Beauty through nature & technology
Smoother, tighter, firmer face & body with an advanced combination of Deep Tissue Radiofrequency™, Hi-Power Ultrasound Cavitation, Real Electro-Mesotherapy, Curcumin / Turmeric extract, Hyaluronic Acid, EGCG / Green Tea Extract, Resveratrol, Cocoa polyphenols, Centella / Gotu Kola Extract, Carnosine +33 other natural, high-purity, high-concentration actives. No other clinic in the world offers this exclusive combination of advanced technologies and pure actives, for maximum results, naturally.
Science-based skin tightening & cellulite reduction
Welcome to LipoTherapeia, the only cosmetic practice in London dedicated exclusively to cellulite reduction and intensive, whole body skin tightening, including the décolletage, face and under-eye area. LipoTherapeia is the only clinic in London where you can have treatment with Meso-CRF®, our exclusive technology that combines Deep Tissue Radiofrequency™, Real ElectroMesotherapy™, Hi-Power Ultrasound Cavitation, all simultaneously applied at the same time, for maximum results.
To offer you the absolutely best advice, treatment and skin formulations we daily follow all the scientific research in our field and we assess all new equipment for our cellulite and skin tightening treatments and all new natural active ingredients for our intensive cellulite creams. And we share all this knowledge via our blog.
Our before & after treatment pictures are 100% Photoshop-free and our cream testimonies are 100% genuine. Our treatments, creams and expert advice are regularly featured in most major national magazines, newspapers and TV, including the Daily Mail, Cosmopolitan, OK, Grazia, the Times, Telegraph, Express, Daily Mirror, She, BBC etc (please note that, as with any treatment or body product, results vary from person to person).
EXCLUSIVE MESO-CRF® TREATMENTS IN LONDON
LipoTherapeia is the only clinic in London where you can have treatment with Meso-CRF®. Meso-CRF® technology technology combines Deep Tissue Radiofrequency™ + Real ElectroMesotherapy™ + Hi-Power Ultrasound Cavitation, all simultaneously applied at the same time, for maximum results.
All our treatments are based on Physics, not beauty therapy myths, and are offered by an expert with 16-year experience, not a machine operator. Meso-CRF® treatments are pain-free, non-invasive, super-safe and require zero downtime (you can go straight to work after treatment on face or body). During the last 16 years we have treated more than 2,600 clients and have provided more than 16,000 cellulite and skin tightening procedures.
Please note that at LipoTherapeia we will not sell you miracles or make exaggerated claims about instant cellulite / fat / skin looseness removal with just 1-3 sessions (as falsely advertised by some Harley Street clinics) because this is biologically impossible. Instead, we always offer honest, science-based advice (what to expect on your first session; you can also check our frequently asked questions).
We use different settings and actives for our Meso-CRF® treatment to treat the specific needs of different body areas: under-eye, face (anti-ageing & skin tightening), jawline (contouring & skin tightening), acne (face / body), décolletage, bra rolls, upper arms, hands (anti-ageing), tummy, love handles, butt lift, saddle bags, inner thighs, knee tops, calves (lower legs), whole thighs & butt (cellulite & skin tightening - our most popular treatment).
Dedicated treatments and protocols are also available for specific needs: office workers; post-lipo treatments (after liposuction / tummy tuck / vaser / laser lipo); after pregnancy; slim women with cellulite / skin laxity; models and dancers; overweight women; while you lose weight; when you cannot exercise; Celluence® Dynamic Cellulite Massage, for those who prefer hands-only treatment for cellulite.
PRICES / treatment menu
Prices are the same for ALL treatments:
£145 for your first session
£200 for single follow-up sessions
£145/session for 6x sessions (£870 total)
£135/session for 12x sessions (£1620 total)
NEW! Celluence® Legs! creams (exclusive to clinic clients) 200ml, £95
NEW! Celluence® Legs! creams (exclusive to clinic clients) 400ml, £135
Explore our full treatment menu
Celluence® Phase One/Two (available worldwide through this website), 250ml, £55
Celluence® Phase One+Two (available worldwide through this website), 250ml, £95
Explore the Celluence® creams
LipoTherapeia & CelLuence in the press
"I look at myself in the mirror: there appears to be hardly any cellulite at all, my skin is much firmer and the dimples are obviously reduced."
The Peach Factor Blog
The Peach Factor offers expert advice and the latest science on natural actives, anti-ageing, skin firming, cellulite, slimming and overall health, based on our 16-year research and practical experience in those fields
Search our 450+ articles
"Creams don't get absorbed". Seriously?
Most people are misled by ignorant beauty "experts" to believe that cosmetic products do not get absorbed by the skin. This is in contrast to a huge body of scientific evidence that shows exactly the opposite.
Anti-ageing, anti-cellulite and other skincare creams do get absorbed, so much so that regulatory authorities around the world have very strict limits of how much of each chemical, natural or man-made, can be contained in each product.
The EU, for example, has extremely stringent such limits and cosmetic companies must provide a full list of ingredients together with a safety report based on upper inclusion limits. EU legislation explicitly states that cosmetic ingredients are absorbed by the body, not just by the skin, and must be used in appropriate, safe amounts. Of course the upper safe limit of something like vitamin C is very high, while the upper limit for other chemicals is very low.
A huge body of science, unknown to beauty "experts"
Depending on the design of the product, cosmetic ingredients may be absorbed to a larger or lesser degree. A good example of designing for minimal absorption are sun protection creams and lotions, where we desire skin absorption to be minimised. On the other hand, a good example of formulating for maximal absorption are anti-ageing or anti-cellulite creams, where we do want the actives to penetrate not just the epidermis, but also to reach the dermis and hypodermis.
Penetration enhancers and penetration inhibitors are also used, and special techniques based on physics rather than chemistry, such as electro-mesotherapy cosmetic treatments, can be used to further boost skin penetration. Furthermore, simple mechanical techniques, such as skin needling beauty treatments can also boost penetration.
On the other hand, liposomes, special silicon compounds and active molecules attached to sugar or fatty acid molecules, are some of the several transdermal skin delivery mechanisms proven to help penetrate into/through the skin and deliver active molecules inside the cells.
Furthermore, several pharmaceutical creams, gels and ointments exist (e.g. anti-inflammatory creams for musculoskeletal pain, bioidentical hormone creams etc.), that are proven in pharmaceutical-level clinical studies to be absorbed and indeed to be approved by regulatory authorities as clinically effective.
The 500 Dalton rule
A general rule of a thumb was proposed by a group of scientists in 2000, which states that compounds that must penetrate into/through the skin for pharmaceutical or cosmetic purposes must be of a molecular weight below 500 Da (Dalton). The scientists stated that almost all known pharmaceutical drugs proven to penetrate the skin are of 500 Da or smaller size.
However, since then it was shown that quite larger molecules, often above 1000 Da, can also penetrate into/through the skin, usually with the help of the specially designed delivery molecules, penetration enhancers, electroporation / electro-mesotherapy or skin needling, that we mentioned above.
Most natural actives are much smaller than 500 Dalton
In regard to cosmetics, most natural actives that are used in anti-ageing / anti-cellulite creams are of sizes below 500 Da, with some being of up to 700 Da molecular weight and extemely few being 1000 Da. Some examples of such actives, include:
- Caffeine, 194.19 Da (2.5x smaller than the upper size limit)
- Quercetin, 302.236 Da (1.6x smaller than the upper size limit)
- Ascorbic glycoside, 338.265 Da (1.5x smaller than the upper size limit)
- Ascorbic acid, 176.12 Da (2.8x smaller than the upper size limit)
- Forskolin, 410.5 Da (1.2x smaller than the upper size limit)
- Asiatic acid, 488.70 Da (just below the upper size limit)
- Curcumin, 368.38 Da (1.4x smaller than the upper size limit)
- Retinol, 286.45 Da (1.7x smaller than the upper size limit)
This list could go on and on and on, but the fact is that as far as skin formulations containing vitamins, antioxidants and similar anti-ageing compounds are concerned, absorption is not a problem: those actives are well below the 500 Dalton size and they do penetrate the skin, even more so if the design of the formulation is focused on absorption (for various reasons, not all products are designed as such)
Those actives are even more easily absorbable, if natural penetration enhancers are used for the creams or electro-mesotherapy / skin needling are used for body/face aesthetic treatments.
An urban myth
Clearly, the urban myth of "creams do not get absorbed" is exactly that: an urban myth propagated by the usual hear-say of misinformed "experts".
Hundreds of studies have been contacted, possibly thousands, by cosmetic manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies and universities, and whole volumes of books have been written on transdermal absorption and skin penetration. Yet some people keep maintaining that the earth is flat...
On the other hand, these same people advocate naive methods, such as the application of ground coffee bans on the skin for the reduction of cellulite. However, it is well-known that the very little caffeine contained in the ground coffee is firmly bound to the fibrous structure of the coffee bean, making it impossible to release caffeine onto the skin just by rubbing the coffee grounds on it.
It just beggars belief...
- Paper: The 500 Dalton rule for the skin penetration of chemical compounds and drugs.
- Abstract: Human skin has unique properties of which functioning as a physicochemical barrier is one of the most apparent. The human integument is able to resist the penetration of many molecules. However, especially smaller molecules can surpass transcutaneously. They are able to go by the corneal layer, which is thought to form the main deterrent. We argue that the molecular weight (MW) of a compound must be under 500 Dalton to allow skin absorption. Larger molecules cannot pass the corneal layer. Arguments for this "500 Dalton rule" are; 1) virtually all common contact allergens are under 500 Dalton, larger molecules are not known as contact sensitizers. They cannot penetrate and thus cannot act as allergens in man; 2) the most commonly used pharmacological agents applied in topical dermatotherapy are all under 500 Dalton; 3) all known topical drugs used in transdermal drug-delivery systems are under 500 Dalton. In addition, clinical experience with topical agents such as cyclosporine, tacrolimus and ascomycins gives further arguments for the reality of the 500 Dalton rule. For pharmaceutical development purposes, it seems logical to restrict the development of new innovative compounds to a MW of under 500 Dalton, when topical dermatological therapy or percutaneous systemic therapy or vaccination is the objective.
Fructose turns into fat as soon as it hits the liver
Fructose makes up 50% of the common table sugar, 50% of the sugar contained even in freshly squeezed juices (even more in apple juices), 75% of honey and up to 55% of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
Fructose, in all it's guises, is now known to be detrimental to metabolism and liver health and excessive consumption may eventually lead to diabetes and heart disease.
Unlike glucose, which is found in what we call "carbs" and also comprises the other 50% of the sucrose (common sugar) molecule, fructose does not enter the bloodstream intact, but it undergoes metabolism by the liver and it is converted into fat, from where it finds it's way into the bloodstream and eventually the fat cells.
A parenthesis on "diabetic" foods containing fructose
Needless to say, that the old-fashioned "diabetic" fructose powder, and "diabetic foods" that contain fructose instead of glucose or sugar, are exactly that": diabetic foods. They actually cause diabetes or make diabetes worse.
It beggars belief that "medical foods" based on erroneous knowledge or decades past still exist and are still sold, even in pharmacies!
