lift the Veil of Scientific Ignorance

What will it take for the public to understand that the diseases of aging can be postponed or prevented altogether?

For 31 years, we at Life Extension® have published solid scientific data documenting that healthy lifestyle choices can slash disease risk.

Yet as we begin year 2011, two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. Their youth is being robbed by an epidemic of metabolic syndrome and diabetes that sharply increases incidences of cancer, vascular occlusion, arthritis, dementia, and virtually every other age-related disorder.

Membership in the Life Extension Foundation is at an all-time high, but we reach only a minute fraction of the American population. The vast majority of individuals today wallow in a state of ignorance about what they should be doing to protect their vital health.

While we at Life Extension can point to our extensive track record of scientific achievements, the public remains largely unimpressed. When a famous celebrity, however, appears on national television to espouse many of these same anti-aging strategies, the average person stops to notice.

There is something in the human psyche that prompts people to emulate what celebrities do - whether it’s good or bad.

In the case of Suzanne Somers, she has turned her life around by removing toxic compounds from her environment, eating organic foods, meticulously keeping her hormones in natural balance, having her blood regularly tested, and taking the appropriate supplements.

Suzanne is by no means the only prominent personality doing this. After all, Hollywood has long emphasized youthful appearances - and those involved in show business are perhaps the earliest examples of humans taking aggressive steps to thwart degenerative changes both inward and outward.

What differentiates Suzanne from our many other celebrity members is that she shouts from the rooftops the many virtues she has attained by following a meticulous science-based youth restoration program.

In her latest book titled Sexy Forever, Suzanne reveals to the public much of the data that Life Extension members view as commonsense approaches to protect against age-related illness.

What impresses us is the ability of Suzanne Somers to appear in the national media and enlighten the world as to how humans can successfully intervene into pathological aging processes. By lifting the veil of scientific ignorance, Suzanne can singlehandedly educate the public about proven methods to avoid diseases that needlessly cripple and kill millions of Americans each year.

The following is an excerpt from the chapter titled Supplement to Speed Weight Loss in Sexy Forever.

Supplement to Speed Weight Loss

Supplement to Speed Weight Loss

Experts Weigh In: A Brief Interview with Cristiana Paul

Cristiana Paul, MS, is an independent nutrition consultant in the Los Angeles area and my personal nutritionist. She is an avid reviewer of nutrition research and educates doctors and patients on nutritional therapies and assessments for optimal health. She is also a contributor to the fourth edition of The Textbook of Natural Medicine. Nutrition is the fuel our bodies need to operate. With inferior nutrition our health suffers and we are set up for disease. I asked her how we can stay healthy (and consequently thin) in our toxic environment.

Christiana Paul: For our bodies to function optimally and efficiently we need to consume a diet balanced with the right amounts of protein, good fat, unrefined carbohydrates, and lots and lots of various forms of fiber (soluble and insoluble). All these aspects are important to maximize fat burning and support body renewal and function. Most of us need to supplement because we do not get enough nutrients due to poor diet and the deficiency of our soils. The most important supplements are vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids, but a few others also play important roles. Relative to weight control, here are some good examples of supplements that may be useful because they are very involved in fat and carbohydrate burning:

Carnitine

This supplement helps fat transport in the mitochondria, where it has a chance to be burned. Carnitine is mostly found in red meat, which many people avoid, and it is also synthesized in the body, but sometimes not enough to support optimal fat burning. A urine test can tell us if we need to supplement. Typical doses are 500 to 1,000 mg/day. It may be especially helpful when taken an hour or two prior to exercise.

Lipoic Acid

This plays a role in blood glucose control. If you have elevated or highly fluctuating glucose levels (such as in hypoglycemia) you may consider supplementing with 100 to 1,200 mg (based on a doctor’s or nutritionist’s evaluation). The bottom line is that lipoic acid will help you burn glucose more efficiently, and in that sense it helps with weight control.

