Caralluma is a very effective appetite suppressant and fat burner. The appetite suppressing qualities of Caralluma are believed to stem from its effect on the lateral hypothalamus, the appetite control mechanism of the brain. Carallumas’ thermogenic fat burning properties come from its ability to block the activity of several enzymes, which then block the formation of fat in the body forcing fat reserves to be burned.
Carraluma is one of the herbs that makes SynexDiet™ so unique and effective and it is my belief is that Caralluma will surpass Hoodia as everyone’s favorite appetite suppressant herb.
NY Times best-selling author, Dr. Nicholas Perricone touts the amazing properties of Caralluma in his latest book, "Dr. Perricone’s 7 Secrets to Beauty, Health, and Longevity".
Cha de Bugre
Cha de Bugre is a small tree that produces a reddish fruit much like a coffee cherry. It is quite often used as a coffee substitute. Cha de Bugre is native to Brazil. It is also found in the tropical forest areas of Argentina and Paraguay.
Cha de Bugre is served as a beverage in beachfront restaurants and refreshment stands along the coast of Rio de Janeiro. It is a healthy drink historically used as a “heart tonic” due to its ability to stimulate blood circulation.
Cha de Bugre is an powerful appetite suppressant and reduces the percentage of fat in the body. Cha de Bugre contains Potassium, Allatoin, Allatoic Acid and plant sterols, and a miniscule amount of caffeine all of which work synergistically to increase the metabolism and suppress your appetite. It has been found to be effective in fighting obesity and preventing the formation of fatty deposits. It promotes sustained fat metabolism and helps reduce cellulite at the cellular level. It also has mild diuretic properties, which may rid the body of excess water and toxins.
Because of Cha de Bugre’s ability to suppress the appetite, most people feel satisfied after eating only a small amount of food and have less food and sugar cravings. At the same time, Cha de Bugre increases circulation and boosts energy and alertness.
It is used by physicians in Brazil to help regulate renal (kidney) function and to reduce uric acid, making Cha de Bugre an important natural supplement for those suffering from gout. It is also used in Brazillian medicine as a heart tonic, circulatory stimulant, appetite suppressant, obesity and cellulite reducer and diuretic.
Research has shown Cha de Bugre to be anticancerous, antiviral and cardiotonic (tones, balances and strengthens the heart) so it is a very healthy anti-aging as well as fat fighting herb.
Evodia is a potent thermogenic, appetite suppressant and mood elevator. Evodia or Wu Zhu Yu as it’s known in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), is the fruit of the Evodia rutaecarpa tree that is native to Northern China and Korea. In addition to its potent thermogenic (fat burning) properties, Evodia also helps suppress appetite, lower blood pressure and elevate mood.
In combination with its thermogenic effect, Evodia has a vasodilating effect, which means that it dilates (or enlarges) blood vessels improving blood flow. This is the opposite effect of stimulatory herbs like ephedra, ma–huang, guarana, and synephrine/bitter orange that constrict blood vessels which lead to high blood pressure and other adverse cardiovascular events.
Many studies show Evodia’s ability to safely burn fat, especially that tenacious and hated belly fat:
A (2001) study demonstrated that Evodia induces heat loss (through vasodilation) and heat production (through thermogenesis), while simultaneously diffusing food energy. This process prevents the accumulation of perivisceral (abdominal/belly) fat and, in the study, the perivisceral fat became significantly lower than in the control group.(1)
In another aspect of the above study, researchers also noted that evodia produced a significant reduction in abdominal fat, total cholesterol, lipids (fats) and triglycerides in the liver in comparison to the control group.
While some weight loss products on the market have used Evodia in their formulations, they have typically used low potencies due to the expense. To get the full benefit of this outstanding thermogenic herb, I use both Evodia extract, Evodiamine, the extracted active ingredient and the whole herb in SynexDiet™ to get the maximum effect.
Cinnamon has been used for centuries to treat diabetes, balance blood sugar and warm the body (thermogenesis) and is one of the best herbs to use to fight Insulin Resistance. Cinnamon, also known as sweet wood, cassia and gui zhi, is one of the oldest herbal remedies used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. They have used it for some 4,000 years. Cinnamon was also used as a medicine in ancient Egypt and is mentioned in the Bible.
Cinnamon is valued medicinally for its anti-clotting actions, anti-microbial activity and blood sugar control. It is this latter action that is of primary interest to us with regard to fat loss and weight management.
A number of recent studies – in Vitro (test tubes), and in humans (In Vivo) – have shown that cinnamon has a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels when ingested regularly, even in small amounts. It has been shown to activate insulin and glucose transport and to improve glucose metabolism.