Fatty liver, diabetes and insulin resistance
Excessive fructose consumption leads not only to fat accumulation on the hips and especially the waist (the worst possible type of body fat), but also on the liver itself (non alcoholic fatty liver disease) and the pancreas.
Eventually, excessive fructose / sugar / brown sugar / agave / honey / high-fructose corn syrup / fruit juice consumption leads to insulin resistance, whole body inflammation and diabetes, all of which are risk factors for heart disease.
Furthermore, fructose has a very strong pro-glycation action. Glycation is responsible for skin ageing, whole body ageing and cellulite.
Pharmaceutical methods aiming to act not the fructose metabolism are being developed, but the best course of action to avoid fructose-mediated health deterioration is to simply not eat the fructose-containing sweeteners mentioned above (yes, even agave and honey) and to consume whole fruit, rather than fruit juices.
The difference between fruit and fruit smoothies/juices
Fruit is different to fruit juices for three reasons:
- Fruit is digested more slowly, leading to less severe reactions in the liver.
- It is difficult to consume excessive amounts of fructose just by eating whole fruits, while it is very easy to do by drinking juices. A 500ml bottle of apple juice, which can be drunk even in seconds, requires 6-7 medium apples, and will still leave you hungry minutes later. On the other hand, it can take more than half an hour to eat 6-7 apples and they will definitely leave you full for several hours.
- Furthermore, commercial fruit juices are even sweeter than freshly squeezed, to the type of fruit selected for them, and are definitely more unhealthy.
- Paper: The Sweet Path to Metabolic Demise: Fructose and Lipid Synthesi
- Abstract: Epidemiological studies link fructose consumption with metabolic disease, an association attributable in part to fructose-mediated lipogenesis. The mechanisms governing fructose-induced lipogenesis and disease remain debated. Acutely, fructose increases de novo lipogenesis through the efficient and uninhibited action of ketohexokinase and aldolase B which yields substrates for fatty-acid synthesis. Chronic fructose consumption further enhances the capacity for hepatic fructose metabolism by activating several key transcription factors (i.e., SREBP1c and ChREBP) which augment the expression of lipogenic enzymes, increasing lipogenesis and further compounding hypertriglyceridemia and hepatic steatosis. Hepatic insulin resistance develops from diacylglycerol–PKCɛ-mediated impairment of insulin signaling and possibly additional mechanisms. Initiatives that decrease fructose consumption and therapies that block fructose-mediated lipogenesis will be necessary to avert future metabolic pandemics. Trends: Fructose comprises ∼50% of the dietary sugars sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup, and when consumed in excess exacerbates cardiometabolic risk factors including dyslipidemia, fatty liver disease, and insulin resistance. Ketohexokinase (KHK) may be a therapeutic target. Complete knockout of all KHK isoforms prevents fructose-induced disease. By contrast, selective knockout of the ubiquitous, low-activity KHK-A isoform exacerbates fructose-induced disease, possibly by increasing flux through the KHK-C isoform expressed in key metabolic tissues such as liver. Fructose contributes to lipogenesis and associated pathologies, including steatosis, dyslipidemia, and hepatic insulin resistance, both by providing substrate and coordinating the expression of lipogenic enzymes via SREBP1c and ChREBP. Limiting fructose intake and regulating fructose metabolism may represent a promising therapeutic strategy to reduce cardiometabolic risk factors.
A double whammy for fat loss
The so-called activated thyroid hormone triiodothyronine (T3) (the metabolite of the relative inactive T4/thyroxine) has been found to boost fat accumulation in fat cells by increasing fatty acid synthase/FAS and at by inhibiting hormone sensitive lipase/HSL the same time.
Thyroid hormone is well-known to help with weight loss, but as this study shows it actually has an anabolic role on fat tissue. This means that thyroid hormone exerts it's slimming effect by boosting metabolism in muscles and organs, not by acting on fat cells directly.
- Paper: Triiodothyronine enhances accumulation of intracellular lipids in adipocytes through thyroid hormone receptor α via direct and indirect mechanisms.
- Abstract: Triiodothyronine (T3) enhanced the expression of adipogenic and lipogenic genes with elevation of the intracellular lipids through thyroid hormone receptor (TR) α in mouse 3T3-L1 cells. However, the transcription of the SREBP-1c and HSL genes was decreased by T3. Such T3-mediated alterations were negated by TRα siRNA. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assay showed that the binding of TRα to the TR-responsive element (TRE) of the FAS promoter was elevated by T3. In contrast, the ability of TRα to bind to the TRE of the SREBP-1c promoter was decreased by T3. In addition, the binding of SREBP-1c to the SRE of the HSL promoter was lowered by T3. These results indicate that T3 increased the accumulation of intracellular lipids by enhancing the expression of the FAS gene through direct binding of TRα to the FAS promoter and simultaneously lowered the amount of lipolysis via reduced binding of T3-decreased SREBP-1c to the HSL promoter.
Orange cancels blue
Photographers know all too well that adding a yellow/orange filter on a lens or in front of lighting corrects bluish light, producing clean whites, greys and blacks, Also, they know that combining yellow light with blue light also produces white light. So in Physics yellow/orange cancels blue.
Now, a new clinical study has shown that the yellow/orange spices turmeric (source of curcumin) and saffron do indeed improve depression scores, especially in atypical depression :)
1000mg a day of curcumin ease the blues
This 12-week quality (randomised, double-blind & placebo-controlled) study on 123 individuals with major depressive disorder has shown that low-dose curcumin (500mg/day), high-dose curcumin (1000mg/day) or low-dose curcumin combined with 30mg/day of saffron, all reduced depressive symptoms to the same extent.
In the past "several studies have supported the antidepressant effects of curcumin (from the spice turmeric) and saffron for people with major depressive disorder, however, these studies have been hampered by poor designs, small sample sizes, short treatment duration, and similar intervention dosages", the authors of the study state.
Atypical depression and curcumin
Furthermore, the study has shown that curcumin and saffron had greater efficacy (65%) in people with atypical depression compared to the remainder of patients (35% efficacy).
"Atypical depression, or depression with atypical features, is depression that shares many of the typical symptoms of the psychiatric syndromes major depression or dysthymia but is characterized by improved mood in response to positive events. In contrast, people with melancholic depression generally do not experience an improved mood in response to normally pleasurable events. Atypical depression also features significant weight gain or an increased appetite, hypersomnia, a heavy sensation in the limbs and interpersonal rejection sensitivity that results in significant social or occupational impairment."
In a nutshell, if your depression is eased by positive events, chances are that curcumin can help. And the good news is that at doses of 500-1000mg (the typical does found in supplements today) it can not do any harm either.
If you suffer from other types of depression, trying curcumin is still a good idea, but may not be as effective.
Turmeric itself may not be enough
"Curcumin is one of the many curcuminoids, present in turmeric. Turmeric contains approximately 2% curcumin, so a teaspoon of turmeric, which weighs 2 grams, contains about 60mg curcumin."
Given that for this study 500-1000mg of curcumin per day were used, one has to consume 25-50g of turmeric powder to achieve the same results. This is a huge amount of turmeric to take every day - expect to be fed up of it in days and your teeth to become all yellow...
So by all means, keep adding turmeric to your food, but to replicate the results of this study you will most probably need a curcumin supplement.
On the other hand, given curcumin's poor bioavailability, one would have to use much less liposomal curcumin or other enhanced bioavailability curcumin form.
Saffron may not be entirely necessary
This study showed that 500mg curcumin, 1000mg curcumin and 500mg curcumin + 30mg saffron all have the same effect, which means that most probably saffron is not the main component, as curcumin by itself was equally effective to the combination of curcumin and saffron.
This study has shown that curcumin works well independent of saffron in depression, but future studies focusing on saffron may shed more light in the effectiveness of saffron against depression.
How could curcumin alleviate depression?
This study did not look into the mechanism by which curcumin alleviates depression, but in the past curcumin has also been proven potentially helpful in mental health conditions, including Alzheimers disease, by preventing nerve damage, via oxidative damage / inflammation inhibition.
Curcumin is well-known for it's anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and overall anti-ageing action, and these two properties are most probably the reasons behind it's effectiveness in alleviating depression.
- Paper: Efficacy of curcumin, and a saffron/curcumin combination for the treatment of major depression: A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study
- Abstract: BACKGROUND: Several studies have supported the antidepressant effects of curcumin (from the spice turmeric) and saffron for people with major depressive disorder. However, these studies have been hampered by poor designs, small sample sizes, short treatment duration, and similar intervention dosages. Furthermore, the antidepressant effects of combined curcumin and saffron administration are unknown. METHODS: In a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 123 individuals with major depressive disorder were allocated to one of four treatment conditions, comprising placebo, low-dose curcumin extract (250mg b.i.d.), high-dose curcumin extract (500mg b.i.d.), or combined low-dose curcumin extract plus saffron (15mg b.i.d.) for 12 weeks. The outcome measures were the Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology self-rated version (IDS-SR30) and Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). RESULTS: The active drug treatments (combined) were associated with significantly greater improvements in depressive symptoms compared to placebo (p=.031), and superior improvements in STAI-state (p<.001) and STAI-trait scores (p=.001). Active drug treatments also had greater efficacy in people with atypical depression compared to the remainder of patients (response rates of 65% versus 35% respectively, p=.012). No differences were found between the differing doses of curcumin or the curcumin/saffron combination. LIMITATIONS: Investigations with larger sample sizes are required to examine the efficacy of differing doses of curcumin and saffron/curcumin combination. Its effects in people with atypical depression also require examination in larger scale studies. CONCLUSIONS: Active drug treatments comprising differing doses of curcumin and combined curcumin/saffron were effective in reducing depressive and anxiolytic symptoms in people with major depressive disorder.
Why lower abdomen is saggier than the upper abdomen? Elementary, Dear Watson, there is less collagen and elastin there.
In this recently published study, which examined the elastin, collagen and hydroxyproline content of superficial abdominal fascia, it was found that those three proteins were abundant in the upper abdominal region and found in much lower levels on the lower abdomen.
The superficial abdominal fascia is a tissue found below the skin and above deep fat stores and muscles, and it is rich in collagen and elastin fibres in slim/fit people; and rich in fat and poor in elastin and collagen fibres in the overweight/unfit people.
Collagen provides firmness to the surface of the body and elastin provides elasticity. Hydroxyproline is the most important aminoacid in collagen and it is used as a collagen marker.
Low levels of elastin and collagen and high levels of fat are responsible for the loose, saggy look found in, usually overweight, people. In this study it was found that the lower part of the abdomen has much less collagen, elastin and hydroxyproline than the upper part, hence the propensity of the lower "stomach" to be more loose and "flabby" than the upper stomach.
Radiofrequency (RF) treatments represent the best non-surgical skin tightening technology known today, but only if high intensity, monopolar RF is used. Hydroxyproline contained in the radiofrequency treatment cream/gel offers enhanced results.
- Paper: Histological and biochemical study of the superficial abdominal fascia and its implication in obesity.
