EGCG is awesome. Resveratrol is awesome. These are just two phytochemicals that have been found to influence fat burning and fat creation. But why, after all the hype, am I not ripped after popping a few Green Tea Caps or drinking a glass or two of wine?
I’m not going to argue that phytochemicals like epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG, the active phytochemical found in Green Tea) are ineffective. Resveratrol is another example of a powerful compound that can have a dramatic influence on cell metabolism in vitro (In an isolated cell sitting in a Petri dish). The problem arises when we take what scientists consider a significant effect and then jump to the conclusion that real world results in humans will end up being miraculous. Scientists have a completely different idea of what constitutes significant, and they often use methods or models, such as in vitro testing or animal testing that simply does not pan out when it comes to an everyday physiological response in humans.
My girlfriend asked me just last night why I’m not swallowing resveratrol by the bucketful since it seems to be the cure to everything under the sun. My response is that in and of itself, Resveratrol still has a long way to go to being any kind of miracle. Not to mention, you have to trust that what you’re buying is actually what it says it is, that it actually gets absorbed, and that the net effect is as positive as the scientific papers that are released would suggest. I have taken numerous supplements like Green Tea and Resveratrol with little to no effect. Does that mean I suggest NOT taking it? No. But the long term solution to your fat loss efforts HAS to START with Diet. Once you’ve locked that down and have a reasonable control over what you put into your mouth at meal time, then you can begin to have a higher hope for a positive response to phytochemicals. And even then, as we’re discovering, it’s a combination of these phytochemicals that really holds promise. It also takes time to see these things pan out.
The bottom line is this. If you want to experience an immediate change in your body then it’s time to evaluate what you’re eating and drinking. Then we can talk about supplements that take your efforts up a notch. This isn’t a “Don’t expect supplements to do the work for you” post. That’s just old and tired. But what I am trying to do is impress upon you that the hype and glitter surrounding scientific research and creative marketing on the part of supplement companies is really overshadowed by what we eat, how we move and h0w we treat our own bodies. As you can see below in this review of the current data and research, we’re still far from a magic pill and if that magic pill does exist it will probably come from some Frankenstein version or combination of several unique phytochemicals.
Biofactors. 2010 Aug 27. [Epub ahead of print]
Phytochemicals and adipogenesis.
Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Obesity is an increasing health problem all over the world. Phytochemicals are potential agents to inhibit differentiation of preadipocytes, stimulate lipolysis, and induce apoptosis of existing adipocytes, thereby reducing the amount of adipose tissue. Flavonoids and stilbenoids represent the most researched groups of phytochemicals with regards to their effect on adipogenesis, but there are also a number of in vitro and in vivo studies with phenolic acids, alkaloids, and vitamins, as well as other plant compounds. Although phytochemicals like epigallocatechin-3-gallate, genistein, and resveratrol reduce lipid accumulation and induce adipocyte apoptosis in vitro and reduce body weight and adipose tissues mass in animal models of diet-induced obesity, well-conducted clinical trials are lacking. Pharmacological doses are often used in vitro and when applied in physiological doses in animals or humans, the phytochemicals are often ineffective in affecting adipogenesis. However, by combining several phytochemicals or using them as templates for synthesizing new drugs, there is a large potential in targeting adipogenesis using phytochemicals. (c) 2010 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
PMID: 20803522 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]