One study, published in the 2003 issue of Diabetes Care¹ showed that people with type 2 diabetes can reduce their blood sugar levels when taking less than ½ teaspoon per day of cinnamon. One gram of cinnamon per day (¼ to ½ t.) resulted in a blood sugar drop of 20%, as well as a lowering of cholesterol and triglycerides. No such changes were seen in the control group, which was not taking cinnamon.
The December 2003 issue of Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice published a study that showed the beneficial effect of cinnamon on insulin activity³. Another study published in Hormone Metabolism Research in February 2004 showed that when subjects were fed a high-fructose diet (that would normally result in the development of Insulin Resistance) and were also given cinnamon extract, they were able to utilize glucose as effectively as subjects fed a normal diet.²
The ability to prevent Insulin Resistance in subjects consuming high levels of fructose is of extreme importance and has important implications for fat loss and weight management due to the central role played by Insulin Resistance in obesity. The most exciting result of this study is that cinnamon in an herbal fat loss formula like SynexDiet™ can facilitate fat loss (through elimination of Insulin Resistance), even in the face of continued sugar and carbohydrate consumption.
Coleus is an important traditional Ayurvedic herb, and has been used in Indian medicine for centuries to treat many conditions including heart disease and hypothyroidism (slow thyroid function). Coleus is also native to Thailand, and is widely used as a houseplant in the United States.
In the 1970s, the active compound forskolin was isolated from coleus and has been widely studied as a weight-loss aid. Studies have found this compound useful in a number of conditions: It has been shown to increase insulin production, inhibit allergic responses, increase thyroid function, and increase lipolysis (fat destruction).² These effects largely result from increased levels of cyclic AMP, an important regulating compound in the body. Cyclic AMP (3' 5' adenosine monophosphate), is a naturally occurring compound in our bodies that releases fatty acids from fat tissue storage. This, in turn, boosts metabolism and increases the burning of body fat while stimulating the increasing of lean body mass (builds muscle). Increased levels of cAMP (3' 5' adenosine monophosphate) are thought to influence many aspects of metabolism by regulating various hormones and enzyme systems.
Despite the unique biological properties of forskolin, it is believed that superior clinical results are obtained with the whole plant. I have found that I get the best results in my formula because I combine the whole coleus herb along with the forskolin extract.
Forskolin’s targeted thermogenic effect has none of the adverse side effects associated with stimulatory herbs such as ephedra. “Toxicity studies have shown no serious side effects or any adverse changes in the cardiovascular system. If anything, forskolin appears to offer beneficial effects by lowering blood pressure and increasing beneficial high density lipoprotein, or HDL.”5 By increasing thyroid hormone production, as well as stimulating thyroid hormone release, forskolin increases metabolic rate, aiding in fat burning, and studies demonstrate a significant drop in weight and body fat ratio when forskolin is used.
Although forskolin is thermogenic and decreases body fat, it does not stimulate the central nervous system. So another plus is that there are no reported stimulant side effects such as rapid heartbeat, elevation of blood pressure, insomnia, or nervousness. Coleus is an extremely effective thermogenic because it does not have the same side effects as the other “stimulant” metabolism boosters.
Ashwaghanda has been used extensively for 4000 years in traditional Indian medicine by Ayurvedic practitioners. Modern herbalists classify Ashwaghanda as an adaptogen, a substance said to strengthen the adrenals and increase the body's ability to withstand stress of all types.
Clinical trials have determined that it has properties to reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels, reduce anxiety and have positive effect on mood (Withania somnifera, Dunal) root. Indian J Exp Biol. 2000 Jun;38(6):607-9. Ashwagandha also has anti-stress, antioxidant, mind-boosting, anti-inflammatory, immune-enhancing, diuretic and anti aging properties. Historically ashwagandha root has also been noted to slow the aging process and have sex-enhancing properties.
Human studies have shown that Ashwaghanda is helpful in putting cancer tumors into regression (used as an alcoholic root extract) and in reducing inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis. The plant's high steroid content was found to be more potent than hydrocortisone in treating animal and human arthritis. Compounds known as withanolides which are found in ashwagandha root are believed to account for the multiple medicinal applications of this herb.
Ashwagandha is considered a good tonic for the mind and useful for those who have overindulged in work, drugs, or alcohol. There are no dietary restrictions with ashwagandha and the various constituents of ashwagandha exhibit a variety of therapeutic effects with no associated toxicity and no side effects.