- Abstract: The advancement of liposculpturing and fascial flaps in reconstructive surgery has renewed interest in the superficial fascia of abdomen. Its histological and biochemical composition may play a vital role in maintaining strength and elasticity of the fascia. Hence, study of abdominal fascia for the elastic, collagen, and hydroxyproline contents is desirable to understand asymmetrical bulges and skin folds and in improving surgical treatment of obesity. Samples of superficial fascia were collected from of upper and lower abdomen from 21 fresh cadavers (15 males and 6 females). Samples were stained using Verhoeff-Van Gieson stain. Digital images of superficial fascia were analyzed using TissueQuant software. The samples were also subjected to hydroxyproline estimation. The superficial fascia was formed by loosely packed collagen fibers mixed with abundant elastic fibers and adipose tissue. Elastic contents and collagen contents of superficial fascia were significantly more in the upper abdomen than that in the lower abdomen in males. Hydroxyproline content of superficial fascia of upper abdomen was significantly more than that of lower abdomen in both males and females. The elastic, collagen and hydroxyproline contents of superficial fascia of upper abdomen were higher compared to the lower abdomen. This may be a reason for asymmetric bulging over abdomen and more sagging fold of skin in the lower abdomen than in the upper abdomen. This study may therefore be helpful in finding new ways to manage obesity and other body contour deformities.
Glycation: the silent assassin of youth
Glycation refers to the damage of proteins, lipids and DNA/RNA by sugars and by high temperature cooking.
Increased consumption of sugars, especially fructose, sucrose/sugar, and high fructose corn syrup, as well as high temperature cooking, leads to the creation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs).
AGEs cause widespread damage to all tissues of the body, from blood vessels to skin to organs, by increasing inflammation, oxidative damage and collagen cross linking.
Skin is particularly prone to glycation damage, with loss of elasticity and firmness and an unhealthy grey complexion usually indicating damage by AGEs. Glycation is also an important cause of cellulite.
According to the authors of this review, "elevated circulating AGEs are associated with increased risk of developing many chronic diseases that disproportionally affect older individuals".
Fighting glycation on all fronts
Following a diet high in vegetables, herbs and spices (with the exception of chilli), avoiding high temperature grilling and frying and avoiding sugary foods, are the best things you can do to avoid glycation damage on your skin, blood vessels and other tissues.
Chlorogenic acid (found in green coffee), carnosine (found in meat) and quercetin (found in citrus fruits) are the most well-known natural compounds that can fight glycation.
All three natural chemicals can also be used topically in the form of anti-ageing / anti-cellulite creams.
Drugs that aim to inhibit or break AGEs are also being developed. Existing drugs known to fight glycation include aminoguanidine (pimagedine) and alagebrium chloride (ALT-711), with neither of them being commercially available.
- Paper: Does accumulation of advanced glycation end products contribute to the aging phenotype?
- Abstract: BACKGROUND: Aging is a complex multifactorial process characterized by accumulation of deleterious changes in cells and tissues, progressive deterioration of structural integrity and physiological function across multiple organ systems, and increased risk of death. METHODS: We conducted a review of the scientific literature on the relationship of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) with aging. AGEs are a heterogeneous group of bioactive molecules that are formed by the nonenzymatic glycation of proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids. RESULTS: Humans are exposed to AGEs produced in the body, especially in individuals with abnormal glucose metabolism, and AGEs ingested in foods. AGEs cause widespread damage to tissues through upregulation of inflammation and cross-linking of collagen and other proteins. AGEs have been shown to adversely affect virtually all cells, tissues, and organ systems. Recent epidemiological studies demonstrate that elevated circulating AGEs are associated with increased risk of developing many chronic diseases that disproportionally affect older individuals. CONCLUSIONS: Based on these data, we propose that accumulation of AGEs accelerate the multisystem functional decline that occurs with aging, and therefore contribute to the aging phenotype. Exposure to AGEs can be reduced by restriction of dietary intake of AGEs and drug treatment with AGE inhibitors and AGE breakers. Modification of intake and circulating levels of AGEs may be a possible strategy to promote health in old age, especially because most Western foods are processed at high temperature and are rich in AGEs.
- This newly published study investigated the efficacy of radiofrequency, ultrasound and vacuum massage in the reduction of abdominal fat
- One treatment of these combined technologies resulted after 3 months in an average of 3.5 cm circumference reduction
- Unfortunately, this exploratory study was not placebo-controlled, but like many previous and better designed studies, shows the effectiveness of ultrasound and radiofrequency in reducing localised fat deposits
- Definitely more studies are needed to better understand the intricacies of ultrasound and radiofrequency treatment, but in clinical practice high intensity radiofrequency and ultrasound cavitation treatments do work, especially if combined with electro-mesotherapy and highly concentrated lipolytic active ingredients.
- Source: The safety and efficacy of thermal lipolysis of adipose tissue via ultrasound for circumference reduction: An open label, single-arm exploratory study.
- Abstract: BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: To better understand adipocyte sensitivity under hyperthermic conditions, the ULTIMA system (also known as MUST) was designed to induce the thermal destruction of fat cells using ultrasound, radiofrequency, and vacuuming. This clinical study assessed the safety and efficacy of ULTIMA in non-invasive reductions of abdominal circumference. STUDY DESIGN: This open-label, single-arm exploratory study monitored the response of 21 patients to a single fat reduction treatment session with the ULTIMA system. Male and female patients between the ages of 18 and 65 who presented with a subcutaneous adipose fat thickness >2.5 cm as measured with a caliper and 2 cm as measured by ultrasound were eligible to participate in the study. Patients with a history of surgery in the target region and who had previous fat/circumference reduction treatments within the previous 6 months were excluded. Efficacy measures evaluated at the 1-, 2-, and 3-month post-treatment visits included the following: photographs of before and after treatment as evaluated by two blinded reviewers, changes from the baseline abdominal circumference and fat layer thickness, and subjective physician and patient assessments. Immediate skin responses were recorded for up to 30 minutes post-treatment, and adverse events were recorded throughout the study. RESULTS: An average of 10 zones per patient were subjected to ULTIMA treatment and 87.5% of the pre-treatment photographs were correctly rated by two independent blinded reviewers. A statistically and clinically significant reduction in the abdominal circumference was observed at 3 months post-treatment. The changes in circumference (represented as the mean ± SE) of the baseline of the anterior superior iliac spine (ASIS), umbilicus, and maximal circumference during this period were -3.2 ± 0.7 cm, -3.9 ± 0.7 cm, and -3.3 ± 0.8 cm, respectively. Physician-based assessments classified all patients (100%) as "improved" within 3 months of treatment, and self-assessment questionnaires completed by the patients demonstrated that 92% of them classified their conditions as either improved or much improved within this same time period. Any immediate skin reactions observed fell within the expected norms and were short-lived and self-resolving. CONCLUSIONS: A single ULTIMA treatment session effectively and safely resulted in visual appearance improvement and in a significant reduction in the patients' abdominal circumference, which persisted for 3 months. Additional investigations will be required to further optimize the treatment regimen and assess its long-term sustainability.
Fighting inflammation and oxidative damage in the liver
Centella asiatica's protective effect on skin and connective tissue has been known for centuries and plenty of studies in the last few decades have confirmed the validity of this traditional knowledge.
Gotu kola / centella asiatica possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and in this new study published this month it was shown that centella exerts the same anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and overall protective effects in the liver too.
Specifically, gotu kola reduced malondialdehyde (MDA), a marker of lipid oxidation, significantly increased the levels of antioxidant enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase and catalase, and may have provided direct antioxidant protection against reactive oxygen species (ROS) too.
Furthermore, centella significantly reduced a host of inflammatory markers, including interleukin (IL)‑1β, IL‑2, IL‑6, IL‑10, IL‑12 and TNF‑alpha, among others!
The authors of the study concluded that "centella asiatica may be useful in preventing liver damage"
Clearly centella is not just an active for anti-cellulite creams or circulation-boosting supplements, and possesses diverse beneficial properties for multiple tissues and organs in the body. In addition to it's inclusion in creams and supplements, gotu kola can also be eaten as a salad or drunk as a herbal tea made with fresh or dried leaves.
- Paper: Protective effects of Centella asiatica leaf extract on dimethylnitrosamine‑induced liver injury in rats.
- Abstract: Oxidative stress in liver injury is a major pathogenetic factor in the progression of liver damage. Centella asiatica (L.) Urban, known in the United States as Gotu kola, is widely used as a traditional herbal medicine in Chinese or Indian Pennywort. The efficacy of Centella asiatica is comprehensive and is used as an anti‑inflammatory agent, for memory improvement, for its antitumor activity and for treatment of gastric ulcers. The present study investigated the protective effects of Centella asiatica on dimethylnitrosamine (DMN)‑induced liver injury in rats. The rats in the treatment groups were treated with Centella asiatica at either 100 or 200 mg/kg in distilled water (D.W) or with silymarin (200 mg/kg in D.W) by oral administration for 5 days daily following intraperitoneal injections of 30 mg/kg DMN. Centella asiatica significantly decreased the relative liver weights in the DMN‑induced liver injury group, compared with the control. The assessment of liver histology showed that Centella asiatica significantly alleviated mass periportal ± bridging necrosis, intralobular degeneration and focal necrosis, with fibrosis of liver tissues. Additionally, Centella asiatica significantly decreased the level of malondialdehyde, significantly increased the levels of antioxidant enzymes, including superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase and catalase, and may have provided protection against the deleterious effects of reactive oxygen species. In addition, Centella asiatica significantly decreased inflammatory mediators, including interleukin (IL)‑1β, IL‑2, IL‑6, IL‑10, IL‑12, tumor necrosis factor‑α, interferon‑γ and granulocyte/macrophage colony‑stimulating factor. These results suggested that Centella asiatica had hepatoprotective effects through increasing the levels of antioxidant enzymes and reducing the levels of inflammatory mediators in rats with DMN‑induced liver injury. Therefore, Centella asiatica may be useful in preventing liver damage.
The salads of the future
Edible flowers have been used throughout the centuries as "glamorous" ingredients for salads and food/dessert decoration. However, what most people do not know is that flowers can be sources of valuable nutrients, carotenoids and polyphenols.
In these two studies, the nutritional properties of several flowers have been analysed: dahlias, roses, marigolds, mountain cornflower, elderflower, french honeysuckle and mallow.
Scientists have found that:
- most flowers are rich in fibre, natural sugars, organic acids, polyunsaturated fats (especially linoleic acid) and also small amounts of protein
- calendula/marigold is rich in tocopherol (vitamin E) and carotenoids (vitamin A precursor)
- elderflower has high levels of the antioxidants rutin and quercetin and the highest overall antioxidant activity, with cornflower being a close runner-up
- mallow can help keep high blood glucose and weight in check, by inhibiting the absorption of carbohydrates
- additionally, elderflower has the strongest activity against lipid peroxidation, one of the causes of cardiovascular disease
The Instagram-able superfoods
Typically plant pigments represent healthful "antioxidants" (carotenoids and polyphenols), and most flowers are appreciated for their vibrant colours. This means that flowers are an undiscovered treasure trove of wholesomeness for our plate.
Only a tiny sample of the abundance of deeply colourful flowers available has being investigated by these two studies, so we expect in future studies more beneficial effects to be discovered
Edible flowers are clearly an amazing source of taste, decoration, colour, glamour and nutrients for our plate, and clearly there is huge potential in marketing them as salad ingredients as well as nutritional supplements.