CoQ10

There is a blood test for coenzyme Q10 that tells us if we need to supplement. If you take a statin or red yeast rice, the body’s production of CoQ10 is impaired, so you need to supplement even more. CoQ10 is a key factor in energy production and helps us burn fats and carbs more efficiently. In fact, it was shown to help normalize elevated blood glucose in some cases. It also supports heart health and protects the brain. Typical doses are 30 to 100 mg.

Most people are not aware that correcting nutritional deficiencies with a good multivitamin/multimineral and omega-3 supplement will make them much more efficient at burning fat, sugar, and carbohydrates and will also reduce cravings. Blood and urine testing can help a physician analyze each person’s needs for supplementation. At the very minimum you want to take a basic multivitamin/multimineral in a formula that has good absorbable ingredients and no unwanted contaminants. You also want the nutrients to be in a form that they occur in nature if they are available—for example, natural folate (not folic acid), natural mixed tocopherols for vitamin E (not just alpha-tocopherol), natural mixed carotenoids (not just beta-carotene), natural vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin or adenosylcobalamin, not cyanocobalamin or hydroxycobalamin), and chelated minerals.

Most people need to supplement with omega-3 fats because their diets provide an excess of omega-6 fats (from cooking oils and animal fats), and it’s important to choose fish oil, flaxseed oil, or algae (for vegetarians) that are clean of environmental contaminants (mercury, PCBs) and oxidized fats. Frankly, it is a good idea to ask for a certificate of analysis from the manufacturer for everything you take.

Extracts from green tea were shown in studies to help boost weight loss. It probably does this through a few complementary actions: it boosts the metabolic rate (an increase of 4 percent per twenty-four hours when taking an extract of 370 mg EGCG per day) and it keeps adrenaline elevated longer than normal (which helps fat release from body stores and may reduce hunger). More sustained adrenaline levels may help a person feel more energetic, and he or she may be more likely to exercise or do something physical. For a person with excess adrenaline production (or who has a difficult time breaking it down, such as those with COMT mutations) green tea may increase adrenaline levels to an unhealthy range. On the other hand, for people who are tired all the time because their adrenal glands do not produce adequate amounts of adrenaline, green tea may be helpful. You can drink it or take extracts that contain the equivalent of 2 to 3 cups of green tea in a pill (for example 500 mg EGCG).

Supplement to Speed Weight Loss

Also, keep in mind that the body needs tyrosine (an amino acid found in proteins) to make adrenaline. Supplementing with tyrosine (1 to 2 g/day) may boost production of adrenaline and work synergistically with green tea. Too much adrenaline at night is not good, so it’s important to make sure that supplements are not affecting your sleep quality. Poor sleep leads to weight gain and health problems, and this effect can be increased by the addition of coffee.

Fiber is important, so try to get 35 to 50 g of fiber daily from both soluble and insoluble forms (read the label, it will tell you). Variety is important with fiber, and avoiding the artificial colors and sweeteners added to most commercial brands is also important. Fiber will keep you full longer and help you eat less. It slows down the absorption of sugar, thus reducing insulin production in response to meals. Keep in mind that insulin influences the fat cells to reduce the release of their fat content and also slows down certain fat-burning enzymes. This is not because insulin is an evil hormone but because it is supposed to signal that the body has plenty of glucose, telling it: “Burn the glucose first and save the fat from body storages for later.” So you see, if you eat excess carbohydrates and sugar all day long, you impair your ability to tap into your fat stores.

Fiber also reduces fat and cholesterol and sugar absorption, and it may lower blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. Fiber helps detoxify, supports regular bowel movements, and reduces risks of many cancers. I cannot speak enough about the fiber benefits for weight control and health.

Suzanne Somers: I have been looking for supplements from nature that can speed up and enhance your ability to lose weight. With the help of top bioscientists, I’ve discovered a supplement that does just that. This is a science-based product and when I read about the incredible results, all from natural ingredients, I knew I had to make the results available to everyone.

