Whey Protein Isolates: What’s the Difference?

By Steve O’Reilly, RD

article 2007 whey protein Whey Protein Isolates: Whats the Difference?Dietary protein is the most important macronutrient in our diets, period. That has been well established by scientific research. Dietary protein is essential for a wide variety of metabolic functions in our bodies, one of them being the repair and maintenance of muscle tissue. Every time we exercise, namely lift weights, muscle tissue is broken down and damaged. This muscle tissue needs to be repaired and built back up in a timely manner for proper recovery to take place. In order for gains in size and strength to be made, there needs to be an adequate amount of protein (amino acids) present in the bloodstream, supplied by the diet, to feed the damaged muscles.

There are several foods and dietary supplements that provide high quality protein. Only animal-derived protein provides all of the essential amino acids (amino acids that our bodies cannot make) and are therefore considered the highest quality sources of protein. Some of these animal sources include steak, chicken, turkey, eggs, fish, and dairy products. Dairy products contain several different types of protein, one of which is whey protein. Whey protein is a very high-quality protein and is highly regarded by bodybuilders and strength-trained athletes. The main reason for this is because it gives them the results they are looking for. However, not all whey protein is the same. There are several areas in which whey proteins differ, but one major area is in how they are manufactured. Sweet whey is a low concentrated form of whey protein that is separated from the curd of various cheeses during the cheese making process. Sweet whey is then pasteurized and separated from the remaining fat. At this point in the manufacturing process, whey is in liquid form and ready to undergo further manufacturing based on the desired end product; 25-80% whey protein concentrates (WPC), reduced lactose whey, and most importantly whey protein isolate (WPI).

WPI itself is manufactured primarily by one of two different ways. One technique is called ion exchange (IE) and the other is cross-flow microfiltration (CFM). These two types of techniques used to manufacture WPI contribute to end products having very different nutritional values. Many consumers are under the misconception that all protein is the same. Some consumers have a bit more understanding of protein and realize there are fundamental differences between the different sources of protein, but few consumers realize that there are very significant differences amongst the oft lumped-together WPIs. “WPI is WPI, right?” Wrong, and the differences could make a big difference in how effective the finished protein product actually is in assisting you in making your body composition or strength gains. All major proteins possess very different compositions with regards to amino acid profiles and the protein fractions that they contain. The same can be said for the WPIs prepared via IE and CFM as notable differences are found in their respective compositions. Some protein fractions are not recovered in WPI produced by the IE process resulting in the loss of up to one-fifth of the major protein fractions. The loss of these fractions has significant nutritional implications that should be taken into consideration when choosing protein sources.

There are several important protein fractions in whey protein, some of which are present at high levels regardless of which manufacturing process is used. These fractions include various immunoglobulins, alpha-lactalbumin, beta-lactalbumin, and bovine serum albumin. All of which have a high biological value. However, there are also specific protein fractions that exist at very different levels depending on which manufacturing process is used. Of these fractions, the most important ones are lactoferrin, lactoperoxidase, and glycomacropeptide. All three of these fractions serve very important functions.

article 2007 whey protein 02 Whey Protein Isolates: Whats the Difference?Lactoferrin has a strong affinity for iron and actually binds to it in the gut making iron unavailable to support detrimental microbial growth. On top of that, lactoferrin has an antibacterial effect on certain strains of bacteria and in some cases actually inhibits adherence of bacteria to the intestines. By inhibiting bacteria in the gut, the chances for infection are significantly reduced. Not only does lactoferrin have antibacterial effects, it also has anti-viral effects. These anti-viral effects have been exhibited against several types of viruses. Lactoferrin also has shown promise as an antioxidant by proving its ability to scavenge the aforementioned iron that exists in the gut. Iron speeds up the formation of free radicals in the gastrointestinal tract. High levels of free radicals and the oxidation that they cause are closely linked to a number of diseases including heart disease and cancer.