Flowers could become the salads of the future, and many of them can easily attain superfood status, due to their high micronutrient and low calorie profile - not to mention the Instagram factor!
- Paper 1: Nutritional and chemical characterization of edible petals and corresponding infusions: Valorization as new food ingredients
- Abstract 1: Edible flowers provide new colours, textures and vibrancy to any dish, and apart from the “glam” factor, they can constitute new sources of bioactive compounds. In the present work, the edible petals and infusions of dahlia, rose, calendula and centaurea, were characterized regarding their nutritional value and composition in terms of hydrophilic and lipophilic compounds. Carbohydrates were the most abundant macronutrients, followed by proteins and ash. Fructose, glucose and sucrose were identified in all the petals and infusions. Rose petals and calendula infusions gave the highest content of organic acids, mainly due to the presence of malic and quinic acids, respectively. Polyunsaturated fatty acids predominated over saturated fatty acids, mainly due to the contribution of linoleic acid. Calendula presented the highest content in tocopherols, with α-tocopherol as the most abundant. These results highlight the interest of edible petals “as” and “in” new food products, representing rich sources of bioactive nutrients. Highlights: Edible petals can be included in a daily diet as nutrients source. Edible petals can be also used in infusions providing soluble sugars and organic acids. Rose petals gave the highest content of organic acids and sugars. Calendula petals presented the highest content in tocopherols.
- Paper 2: Edible Flowers: A Rich Source of Phytochemicals with Antioxidant and Hypoglycemic Properties
- Abstract 2: Edible flowers are receiving renewed interest as rich sources of bioactive compounds. Ethanol extracts of eight edible flowers were phytochemically characterized and investigated for their bioactivity. Rutin, quercetin, luteolin, kaempferol, and myricetin were selected as standards and quantified by HPLC. The fatty acid profile was analyzed by GC and GC-MS. Antioxidant properties were evaluated by using different in vitro tests. The hypoglycemic effects were investigated via the inhibition of α-amylase and α-glucosidase. Sambucus nigra exhibited the highest radical-scavenging activity (IC50 of 1.4 μg/mL), followed by Hedysarum coronarium (IC50 of 1.6 μg/mL). Both species contained high quercetin and rutin contents. S. nigra extract exerted the highest activity in preventing lipid oxidation. Malva sylvestris extract inhibited both α-amylase and α-glucosidase with IC50 values of 7.8 and 11.3 μg/mL, respectively. These findings support the consumption of edible flowers as functional foods and their use as sources of natural antioxidants by the food industry.
The gene of youth?
After studying thousands of genes on thousands of people, researchers in Holland have found that the carriers of a specific subtype of the gene MC1R look an average of two years younger than their biological age.
MC1R (melanocortin 1 receptor) controls the protein that converts inactive yellow/red melanin to brown/black melanin and leads to tanning, but the authors of the study have stated that the results are independent of skin colour or indeed "age, sex and sun damage (wrinkling, pigmented spots) and persisted through different sun-exposure levels".
Two years is not an enormous difference. Many people look a decade or more younger than their biological age, especially oriental and black people, and definitely there are dozens of other factors at play.
Nevertheless, this is still a beginning in identifying ways to boost youthfulness and beauty based on information gleaned from genetics.
- Paper: The MC1R Gene and Youthful Looks
- Abstract: Looking young for one's age has been a desire since time immemorial. This desire is attributable to the belief that appearance reflects health and fecundity. Indeed, perceived age predicts survival  and associates with molecular markers of aging such as telomere length . Understanding the underlying molecular biology of perceived age is vital for identifying new aging therapies among other purposes, but studies are lacking thus far. As a first attempt, we performed genome-wide association studies (GWASs) of perceived facial age and wrinkling estimated from digital facial images by analyzing over eight million SNPs in 2,693 elderly Dutch Europeans from the Rotterdam Study. The strongest genetic associations with perceived facial age were found for multiple SNPs in the MC1R gene (p < 1 × 10(-7)). This effect was enhanced for a compound heterozygosity marker constructed from four pre-selected functional MC1R SNPs (p = 2.69 × 10(-12)), which was replicated in 599 Dutch Europeans from the Leiden Longevity Study (p = 0.042) and in 1,173 Europeans of the TwinsUK Study (p = 3 × 10(-3)). Individuals carrying the homozygote MC1R risk haplotype looked on average up to 2 years older than non-carriers. This association was independent of age, sex, skin color, and sun damage (wrinkling, pigmented spots) and persisted through different sun-exposure levels. Hence, a role for MC1R in youthful looks independent of its known melanin synthesis function is suggested. Our study uncovers the first genetic evidence explaining why some people look older for their age and provides new leads for further investigating the biological basis of how old or young people look.
- In a study examining the would healing activity of centella / gotu kola extract and dexpanthenol (a type of vitamin B5), it was found that both boost wound repair by activating and protecting fibroblasts, the cells that produce collagen and elastin in the body, albeit via a different mechanism
- The connective tissue repair properties of centella make it an ideal anti-ageing, under-eye and anti-cellulite cream active ingredient
- Source: Testing Wound-healing Activity in T15 Fibroblast Cultures: A Morphometric Analysis.
- Abstract: The purpose was to evaluate the use of mouse T15 fibroblast cell cultures for the investigation of wound-healing activity. In order to investigate their mechanisms of action, the effects of drugs with wound-healing activities were compared by using morphometric analyses by microscopy after cell staining. A number of parameters were used to evaluate the effects of titrated extracts from centella asiatica and dexpanthenol (drugs that have been used in medical practice for their wound-healing activities) on cultured mouse T15 fibroblasts. These parameters were : the total number of cells ; the number of T15 cells in mitosis ; the percentages of fusiform, polygonal, round and vacuole-containing cells ; and the number of intracellular collagen granules. The results indicate that these two drugs exhibit wound-healing activities by activating fibroblast cells, and have cytoprotective effects, although their mechanisms of action on mouse T15 fibroblasts were different. On the basis of our findings, mouse T15 fibroblast cell cultures seem to be useful for the pharmacological screening of compounds with wound-healing activity.
"I woke up one morning with cellulite painted all over my legs"
Imagine the following scenario, something which I hear about all too often from my clients: you wake up one morning and suddenly realise that someone has "painted cellulite" all over your legs.
You swear that cellulite wasn't there last night, or last month for that matter, and are freaking out. "I used to have such great legs, what happened?", you wonder and turn to Google for answers. Apparently, "sudden cellulite" is an all too common Google query, as evidenced by the Google search auto-complete function.
6+1 "sudden cellulite" scenarios
The fact is that cellulite does not develop overnight or in a few weeks, it usually develops slowly and insipidly under the surface over many years (this aesthetic condition is aptly called "pre-cellulite") and you only realise it's existence when it is already fully established ("cellulite-proper").
However, in some cases, cellulite can indeed develop (or if already there, it can become significantly worse) in just a few short months. There are 6+1 common scenarios when this happens, which are analysed below.
This is a very common scenario with clients at my clinic. Clients quite often say that...
"For the last few months I had to study very hard for my master's diploma and I was literally stuck on my chair all day for months on end"... "I used to exercise a lot but since I moved to my new job this year I am bound to my desk for fourteen hours a day"... "I had a skiing accident and had to be in bed for three months"... "I suffered from chronic fatigue and I was very inactive for years".
What is common in all those scenarios is "severe inactivity". Inactivity favours the proliferation of adipocytes (fat cells) at the expense of fibroblasts (collagen-producing cells), so you effectively swap firmness for "flab", i.e. fat and skin looseness.
This is a simple case of "if you don't use it, you lose it": if you don't need firm skin because you don't move much, you will lose some skin. And since not moving usually implies excess calories (i.e. excess fat looking to be stored somewhere), fat cells will take the place of collagen cells.
Furthermore, inactivity also weakens blood vessel, lymphatic vessel and capillary function, which means less blood circulation, less lymphatic drainage and consequently more water retention.
More fat, more water retention and less skin firmness are three of the main hallmarks of cellulite. Inactivity is a major cause of cellulite, so don't blame the extra cup of coffee you have been having at your new job. It is the inactivity that caused the cellulite, not the coffee.
Starting on the contraceptive pill
No doctor will tell you - either because they don't care or because they don't know - but is is a fact: the pill causes cellulite. Period (excuse the pan)...
Hormonal contraceptives, including pills, patches, medicated coils and injections, contain high amounts of artificial estrogens. Estrogen, on the other hand, is a major cause of cellulite, due to it's stimulating effect on adipocytes that are found under the surface of the skin around the thigh, buttock, hip and other areas. Oestrogen is also the reason why women develop cellulite and men generally don't.
I have seen countless clients who suddenly - in the course of a few months - developed cellulite after going on the "pill". In some cases the change is very evident, so the client can visibly see the difference. In some others, though, the effect is more gradual and the person blames the cellulite on diet, lack of exercise, coffee, not drinking enough water etc. Of course the latter do contribute to cellulite, but the main triggering factor is excess estrogen, not lack of water etc.
Another case where estrogen levels in the body soar is pregnancy, especially the last few months of it. As described above, estrogen boosts the creation of cellulite, always in combination with an excess of calorie consumption and inactivity, both of which occur during pregnancy, in most cases.
The solution to this is simple: keep exercising and keep eating healthily and not excessively, in order to minimise cellulite during pregnancy. And afterwards, have a course of strong anti-cellulite treatments and apply a quality anti-cellulite cream, to reduce the little cellulite created.
Excessive sugar consumption
Sugar, in all it's forms (white sugar, brown sugar, sweet juices, honey, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, agave syrup, maple syrup etc.), is the number one cause of cellulite today. Women consume several times more sugar today than just a few decades ago and the results are visible: cellulite has increased as fast as sugar consumption did, and now even girls as young as 14 or 15 have cellulite.
Sugar creates insulin spikes and lows in the bloodstream which encourage fat deposition (basically sugar becomes fat in the body) and cravings, which lead to further sugar or other food consumption. Excessive fat accumulation is the main aspect of cellulite.
Sugar also damages proteins in the body via a process called glycation, including proteins such as collagen and elastin that keep the skin and blood vessels firm and elastic. This leads to skin and blood vessel ageing and overall deterioration. Skin deterioration, skin looseness and poor circulation are three important aspects of cellulite.
Sugar also creates a state of low grade inflammation in the body and chronic, sub-clinical inflammation is one of the aspects of cellulite.
Developing a habit of regularly eating sugary foods (such as muffins, cakes, chocolates, ice cream, fizzy drinks, sweetened coffee and tea, croissants etc.), in very little time can create cellulite where there used to be nice, firm skin: just a few months are enough.
Excessive alcohol consumption
About 18 years ago, when I wasn't yet involved with cellulite reduction, I used to see a client who had the perfect body. She used to exercise a lot and her legs were toned, both inside (muscles) and out (skin).
She was my client for about a year (I used to do bodywork and nutrition back then) and then at some point she stopped coming for treatments, as her life became very unsettled, due to marital problems.
Then, more than a year later, she started coming again for treatments. Luckily her marriage went back on track, but in the process, during the tough times, she developed a habit of drinking wine - a little bit, but several times a day - for several months. I suppose, she was self-medicating with a bit of wine throughout the day.