The Sexy Forever Weight Loss Formula includes:

  1. LuraLean®
  2. Phaseolus vulgaris
  3. Irvingia
  4. Green tea phytosome
LuraLean®

LuraLean®

This ingredient helps control the absorption of some calories if taken before the two heaviest meals of the day. By maintaining its viscous structure throughout the digestive tract, LuraLean® is able to stop the absorption of ingested fats and carbohydrates. LuraLean® is a fiber composed of specially processed glucomannan—a water-soluble polysaccharide derived from a tuberous plant that grows only in the remote mountains of northern Japan.

This translates into weight reduction. One clinical study showed that without any dietary changes (participants ate and drank whatever they wanted), those taking LuraLean® lost 5.5 pounds after eight weeks compared to a 1.5-pound weight gain in the placebo group. In a similar study, those taking LuraLean® (twice a day before breakfast and dinner) lost 7.04 pounds compared to a gain of almost 1 pound in the placebo arm of the study. These studies showed substantial reductions in blood triglycerides, cholesterol, and LDL (bad cholesterol) levels in the LuraLean® groups compared to increases in these dangerous blood fats in the placebo arms.

Looking at the blood test results of typical healthy twenty-one-year-olds, scientists noticed that they had very low levels of blood glucose, cholesterol, and triglycerides. Even if people do not change their diet, by the time they reach age fifty their blood glucose, triglycerides, and cholesterol are usually much higher. Fifty-year-olds typically weigh more than when they were twenty-one, especially in the abdominal region of their bodies. There are correlations between blood glucose and triglyceride levels and unwanted weight gain.

To put it simply, the same calories a twenty-one-year-old can safely ingest become increasingly toxic as we age. This is because aging causes us to lose the metabolic capacity to utilize ingested calories in efficient energy-expending ways. Not only do these calories induce body fat storage, but they also increase vascular disease risks. That is why taking LuraLean® before the two heaviest meals of the day is so important. It helps impede absorption of excess sugars and fats in your diet, while helping to reduce the amount of food you consume with each meal.

Phaseolus Vulgaris

Phaseolus Vulgaris

Researchers at the UCLA School of Medicine have successfully used extracts from the white kidney bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) to target alpha amylase. A study was done where thirty obese adults took either a placebo or the Phaseolus vulgaris extract. After eight weeks, those taking the white bean extract lost 3.8 pounds in weight, and more important, 1.5 inches of abdominal fat. The group taking the Phaseolus vulgaris also had a three-fold reduction in triglyceride levels compared with the placebo group, which helps corroborate the role of weight loss and simultaneous reduction in artery-clogging triglyceride levels.

Another more impressive study of Phaseolus vulgaris showed that those who consumed the most carbohydrates lost the most weight. In this study, subjects who supplemented with Phaseolus vulgaris and consumed the highest levels of dietary starch lost 8.7 pounds compared with only 1.7 pounds in the control group over four weeks. Even more impressive was the 3.3 inches of belly fat lost in the Phaseolus vulgaris group versus only 1.3 inches in the controls. In a double-blind study on sixty overweight volunteers, half the study participants received Phaseolus vulgaris while the other half were given a placebo. Both groups were placed on a 2,000–2,200-calorie diet. After only thirty days, those taking Phaseolus vulgaris lost 6.5 pounds of weight and 1.2 inches in waist size compared with 0.8 pounds and 0.2 inches in the placebo group.

As we age, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep belly fat off. At the same time, we are challenged to keep blood glucose levels in optimal ranges. The exploding rates of type 2 diabetes and obesity are a testament to the dual problem of weight gain caused by the absorption of too many calories from simple carbohydrates.