This Ayurvedic herb, also known as Brahmi, Herpestis monniera and water hyssop, has been used in India for centuries as a heart tonic, a digestive aid, a brain tonic (to enhance memory, learning and concentration), to improve respiratory function and to treat anxiety and epilepsy. Bacopa is well known as an adaptogen, meaning that it helps the body adapt to stress by improving resistance against stressors, both physical and psychological. The herb also has antioxidant and antidepressant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.6
Bacopa’s role in fat burning revolves around its ability to raise metabolic rate by increasing thyroid hormone levels. One study showed that the herb increases thyroid hormone levels by more than 40%.7 As thyroid hormone levels increase, so does the rate at which your body burns calories, much of it from fat. I use it in my formula to stimulate the thyroid. Although bacopa has been proven as an effective thyroid stimulant and natural thermogenic agent, it is as yet unknown exactly how bacopa and its active compounds (bacosides) work to increase thyroid hormone levels and stimulate thermogenesis. Sometimes, although I am a physician and scientist I realize that it isn’t as important knowing how something works as long as it has been proven that it works!
Banaba/Lagerstroemia speciosa/Crepe Myrtle
The leaves of the banaba plant (Lagerstroemia speciosa), which grows in Southeast Asia, India and the Philippines, have been used in traditional medicine to treat diabetes, curb appetite and cleanse the liver. The hypoglycemic (blood sugar lowering) effect of banaba leaf extract is similar to that of insulin – which induces glucose transport from the blood into body cells to be used for energy instead of fat storage.
Banaba leaf extract contains a triterpenoid compound known as, corosolic acid which is its active ingredient. Corosolic acid is responsible for its blood-sugar-lowering and normalizing effect. Numerous animal and human studies have shown that corosolic acid balances blood sugar, improves glucose tolerance, promotes healthy insulin levels and lowers serum blood sugar levels. Banaba also controls appetite and food cravings (especially carbohydrate cravings), promotes weight loss and treats Insulin Resistance. What is most remarkable about Banaba is that it can reduce blood sugar on average between approximately 5 and 32 percent, depending on the dose.
Fluctuations in blood sugar and insulin are related to appetite, hunger and various food cravings – particularly craving for carbohydrates such as bread and sweets. By keeping blood sugar and insulin levels in check, banaba is an effective supplement for promoting weight loss.
An interesting “side-effect” of tighter control of blood sugar and insulin levels is a significant tendency of banaba to promote weight loss (an average of 2-4 lbs. per month) without any additional caloric restriction.
Extracts of Corosolic acid have been identified as beneficial in combating obesity in animal studies.4 Corosolic acid helps the body to utilize glucose, by blunting the blood sugar rise associated with a normal meal. thereby promoting weight loss. Because banaba’s action is similar to that of insulin (lowering blood sugar levels), it has been found useful in stabilizing the high blood sugar levels associated with Type I and type II (non-insulin dependent) diabetes.
While most pharmaceutical diabetic medicines will promote weight gain while lowering glucose levels, banaba will lower them while actually promoting fat loss. This fact makes banaba ideal for people suffering from Insulin Resistance, diabetics, body builders and those seeking to slim down.
The bottom line is that studies have shown that the corosolic acid in banaba helps to overcome Insulin Resistance and carbohydrate sensitivity, which is important for anyone who is has insulin resistant weight gain and wishes to lose weight. It also helps reduce weight by preventing the metabolic switch from calorie burning to fat storing when levels of glucose and insulin rise in response to high sugar foods.
Based on numerous studies, researchers have concluded that Salacia is useful in preventing abdominal obesity, reducing Insulin Resistance, supporting the maintenance of blood glucose levels, the maintenance of healthy blood lipid profiles and slowing down the progression of the secondary complications of diabetes. Further, moderate exercise combined with the use of salacia was found to increase the number of peripheral insulin receptors as well as glucose transporter proteins further helping to treat insulin resistant weight gain.
Salacia reticulata (Salaretin) is a a-glucosidase and aldose reductase inhibitor (say that three times fast) which means it is effective in lowering blood sugar and preventing insulin spikes which trigger Insulin Resistance. Salaretin is also helpful in treating diabetes due to its ability to control the high glycemic peaks that occur after a meal.
Salacia contains Mangiferin (a xanthone from the roots) and sulfonium ion derivatives, kotalanol (from the roots and stems) and salacinol (from the roots and stems), through pharmacological studies all these substances have been identified to contain properties that effectively treat Insulin Resistance and diabetes. Mangiferin, salacinol and kotalanol are potent a-glucosidase inhibitors that have been shown to inhibit increases in serum glucose levels. Mangiferin also inhibits aldose reductase activity, thereby delaying the onset or progression of diabetic complications (e.g. diabetic neuropathy and nephropathy).
Researchers investigating mangiferin and its glucosides concluded that these nutrients probably have beneficial effects on blood glucose levels through increasing insulin sensitivity. When insulin sensitivity is increased, sugar and carbohydrates are used for energy rather than stored as fat. Stored fat is also released and burned for energy and Insulin Resistance is reversed. Mangiferin was also found to have greater beneficial insulin sensitivity effects when coupled with exercise.