She did not develop any alcohol addiction or anything similarly serious, but when I looked at her body I could not believe my eyes: her once perfectly toned legs were covered with cellulite, which was also evident all over the body. Clearly, the excessive calories from alcohol combined with the toxic effect of alcohol on the liver had a pronounced effect on her body.
Fortunately, she went back on track and started exercising intensively again and several months later she managed to get rid most of her cellulite, but not all. This is because, once cellulite gets established, it can not be completely eliminated with ANY method - even the apparently "miracle" ones - due to the permanent damage caused on the connective tissues under the skin. However, with the right treatments and creams and a good dose of healthy living cellulite can be reduced to a large extent.
Drinking alcohol - especially binge-drinking - is a major cause of "sudden cellulite" creation.
Fast weight gain
Gradually putting on weight may not lead to the creation of significant amounts of cellulite, especially if you follow a relatively healthy lifestyle (I use the word "relatively" because the fact that you put on weight means that your lifestyle is not that healthy).
However, suddenly putting on a lot of weight, will almost certainly lead to the appearance of cellulite. This is because with excessive calorie consumption there is an excessive stimulation of fat cell proliferation (creation of new fat cells) and some of them will proliferate in the deeper layers of the skin (cellulite) to accommodate the excess fat.
Also, fast weight gain almost certainly implies inactivity combined with carb consumption and possibly fat, sugar and/or alcohol consumption and too much estrogen.
Too much London...
It is a common theme at my practice to see clients who complain that their cellulite developed or became significantly worse after coming to live in London.
London is a very international city and hundreds of thousands of people from the UK, the EU and all over the world come here to study and work every year. Of course, it is not that there is something in the air or the water of London that causes women to develop cellulite or put on weight.
It is the reduced exercise levels, either because of the weather or due to starting a demanding new job or demanding new year at university, which does not allow them to exercise as much as they want to.
Add to that the beer culture after work (granted, it is usually wine or cocktails for the ladies, but it's still alcohol), the generally fattening, unhealthy food found at work / school cafeterias, pubs, coffee shops and restaurants and the sugary snacks to cope with the moody weather, and you have a recipe for weight gain and cellulite.
Starting on the pill for acne, unsettled periods or just good old contraception after finding love, adds the icing on the cake...
Cellulite: a condition of excess
I don't know if you've noticed, but the main theme in all the above cases is excess. Cellulite is a condition of excess. Normally, it takes years of relatively poor diet and relatively sedentary living for cellulite to appear - with the speed of it's appearance depending on every woman's genetic make-up. However, it can only take just a few months of excess estrogen, sugar, alcohol, inactivity or food in general for cellulite to appear.
There is also another word that comes to mind: unnatural.
Being so sedentary is totally unnatural and a feature of modern life in the west. Sugar is an unnatural food whose consumption only sky-rocketed the last few years. Alcohol is equally unnatural and the same applies to putting artificial hormones in our bodies.
Clearly, cellulite is a combination of excess and unnatural living and that's where we should start if we want to avoid it. Eating healthily and exercising a lot is a good start. Applying a good, highly concentrated cellulite cream with natural active ingredients is another step. And having a quality cellulite treatment which stimulates natural processes in the body is yet another.
- Episesamin, a compound found in the Japanese spice bush Lindera Obtusiloba (and also in sesame oil), was recently reported to inhibit the creation of new fat cells (adipogenenis).
- Specifically, episesamin:
- Inhibited the transformation of stem cells (MSC) into new fat cells (adipocyte differentiation) by blocking the pro-adipogenic ("fattening") protein PPAR-gamma
- Reduced fat accumulation in existing fat cells
- Stimulated the early death of fat cells (adipocyte apoptosis)
- Reduced fat tissue inflammation, by blocking the inflammatory proteins TNF-alpha and LPS
- In summary, because of it's direct inhibiting action on fat cells - the main culprits of cellulite - episesamin seems to be an ideal candidate as an active ingredient in anti-cellulite creams and spot fat reduction formulations.
- Source: Article: (+)-Episesamin inhibits adipogenesis and exerts anti-inflammatory effects in 3T3-L1 (pre)adipocytes by sustained Wnt signaling, down-regulation of PPARγ and induction of iNOS
- Abstract: Obesity and its associated health risks still demand for effective therapeutic strategies. Drugs and compositions derived from Oriental medicine such as green tea polyphenols attract growing attention. Previously, an extract from the Japanese spice bush Lindera obtusiloba (L. obtusiloba) traditionally used for treatment of inflammation and prevention of liver damage was shown to inhibit adipogenesis. Aiming for the active principle of this extract (+)-episesamin was identified, isolated and applied in adipogenic research using 3T3-L1 (pre)adipocytes, an established cell line for studying adipogenesis. With an IC50 of 10 μM (+)-episesamin effectively reduced the growth of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes and decreased hormone-induced 3T3-L1 differentiation as shown by reduced accumulation of intracellular lipid droplets and diminished protein expression of GLUT-4 and vascular endothelial growth factor. Mechanistically, the presence of (+)-episesamin during hormone-induced differentiation provoked a reduced phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and β-catenin along with a reduced protein expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ and a strongly increased protein expression of iNOS. Treatment of mature adipocytes with (+)-episesamin resulted in a reduction of intracellular stored lipid droplets and induced the proapoptotic enzymes caspases-3/-7. Besides interfering with adipogenesis, (+)-episesamin showed anti-inflammatory activity by counteracting the lipopolysaccharide- and tumor necrosis factor α-induced secretion of interleukin 6 by 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. In conclusion, (+)-episesamin seems to be the active drug in the L. obtusiloba extract being responsible for the inhibition of adipogenesis and, thus, should be evaluated as a novel potential complementary treatment for obesity.
- The medicinal herb centella asiatica / gotu kola is a south Asian plant known for centuries for it's connective tissue building and repair action
- The most important components of centella asiatica are asiatic acid, madecassic acid and asiaticoside
- In this study on human tissue cultures, a highly concentrated extract comprising solely the above natural chemicals was found to boost collagen synthesis, with increasing efficacy as the dose increased
- Out of the three, asiatic acid was found to be the only component responsible for collagen synthesis stimulation. However, all three components increased proline in collagen tissue, showing a supportive collagen stimulation action (proline is the most important aminoacid in collagen).
- Due to it's connective tissue growth and repair activity, gotu kola is ideal for use in skin anti-aging and anti-cellulite creams and supplements.
- Source: Stimulation of collagen synthesis in fibroblast cultures by a triterpene extracted from Centella asiatica
- Abstract: The drug "Titrated Extract from Centella asiatica" (TECA), used for its stimulating properties on the healing of wounds, is a mixture of 3 terpenes extracted from a tropical plant: asiatic acid (30%, w/w), madecassic acid (30%, w/w) and asiaticoside (40%, w/w). The effects of TECA and its individual components were checked on human foreskin fibroblast monolayer cultures. TECA increased the collagen synthesis in a dose-dependent fashion whereas a simultaneous decrease in the specific activity of neosynthesized collagen was observed. Asiatic acid was found to be the only component responsible for collagen synthesis stimulation. TECA and all three terpenes increased the intracellular free proline pool. This effect was independent of the stimulation of collagen synthesis.
With dinitrophenol you lose weight quickly but you also literally fry yourself from within...
Last year (2015) several dieters died or suffered severe health problems after taking the "slimming supplement" DNP (Di-Nitro-Phenol). Dinitrophenol is illegal in the UK as a slimming pill but unfortunately it is still allowed to be sold for other uses (http://metro.co.uk/2015/05/05/interpol-issues-global-alert-over-deadly-diet-pills-which-killed-british-woman-5181201).
Dinitrophenol diverts the energy production mechanism of each cell in the body from useful energy production for the needs of cells and organs into heat production. As a result, the person who takes dinitrophenol loses weight, but with dire consequences to their health.
Because the dose of efficacy of dinitrophenol is quite near the dose of severe organ damage or death, dinitrophenol is an extremely dangerous way to lose weight. When you take dinitrophenol you experience massive heat (high temperature) in your body, as a result of intense heat production in cells (thermogenesis).
A double whammy
However, as almost all the energy produced in the cell's mitochondria ends up as heat, no energy is left in the cell for vital function and as a result the cell is literally starved and suffocated of energy. Furthermore, the massive and uncontrolled fatty acid oxidation leads to free radical production, which can also damage cells and organs.
This combined effect, i.e. energy starvation and free radical damage, can lead to organ failure or - with higher doses - death, as happened to several dieters in the past.
Salmon, wakame and green tea: the slow but safe thermogenesis option
The thermogenesis produced by DNP is indiscriminate and uncontrolled, unlike the thermogenesis / heat production occurring specifically in fat cells after consuming foods and herbs such as wakame, oily fish or green tea, which is quite mild and targeted, i.e. limited to fat cells only.
With the consumption of such foods (or supplements) a protein called UCP1 stimulates fat cells to burn fat for heat production. In contrast to what happens with DNP, this is not a life-changing effect, i.e. there is no massive heat production or slimming - but then again it does not cause damage to health either.
In fact, due to the other beneficial effects of omega-3 in oily fish or the antioxidants in wakame, consuming such foods improves health and helps with slimming, than damaging health for the sake of slimming.
Closing this post, I would like to reiterate that dinitrophenol is an extremely dangerous substance and you should not even consider using it for weight loss. Opting instead for the slower, healthier and tastier weight loss thermogenic effect of natural foods makes a lot more sense.
- The south Asian medicinal herb centella asiatica (gotu kola) has been used as a cure-all for thousands of years for the treatment of hypertrophic scars (very common in Asia), wound healing and burns.
- The main actives compounds of the herb are asiaticoside, madecasosside, asiatic acid and madecassic acid and together they are called TTFCA (total triterpenic fraction of centella asiatica) or TECA (titrated extract of centella asiatica)
- These are the types of gotu kola extract to look for when taking centella asiatica orally (food supplements) or topically (creams)
- High quality, concentrated extracts, such as the above, do help in wound / burn / hypertrophic scar healing, facial skin anti-ageing, body and face skin firming, under eye bags, cellulite reduction and water retention / poor circulation, as multiple studies, included the one mentioned below, have shown.
- The main mode of action of gotu kola is in the repair of connective tissue, which is implicated in all the health / aesthetic problems mentioned above. For this reason, centella is one of the key actives we use for treatments at our clinic and in our anti-cellulite / leg wellness creams.
- Source: Centella asiatica in dermatology: an overview
- Abstract: Centella asiatica is a medicinal plant that was already used as a 'panacea' 3000 years ago. The active compounds include pentacyclic triterpenes, mainly asiaticoside, madecasosside, asiatic acid and madecassic acid. We have conducted an overview to summarize current knowledge on the results of scientific in vitro and in vivo experiments focused on the improvement of the healing process of small wounds, hypertrophic scars and burns by C. asiatica. In this paper, we discuss the data on constituents, recommended preparations and the potential side effects of C. asiatica.
- Retinol / vitamin A is a well-established anti-ageing and anti-acne natural chemical. It's more powerful metabolite, all trans retinoic acid (ATRA), is also used for anti-ageing, and especially for acne reduction. However, retinoic acid has quite a few side effects, so it would be interesting to know if retinol, which has a much safe profile, is equally effective or not.