Irvingia

Irvingia is a West African plant extract (from Irvingia gabonesis) that has been shown to help support leptin sensitivity in overweight people. Fat cells (called adipocytes) secrete leptin, a hormone that tells your brain you’ve eaten enough. Leptin also helps with the breakdown of stored (triglyceride) fat in our fat cells. Overweight people have higher blood levels of leptin, indicating that their cells have become resistant to leptin. In a published study, irvingia demonstrated beneficial effects on leptin blood levels, followed by a weight loss of over 20 pounds on average in ten weeks and an average reduction in waist circumference of about 6 inches. Study subjects taking irvingia reported consuming fewer calories, which makes sense, based on the enhanced leptin sensitivity brought about by this plant extract. Irvingia also has alpha-amylase-inhibiting properties similar to Phaseolus vulgaris. Inhibiting amylase helps slow the rate of carbohydrate absorption, reducing the caloric impact of starchy and sugary foods.

Green Tea Phytosome

Large meals overload the bloodstream with calories and later cause a rebound increase in appetite when blood sugar levels plummet in response to excess release of insulin. One way of stopping this after-meal glucose-insulin rebound is to take nutrients that neutralize the carbohydrate-degrading enzyme alpha-amylase before meals.

Scientific data suggests that irvingia also helps support healthy adiponectin levels. Adiponectin is a hormone that helps maintain the insulin sensitivity of our energy-producing cells. Large fat cells found in overweight people produce less adiponectin. This means that these individuals need to be concerned about maintaining enough adiponectin to support insulin sensitivity, something that we lose during normal aging.

Most people don’t know this, but the majority of body fat consists of triglycerides that are stored in our fat cells. A reason that weight loss and triglyceride reduction go hand in hand is that triglycerides make up the bulk of our fat storage. We get triglycerides directly from the fat we eat, and also from the conversion of excess glucose in our blood to triglycerides stored in our fat cells. In the latter instance, glucose is converted to triglycerides by an enzyme called glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase. Irvingia inhibits glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, reducing the amount of ingested sugars that are converted to body fat.

Green Tea Phytosome

We all know about the great benefits of green tea. Aging robs us of the ability to efficiently burn fat as energy. Instead we store fat in our adipocytes (fat cells). The components responsible for green tea’s weight loss benefits are polyphenol compounds that increase metabolic energy expenditure and hence calorie burning. The problem is getting enough of green tea’s polyphenols absorbed into the blood. But a group of Italian researchers created a proprietary green tea phytosome that increased the polyphenols’ ability to be absorbed into the bloodstream. In a human clinical trial using this green tea phytosome, the weight loss effects were substantial. This study involved one hundred overweight subjects, half of whom received the green tea phytosome. Both groups were placed on reduced-calorie diets (approximately 1,850 calories/day for men and 1,350 calories/day for women).

Suzanne Somers, Sexy Forever

After ninety days on the reduced-calorie diet, the control group lost 9.9 pounds. The group taking the green tea phytosome, on the other hand, lost a whopping 30.1 pounds—more than triple the weight loss of the control group! There was a 10 percent reduction in the green tea phytosome group’s belly size compared with a 5 percent reduction in the control group. Male participants did even better in this category, showing a 14 percent reduction in waist circumference compared with a 7 percent reduction in the control group.

What’s so interesting about this study is that it shows that people can lose considerable weight (9.9 pounds) by eating fewer calories. Yet when this green tea phytosome was added, the total amount of weight lost tripled (to 30.1 pounds) while twice as much belly fat disappeared. Scientists attribute these remarkable benefits to the ability of green tea to boost resting metabolic rates and reduce the absorption of dietary fats, which makes this green tea phytosome an ideal nutrient to take before heavy meals.

If you are going to turn your life around by eliminating toxic foods, adding these four supplements can boost your ability to lose weight more quickly and safely, with no drugs or stimulants.

For further information on Sexy Forever’s online companion, visit www.SexyForeverPlan.com

Excerpt from Sexy Forever by Suzanne Somers. Published by Crown, Copyright 2010 Suzanne Somers©.