- In this study, after four weeks of topical application, patients experienced increased skin firmness, increased collagen type I and collagen type III with both products, and also significant reduction of wrinkles after 12 weeks of treatment with retinol.
- Predictably, retinol was found to be somewhat less effective than retinoic acid, but nevertheless the results were classed as "significant" by the researchers. So the use of retinol creams for anti-ageing, skin firming and wrinkle reduction is warranted, based on the results of this study.
- Source: A comparative study of the effects of retinol and retinoic acid on histological, molecular, and clinical properties of human skin.
- Abstract: BACKGROUND: All-trans retinol, a precursor of retinoic acid, is an effective anti-aging treatment widely used in skin care products. In comparison, topical retinoic acid is believed to provide even greater anti-aging effects; however, there is limited research directly comparing the effects of retinol and retinoic acid on skin. OBJECTIVES: In this study, we compare the effects of retinol and retinoic acid on skin structure and expression of skin function-related genes and proteins. We also examine the effect of retinol treatment on skin appearance. METHODS: Skin histology was examined by H&E staining and in vivo confocal microscopy. Expression levels of skin genes and proteins were analyzed using RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. The efficacy of a retinol formulation in improving skin appearance was assessed using digital image-based wrinkle analysis. RESULTS: Four weeks of retinoic acid and retinol treatments both increased epidermal thickness, and upregulated genes for collagen type 1 (COL1A1), and collagen type 3 (COL3A1) with corresponding increases in procollagen I and procollagen III protein expression. Facial image analysis showed a significant reduction in facial wrinkles following 12 weeks of retinol application. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study demonstrate that topical application of retinol significantly affects both cellular and molecular properties of the epidermis and dermis, as shown by skin biopsy and noninvasive imaging analyses. Although the magnitude tends to be smaller, retinol induces similar changes in skin histology, and gene and protein expression as compared to retinoic acid application. These results were confirmed by the significant facial anti-aging effect observed in the retinol efficacy clinical study.
- Cellulite is an aesthetic condition that depends primarily on estrogen for it's development
- Estrogen stimulates your fat cells inside the skin on the thigh/hip/butt areas to proliferate and accumulate more fat, especially if you follow a sedentary lifestyle and/or if you consume excess calories (particularly from sugar). Cellulite can also appear on the stomach, upper arms and lower legs
- Excessive estrogen contained in hormone replacement therapy / HRT, which forms part of sex reassignment therapy), increases the chances of developing cellulite and make it appear worse
- Men normally do not develop cellulite mainly due to their low levels of estrogen and high levels of testosterone. However, some men do develop cellulite, if their estrogen levels rise, due to various health or lifestyle reasons.
- Of course, transgender women who receive sex hormones as part of their sex change therapy, run the same risk of developing cellulite as normal women do - and possibly more, due to the high levels of oestrogen they receive
- Photographs of famous transexual women can be seen in the press with clear signs of cellulite - sometimes even with excessive cellulite on their thighs and buttock areas
- It is clear that by becoming a woman you face the same problems women face, unfortunately one of them being cellulite
- The best ways transsexuals can prevent/reduce cellulite are the same as in normal women:
- exercise and eat healthily, especially focusing on interval training, vibration plate training and vegetable juicing
- avoid smoking, alcohol and anything with sugar in it
- apply daily a highly concentrated cellulite cream with multiple anti-cellulite actives
- receive regularly a good, strong cellulite treatment (e.g. strong monopolar radiofrequency, high power cavitation, strong cellulite massage etc.)
- Poor blood microcirculation leads to impaired oxygenation of tissues, a condition called hypoxia
- Hypoxia is well-known to induce fibrotic changes in tissues, including fat/adipose tissue
- Adipose tissue fibrosis is a risk factor for metabolic syndrome, diabetes and heart disease, as it increases insulin resistance and chronic, low grade inflammation
- New research published last week has now shown that not only hypoxia causes fibrosis but it also increases fat accumulation, by inhibiting thermogenesis (thermogenesis is the oxidation of fat in brown fat cells)
- So poor microcirculation, not only has negative effects on the body due to impaired tissue nourishment and oxygenation, but it also has the previously known secondary side effects of fibrosis, low grade inflammation, and the newly discovered side effect of excess fat accumulation
- Furthermore, chronic, low grade inflammation, fat accumulation, poor microcirculation and fibrosis are all hallmarks of the aesthetic condition that we call cellulite
- It is becoming more and more clear that maintaining healthy circulation levels is extremely important for both health and aesthetics reasons
- Exercise and healthy eating are important in boosting blood circulation and tissue oxygenation, while sedentary living, tight clothes, compression garments/spanx, smoking and sugar/saturated fat intake all inhibit healthy circulation
- Supplements such as fish oil, garlic, ginkgo biloba, gotu kola, horse chestnut extract, hesperidin, pine bark extract and cocoa polyphenols are all great ways to further boost microcirculation
- The same actives (with the exception of fish oil and garlic) are also applied topically (in the form of a cream or as part of an electro-mesotherapy treatment) with the aim to help boost microcirculation and reduce/prevent cellulite
- Finally, treatments such as strong cellulite/lymphatic stimulation massage, and especially monopolar radiofrequency, are also used to boost microcirculation and fight cellulite at a local level
- Source: Adipose HIF-1α causes obesity by suppressing brown adipose tissue thermogenesis.
- Abstract: Hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) in adipose tissue is known to promote obesity. We hypothesized that HIF-1α interferes with brown fat thermogenesis, thus decreasing energy expenditure. To test this hypothesis, we compared transgenic mice constitutively expressing HIF-1α in adipose tissues (HIF-1α++) at usual temperature (22 °C), where brown fat is somewhat active, or at thermoneutrality (30 °C), where brown fat is minimally active. HIF-1α++ mice or control litter mates were separated into room temperature (22 °C) or thermoneutrality (30 °C) groups. We assessed weight gain, food intake, calorimetry, activity, and oxygen consumption and transcriptional changes in isolated white and brown adipocytes. At 22 °C, HIF-1α++ mice exhibited accelerated weight gain, cold and glucose intolerance, hyperglycemia, and decreased energy expenditure without changes in food intake or activity. These changes were absent or minimal at thermoneutrality. In brown adipocytes of HIF-1α++ mice, oxygen consumption decreased ~50 % in association with reduced mitochondrial content, uncoupling protein 2, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1 (PGC-1α). In conclusion, adipose HIF-1α overexpression inhibits thermogenesis and cellular respiration in brown adipose tissue, promoting obesity in the setting of reduced ambient temperature. KEY MESSAGE: Constitutive HIF-1α activation in adipose tissue promotes weight gain in mice. The weight gain is associated with reduced brown adipose tissue function and oxygen consumption. Reduced oxygen consumption may be mediated by reductions in mitochondria.
- Omega-3 fatty acids are well-known to be beneficial in maintaining cardiovascular and joint health, but less is known about their effects on metabolism
- The most effective omega-3 fatty acids in cardiovascular, joint and metabolic heath are those contained in oily fish
- Alpha linolenic acid (ALA), contained is chia seeds, flax seeds and walnuts, is only converted at a rate of 5-10% into the key omega-3 actives DHA and EPA, so ALA is much less effective, contrary to popular belief.
- The fish oil omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) act in multiple ways to help maintain metabolic heath. Specifically, EPA & DHA:
- reduce fat accumulation in fat cells and boost fat oxidation in the liver and muscles via stimulating PPAR-alpha, thereby helping maintain healthy weight / reduce overweight and obesity
- inhibit fat cell growth (adipocyte differentiation)
- boost thermogenesis, i.e. the oxidation of fat in fat cells, via stimulating UCP1
- inhibit adipose tissue inflammation (thereby also preventing cellulite; adipose tissue inflammation is one of he hallmarks of cellulite)
- inhibit liver inflammation and whole body low grade inflammation
- help prevent fatty liver disease (or even reduce it at intakes of 2g/day for 4+ months)
- reduce triglycerides, VLDL and LDL cholesterol and boost the "good cholesterol" HDL
- For maximum results, the authors of the review below, recommend 1-2g of EPA and DHA per day for 6 months, an intake which can only be achieved with daily oily fish/fish oil consumption
- Vegan DHA and EPA are also available in supplement form, albeit in lower dosages and at more expensive price points
- Source: Role of n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Ameliorating the Obesity-Induced Metabolic Syndrome in Animal Models and Humans.
- Abstract: The incidence of obesity and its comorbidities, such as insulin resistance and type II diabetes, are increasing dramatically, perhaps caused by the change in the fatty acid composition of common human diets. Adipose tissue plays a role as the major energy reservoir in the body. An excess of adipose mass accumulation caused by chronic positive energy balance results in obesity. The n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) exert numerous beneficial effects to maintain physiological homeostasis. In the current review, the physiology of n-3 PUFA effects in the body is delineated from studies conducted in both human and animal experiments. Although mechanistic studies in human are limited, numerous studies conducted in animals and models in vitro provide potential molecular mechanisms of the effects of these fatty acids. Three aspects of n-3 PUFA in adipocyte regulation are discussed: (1) lipid metabolism, including adipocyte differentiation, lipolysis and lipogenesis; (2) energy expenditure, such as mitochondrial and peroxisomal fatty acid β-oxidation; and (3) inflammation, including adipokines and specialized pro-resolving lipid mediators. Additionally, the mechanisms by which n-3 PUFA regulate gene expression are highlighted. The beneficial effects of n-3 PUFA may help to reduce the incidence of obesity and its comorbidities.
- Resveratrol is a natural chemical found in red/black grapes, berry fruit and red wine, and is considered as one of the reasons behind the "French paradox", i.e. the reduced incidence of cardiovascular disease in France, despite high fat consumption (garlic being the other).
- Indeed, resveratrol has been found in this recently published research paper to be effective in reducing the inflammatory protein TNF-alpha in blood vessels of coronary artery disease patients with angina
- Resveratrol also reduced the number of blood vessel inner wall particles in the bloodstream, demonstrating a reduction in endothelial (inner wall) damage.
- The citrus extract quercetin, which also has blood vessel wall protective properties, did not show to have a similar effect against TNF-alpha
- The amount of resveratrol used in this clinical trial on 93 patients was 100mg/day, which is a modest nutritional supplementation amount
- Several brands offer 100mg supplements with high quality resveratrol at reasonable prices, so it is easy to benefit from this natural chemical, in an economic fashion (always please ask doctor's approval first)
- On the other hand, it is very difficult to receive this amount just by eating berries and grapes, and of course we would not recommend consuming 50 litres of pinot noir a day (2mg/lt) or 10 litres of selected Spanish wines / grape juice (10mg/lt) to achieve that amount.
- In addition to it's cardio protective action, resveratrol is an important, widely researched anti-ageing molecule which is also used in high quality anti-ageing and anti-cellulite creams
- Source: Resveratrol more effectively than quercetin reduces endothelium degeneration and level of necrosis factor α in patients with coronary artery disease.
- Abstract: INTRODUCTION: Endothelial dysfunction (ED) is one of the most important links in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis (ASVD) - morphological basis of coronary artery disease (CAD). OBJECTIVE: to study the effect of polyphenolic antioxidants, resveratrol and quercetin, on endothelial degeneration factors in CAD patients. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study involved 93 patients with coronary artery disease: stable angina pectoris, FC II. The cytofluorometric technique was applied to define the level of circulating endothelial microparticles (EMP) CD32+CD40+ in peripheral blood in order to identify ED. The content of tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), fibrinogen, hemocoagulation and lipid profile parameters were being determined in the blood, as well. Patients were divided into 3 groups. Basic therapy (β-blockers, statins, aspirin) was prescribed to 33 persons of the comparison group, patients of the study group 1 (30 persons) additionally received resveratrol at a dose of 100 mg daily, patients of the study group 2 (30 persons) got quercetin at a dose of 3 g per day. In 2 months, the second examination of the patients was performed in the amount indicated. RESULTS: under the influence of resveratrol a significant reduction of the level of TNF-α and the number of EMP in peripheral blood was shown, in contrast to the results of other study groups. All groups showed a decrease in total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, statistical differences between data of groups were not found. Indicators of coagulogramma in all study groups did not change significantly, however, there was a statistically significant reduction of fibrinogen in the blood. CONCLUSIONS: Resveratrol, unlike quercetin, has a positive effect on the endothelial function and systemic inflammation, which may be the result of its influence on intracellular molecular cascades associated with the nuclear transcription factor of NF-kB.
- People who suffer from bone fractures and have to stay immobile for a period of time realise that after the removal of the cast muscles are stiff, due to scar tissue formation
- In general, any source of immobility, results in fibrosis in muscles, which to some extent is due to the effect of reactive oxygen species (ROS), also known as free radical damage and oxidative damage
- In the past, astaxanthin, a carotenoid antioxidant found in salmon and shellfish (and also widely available as a nutritional supplement), has been shown to be effective against fibrosis in disused muscle
- Now a new study has demonstrated that indeed astaxanthin reduces oxidative damage and TGF-beta, the most important pro-fibrotic protein.
- Astaxanthin is the compound that gives salmon, shellfish (and flamingos!) their pink colour and it is used by algae as a protection against oxidative damage from UV-radiation. Astaxanthin enters the marine food chain and is concentrated in salmon and shellfish.
- Astaxanthin is widely available as a supplement, safe and beneficial for many other health conditions mediated by free radical damage, and may be a helpful preventive measure against muscle scar tissue formation due to immobilisation.
- Due to its effect on ROS and TGF-β-beta, astaxanthin may be useful against other fibrotic diseases
- Source: Astaxanthin supplementation attenuates immobilization-induced skeletal muscle fibrosis via suppression of oxidative stress.
- Abstract: Immobilization induces skeletal muscle fibrosis characterized by increasing collagen synthesis in the perimysium and endomysium. Transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) is associated with this lesion via promoting differentiation of fibroblasts into myofibroblasts. In addition, reactive oxygen species (ROS) are shown to mediate TGF-β1-induced fibrosis in tissues. These reports suggest the importance of ROS reduction for attenuating skeletal muscle fibrosis. Astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant, has been shown to reduce ROS production in disused muscle. Therefore, we investigated the effects of astaxanthin supplementation on muscle fibrosis under immobilization. In the present study, immobilization increased the collagen fiber area, the expression levels of TGF-β1, α-smooth muscle actin, and superoxide dismutase-1 protein and ROS production. However, these changes induced by immobilization were attenuated by astaxanthin supplementation. These results indicate the effectiveness of astaxanthin supplementation on skeletal muscle fibrosis induced by ankle joint immobilization.
- Escin, or beta-escin, an extract of the horse chestnut tree, is well established as an effective natural active against inflammation, oedema, water retention and chronic vein insufficiency (CVI), with plenty of clinical trials demonstrating it's effectiveness
- However, the mechanism by which escin acts has remained unclear
- However, a new research paper published this week shows has clarified that escin acts by blocking the pro-inflammatory protein TNF-alpha. This anti-inflammatory mechanism is also shared by many other natural actives.
- Furthermore, the authors of the study have found that escin could be of therapeutic value against Alzheimer's disease, due to it's beneficial effect against beta-amyloid.
- Escin has been widely used for decades as a supplement against water retention and oedema and is also an important anti-cellulite cream active ingredient.
- Source: Molecular Mechanism for Cellular Response to β-Escin and Its Therapeutic Implications.
- Abstract: β-escin is a mixture of triterpene saponins isolated from the horse chestnut seeds (Aesculus hippocastanum L.). The anti-edematous, anti-inflammatory and venotonic properties of β-escin have been the most extensively clinically investigated effects of this plant-based drug and randomized controlled trials have proved the efficacy of β-escin for the treatment of chronic venous insufficiency. However, despite the clinical recognition of the drug its pharmacological mechanism of action still remains largely elusive. To determine the cellular and molecular basis for the therapeutic effectiveness of β-escin we performed discovery and targeted proteomic analyses and in vitro evaluation of cellular and molecular responses in human endothelial cells under inflammatory conditions. Our results demonstrate that in endothelial cells β-escin potently induces cholesterol synthesis which is rapidly followed with marked fall in actin cytoskeleton integrity. The concomitant changes in cell functioning result in a significantly diminished responses to TNF-α stimulation. These include reduced migration, alleviated endothelial monolayer permeability, and inhibition of NFκB signal transduction leading to down-expression of TNF-α-induced effector proteins. Moreover, the study provides evidence for novel therapeutic potential of β-escin beyond the current vascular indications.
Thermogenesis: the holy grail of fat loss
Thermogenesis, i.e. the oxidation (burning) of fat within fat cells for the creation of heat is the holy grail of obesity research.
Normally fat is stored in white adipose tissue (white fat cells) and it is burned in muscles, organs etc. However, brown fat cells have an increased number of mitochondria and actually oxidise fat themselves, with heat being the outcome of this oxidation.
Mitochondria are the parts of the cell where energy is primarily produced, and an increased number of them in a fat cell make the cell appear more brown, hence the name "brown adipocyte". Normal fat storing cells on the other hand are white, simply because they mainly contain one huge oil droplet and very few mitochondria.
A high level of a protein called UCP1 is a marker of increased mitochondria, brown fat cells and fat burning in fat cells / thermogenesis.
The last few years a new type of fat cell emerged: the beige fat cell. Beige fat cells are white fat cells which become brown due to the continuous stimulation by cold, exercise, strict dieting and various other causes.
Since the discovery of brown and beige fat cells, more and more natural chemicals are discovered that can turn white fat cells into brown fat cells. This process is called "adipocyte browning".
Thymol: a model of thermogenesis
In a recent study, thymol, a thyme essential oil component, has been now found to "brown" white adipocytes. Thymol is so effective in this process, that scientists want to use it as a model of adipocyte browning.
Indeed thymol was found to stimulate literally all the important "browning proteins" in fat cells: PPAR-gamma, PPAR-delta, AMPK, hormone sensitive lipase / HSL, perilipin, PGC-1α, beta3-adrenoreceptors, and more importantly, UCP1. To those initiated in adipocyte biology, these names sound like the "who is who" of adipocyte browning and fat burning.
This makes thymol a model of thermogenesis, to which all other thermogenic chemicals may be compared.
A potential food additive for the prevention of obesity
Thymol is already used in foods as it is contained in the herbs thyme and oregano. In addition to it's newly discovered thermogenic property, it is also a powerful disinfectant, antifungal and antibacterial.
But most importantly, thymol has a nice smell which adds a unique flavour to several dishes, especially meat, pasta, potato, fish, chicken etc. Thyme and oregano have been used for millennia in the preparation of food (in countries like Greece thyme and oregano and used almost every day), so it makes sense to add those herbs now to your recipes to reap it's health and culinary benefits.
Furthermore, thymol can be used as "a potentially promising food additive for the prevention of obesity", as the authors of this study conclude. Quite a few food products, skin products and mouthwashes already contain thymol, mainly for it's aromatic or disinfectant properties, but in the future we may see increased usage of this herbal extract in both foods and skin products. However, I do not foresee any thymol-rich fat-busting cosmetic products coming to the market anytime soon, for a very obvious reason: nobody wants to smell like meat marinade...
Although healthful in small quantities, isolated thymol and essential oils of oregano/thyme are quite harsh chemicals, so never take them internally or apply them on skin undiluted and never use those products, even diluted, without supervision by a healthcare practitioner.
- Paper: Monoterpene phenolic compound thymol promotes browning of 3T3-L1 adipocytes.
- Abstract: PURPOSE: Appearance of brown-like adipocytes within white adipose tissue depots (browning) is associated with improved metabolic phenotypes, and thus a wide variety of dietary agents that contribute to browning of white adipocytes are being studied. The aim of this study was to assess the browning effect of thymol, a dietary monoterpene phenolic compound, in 3T3-L1 white adipocytes. METHODS: Thymol-induced fat browning was investigated by determining expression levels of brown fat-specific genes and proteins by real-time RT-PCR and immunoblot analysis, respectively. Moreover, the molecular mechanism underlying the fat-browning effect of thymol was investigated by determining expression levels of key players responsible for browning in the presence of kinase inhibitors. RESULTS: Thymol promoted mitochondrial biogenesis and enhanced expression of a core set of brown fat-specific markers as well as increased protein levels of PPARγ, PPARδ, pAMPK, pACC, HSL, PLIN, CPT1, ACO, PGC-1α, and UCP1, suggesting its possible role in browning of white adipocytes, augmentation of lipolysis, fat oxidation, and thermogenesis, and reduction of lipogenesis. Increased expression of UCP1 and other brown fat-specific markers by thymol was tightly coordinated with activation of β3-AR as well as AMPK, PKA, and p38 MAPK. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that 3T3-L1 is a potential cell model for screening browning agents. Thymol plays multiple modulatory roles in the form of inducing the brown-like phenotype as well as enhancing lipid metabolism. Thus, thymol may be explored as a potentially promising food additive for prevention of obesity.
- Research published in the journal Diabetes has shown that enhanced oxygenation leads to lipolysis (fat release from fat cells). This intuitively makes sense, because more oxygen means more blood circulation, which would indicate physical exertion and thus the need for the release of stored fuel, including store fat..
- Specifically, scientists have found that the enzyme PHD2 senses oxygen levels and boosts adipocyte lipolysis (fat release from fat cells) by inhibiting the protein HIF-1 (hypoxia-inducible factor-1)
- Conversely, it was found that inactivation of PHD2 (i.e. inactivation of oxygen sensing by fat cells), leads to the breakdown of the lipolytic enzymes hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) and adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL)
- So in summary, for lipolysis to occur fat cells must sense the presence of oxygen. If they cannot sense oxygen (via PHD2) then they shut down the breakdown of fat. If they can sense oxygen then they allow lipolysis to occur.
- The researchers conclude that by inhibiting PHD2 we may be able to treat lipodystrophy (i.e. the impaired growth of fat cells), but most importantly that by boosting PHD2 we may be able to treat overweight and obesity.
- However, the most important take-home message of this paper is that fat tissue oxygenation will lead to fat release from fat cells. As a consequence, anything that boosts fat tissue circulation - and therefore oxygenation - including exercise, circulation-boosting foods and supplements and treatments, and circulation-enhancing anti-cellulite cream active ingredients, can all help boost lipolysis and reduce adiposity and cellulite.
- On the other hand, this is another reminder that lack of oxygen, either due to poor circulation (because of lack of physical activity or even due to tissue compression), can lead to fat accumulation and cellulite.
- Source: Adipocyte Pseudohypoxia Suppresses Lipolysis and Facilitates Benign Adipose Tissue Expansion.
- Abstract: Prolyl hydroxylase enzymes (PHDs) sense cellular oxygen upstream of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) signaling, leading to HIF degradation in normoxic conditions. In this study, we demonstrate that adipose PHD2 inhibition plays a key role in the suppression of adipocyte lipolysis. Adipose Phd2 gene ablation in mice enhanced adiposity, with a parallel increase in adipose vascularization associated with reduced circulating nonesterified fatty acid levels and normal glucose homeostasis. Phd2 gene-depleted adipocytes exhibited lower basal lipolysis in normoxia and reduced β-adrenergic-stimulated lipolysis in both normoxia and hypoxia. A selective PHD inhibitor suppressed lipolysis in murine and human adipocytes in vitro and in vivo in mice. PHD2 genetic ablation and pharmacological inhibition attenuated protein levels of the key lipolytic effectors hormone-sensitive lipase and adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL), suggesting a link between adipocyte oxygen sensing and fatty acid release. PHD2 mRNA levels correlated positively with mRNA levels of AB-hydrolase domain containing-5, an activator of ATGL, and negatively with mRNA levels of lipid droplet proteins, perilipin, and TIP47 in human subcutaneous adipose tissue. Therapeutic pseudohypoxia caused by PHD2 inhibition in adipocytes blunts lipolysis and promotes benign adipose tissue expansion and may have therapeutic applications in obesity or lipodystrophy.
- Fish oil is the only fat that does not cause weight gain but actually prevents it or partially reverses it
- All other oils and fats (such as olive oil) or oily foods (such as nuts and avocado), healthy as they may be, can cause weight gain if consumed in large quantities
- Even the very fashionable these days coconut oil, which can be used for energy, does not cause fat loss and in large quantities does lead to weight gain
- Fish oil has been found time and again in several studies to actually have the opposite effect.
- In this study it was found that a very high fat diet (50% of calories coming from saturated fat) predictably caused weight gain, insulin resistance (pre-diabetes) and inflammation
- However, a very high fat diet (50% of calories coming from fish oil) actually prevented weight gain, inflammation and insulin resistance.
- The researchers found that this is due to increased levels of the proteins PPAR (all three forms, alpha, gamma and delta) and AMPK, which are all known to prevent adiposity and it's side effects
- Of course, a diet consisting of 50% fish oil is impractical and possibly unhealthy (very high doses of fish oil decrease immunity)
- However, this paper shows that high quality, concentrated fish oil taken daily (or the equivalent regular oily fish consumption) can contribute in the fight against weight gain, inflammation (fish oil is also very well known for it's anti-inflammatory action), diabetes, and of course cellulite (cellulite is characterised by fat accumulation and inflammation)
- My personal suggestion to dieters and all those who care about their body weight and skin smoothness would be to consume oily fish several times a week and replace all oils and fats with coconut oil (mainly) and some olive oil.
- Source: A high-fish-oil diet prevents adiposity and modulates white adipose tissue inflammation pathways in mice
- Abstract: Fish oil improves obesity and its comorbidities, but its mechanisms of action remain unknown. We evaluate the effects of a diet rich in fish oil in white adipose tissue (WAT) inflammation pathways, renin-angiotensin system (RAS) and mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs). To achieve our aims, four groups of male C57BL/6 mice were fed different diets: standard chow diet (SC; 10% energy from fat), SC+fish oil diet (SC-FO; 10% energy from fat), high-fat lard diet (HF-L; 50% energy from lard) and HF fish oil diet (HF-FO; 50% energy from fish oil). We evaluated body mass, epididymal fat pad mass, food intake and glucose tolerance. In WAT, we assessed adipocyte hypertrophy, monocyte chemotactic protein-1 immunofluorescence, and gene and protein expression of insulin signaling, inflammation, MAPKs, RAS, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). In relation to the results, the HF-L group, as expected, showed elevated body mass and adiposity, glucose intolerance and hypertrophied adipocytes. In WAT, we found a defect in insulin signaling, infiltration of macrophages and inflammatory markers with the associated activation of MAPKs and local RAS. On the contrary, the HF-FO group did not present increased body mass, adiposity or glucose intolerance. In this group, insulin signaling, macrophage infiltration and inflammation were reduced in WAT in comparison with the HF-L group. We also observed decreases of MAPKs and local RAS and elevation of PPAR and AMPK. In summary, fish oil activates PPAR (the three isoforms) and AMPK, decreases WAT insulin resistance and inflammation, and inhibits MAPK and RAS pathways activation.
- Despite their name, radiofrequency cosmetic treatments have nothing to do with electromagnetic radiation
- Radiofrequency treatments are based on alternative electrical currents that heat the deeper layers of the skin in order to:
- tighten, lift and rejuvenate the skin by boosting collagen and elastin production
- break down fat and cellulite
- tighten pores
- reduce the activity of sebaceous gland in acne
- The electrical currents used for beauty treatments (300kHz to 40MHz) happen to be part of the so called "radiofrequency spectrum", i.e. the frequencies used for radio communications (3KHz to 300GHz)
- This is the only reason they are called radiofrequency electrical currents. However, except from the name there is absolutely nothing else in common between radiofrequency beauty treatments and radio communications or radiation / radioactivity of any kind.
- Some RF treatments (the so-called capacitive RF treatments) do create an electromagnetic field but the more effective and deeper acting resistive radiofrequency technology involves only electrical currents with no magnetic component, and are therefore preferable
- It is well known for several decades now that rheumatoid arthritis is a risk factor for heart disease, both being inflammatory diseases
- In a new study published this week, scientists examined if the combination of hesperidin, a citrus flavonoid, and daidzein, a soya isoflavone, can inhibit markers of both arthritis and heart disease
- Administration of the two phytochemicals for 21 days resulted in reducing multiple markers of inflammation, free radical damage and atherosclerosis / heart disease:
- elastase, the enzyme that breaks elastin
- the inflammatory protein TNF-alpha
- the free radical damage markers malondialdehyde, DPPH and ABTS
- LDL and VLDL cholesterol
- On the other hand, hesperidin and daidzein increased the beneficial HDL cholesterol and total antioxidant levels
- Inclosing the study authors state that the consumption of two compounds, especially hesperidin, "may be helpful in prevention or at least delaying the onset of these diseases in susceptible individuals"
- Source: Anti-arthritogenic and cardioprotective action of hesperidin and daidzein in collagen-induced rheumatoid arthritis
- Abstract: Atherosclerosis has been linked to chronic inflammatory processes. Changes in the levels of lipoproteins, especially low-density lipoprotein or its variants, as well as inflammatory markers, are risk factors for the atherosclerosis. In the present study, an experimental model of rheumatoid arthritis was developed by administrating collagen suspension intradermally in the tail region of Wistar albino rats. At the same time, a suspension of hesperidin (50 mg/kg body weight) and daidzein (20 mg/kg body weight) was orally administrated. The compounds were given in the morning and evening for 21 days. Levels of inflammatory markers in the homogenate of knee joints of experimental rats as well as plasma lipoproteins were investigated. The administration of hesperidin and daidzein caused significant (p < 0.001) decrease in articular elastase activity, TNF-α, and malondialdehyde levels. Further, arthritis scoring and histological findings supported the anti-inflammatory actions of the test compounds. Interestingly, the test compounds also lowered the plasma low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglyceride but increased the level of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. The test compounds thus ameliorated the risk factors of atherosclerosis. Furthermore, antioxidant roles of hesperidin as well as daidzein were evident from decrease in free radical load demonstrated as increase in total antioxidant level in plasma of arthritic animals treated with hesperidin and daidzein. In a separate in vitro experiment, enhanced free radical scavenging activity of hesperidin was demonstrated against 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl and 2,2-azinobis-3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid. The anti-inflammatory, hypolipidemic, and antioxidant actions of the naturally occurring test compounds, particularly hesperidin, seem to be quite effective against rheumatoid arthritis and atherosclerosis. Thus, their consumption may be helpful in prevention or at least delaying the onset of these diseases in susceptible individuals.
- Osteoarthritis is an inflammatory disease which leads to cartilage destruction and consequent pain and reduced joint range of movement and mobility
- For this reason natural chemicals with anti-inflammatory properties are of great interest
- Curcumin is the most well-researched "anti-inflammatory" phytochemical (plant chemical)
- Multiple studies have shown it's beneficial effect in different inflammatory conditions, including arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, inflammatory skin conditions and overall ageing.
- A review paper published this week reported that "patients with osteoarthritis showed improvement in pain, physical function, and quality of life after taking curcumin" and that they reported reduced need for pain medication and reduced side effects during treatment
- Curcumin works by:
- preventing cartilage cell death (chondrocyte apoptosis)
- blocking the same proteins anti-inflammatory medications block, namely COX2 and PGE2
- inhibiting the release of inflammatory cytokines in cartilage tissue
- inhibiting a group of enzymes called metalloproteinases (MMPs) which break down cartilage tissue
- Curcumin is a safe, multifunctional natural chemical with already well described anti-inflammatory action and more and more laboratory and clinical studies are performed on the effect of curcumin and it's derivatives on inflammation, cancer, fibrosis, oxidative damage and other areas of interest
- Source: The spice for joint inflammation: anti-inflammatory role of curcumin in treating osteoarthritis.
- Abstract: Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease of the joint affecting aging populations worldwide. It has an underlying inflammatory cause, which contributes to the loss of chondrocytes, leading to diminished cartilage layer at the affected joints. Compounds with anti-inflammatory properties are potential treatment agents for osteoarthritis. Curcumin derived from Curcuma species is an anti-inflammatory compound as such. This review aims to summarize the antiosteoarthritic effects of curcumin derived from clinical and preclinical studies. Many clinical trials have been conducted to determine the effectiveness of curcumin in osteoarthritic patients. Extracts of Curcuma species, curcuminoids and enhanced curcumin, were used in these studies. Patients with osteoarthritis showed improvement in pain, physical function, and quality of life after taking curcumin. They also reported reduced concomitant usage of analgesics and side effects during treatment. In vitro studies demonstrated that curcumin could prevent the apoptosis of chondrocytes, suppress the release of proteoglycans and metal metalloproteases and expression of cyclooxygenase, prostaglandin E-2, and inflammatory cytokines in chondrocytes. These were achieved by blocking the activation of nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) system in the chondrocytes, by preventing the activation of nuclear factor of kappa light polypeptide gene enhancer in B-cells inhibitor, alpha, phosphorylation, and translocation of the p65 subunit of NF-κB complexes into the nucleus. In conclusion, curcumin is a potential candidate for the treatment of osteoarthritis. More well-planned randomized control trials and enhanced curcumin formulation are required to justify the use of curcumin in treating osteoarthritis.
PERSONAL CARE NEWS FROM PR NEWSWIRE
Check all the latest personal care news with PR Newswire.