Much like lactoferrin, lactoperoxidase also has strong anti-microbial activity but it is completely different than that of lactoferrin. Lactoperoxidase actually kills several types of microorganisms through an enzymatic action in the gut which results in less chance for microbial damage.

Glycomacropeptide possesses structural properties that actually assist casein in being able to go into aqueous solution (i.e. in milk). This means the protein will shake up more easily and have less clumps! Glycomacropeptide is the first protein fraction that empties from the stomach during digestion. The significance of this is that it stimulates the synthesis and release of a hormone called cholecystokinin (CCK). CCK serves several important functions during digestion. CCK actually triggers the release of certain enzymes and the emptying of the gall bladder. The pancreatic enzymes released are critical for proper digestion of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates making the complete utilization of nutrients possible. Also, CCK has the effect of slowing the overall digestive process by reducing the rate of intestinal contractions, thus giving the digestive enzymes more time to work on the digestion of the aforementioned fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, resulting in more complete absorption of all macronutrients.

Glycomacropeptide is so successful at slowing digestion and thus keeping foods in the digestive tract longer that it causes a feeling of fullness or "satiety." For that reason, it has been researched as an appetite suppressant potentially worthy of inclusion in various diet products.

There are also peptide fragments present in WPI manufactured by the CFM process that are not present in IE WPI. These peptide fragments are important because they are very rapidly absorbed by the body. This rapid absorption is of particular significance to athletes who want the most rapid source of protein before, during, and after exercise. This functionality has made CFM WPI the most vital protein to take around your workout.
In addition to all of this, CFM WPI also has a more balanced electrolyte profile supplying potassium, sodium, phosphorus, and calcium.

These differences are often overlooked and are sometimes inaccurately referred to as minor differences. However, as thoroughly explained above these differences all add up to an overwhelming benefit of CFM WPI over IE WPI. Just like with every other facet of proper training and nutrition, any way to gain a competitive advantage needs to be leveraged, and consuming the best available protein is a way to do just that. Consuming adequate amounts CFM WPI at the right times can contribute significantly to overall health, wellness, recovery and ultimately performance. Whether your goal is to increase size, strength, improve body composition or performance, CFM WPI should be the cornerstone of your supplemental nutrition program.

The bottom line is that CFM WPI is the best type of protein available today. It has a more complete protein profile than its otherwise seemingly closely related IE WPI counterpart. This protein profile contributes to improved digestion and increased immune function.

psp007c Whey Protein Isolates: Whats the Difference?Dietary supplement companies that care about the quality of their products and want to provide the best protein available to their customers know the value of CFM whey protein and use it as the main source of protein in their formulas. One of the only products on the market today that contains 100% whey protein manufactured using CFM is NytroWhey (and NytroWhey Extreme and NytroWhey Extreme for Hard Gainers) by ProSource. NytroWhey provides protein with a higher bioavailability than its competition, which means more of the protein is actually absorbed and delivered to muscle tissue. Ultimately, NytroWhey will result in more efficient protein synthesis and will likely cause a stronger anabolic response. In addition to all of the physiological advantages that NytroWhey provides, it also tastes the best! When it come to flavors, ProSource didn’t stop with the simple traditional flavors like vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry, they went the extra mile–and then some. With one-of-a-kind mouth-watering flavors like Banana Split, Caramel, Blueberry Cream, Apple Pie a la Mode, and Cookies and Cream, ProSource has made protein shakes more desirable than ever!

Tribulus: A Real Anabolic Alternative

By Mandel G. Hurst, DSc, Ph.D. Ethnobiologist and Accredited Herbalist and the ProSource Research Team

 Tribulus: A Real Anabolic AlternativeTribulus terrestris has long been celebrated for its unique ability to ramp up levels of leutenizing hormone (LH), which in turn spurs significant (and natural) increases in the production of testosterone. This physiological activity is of primary importance to athletes because higher “T” levels correlate directly to increased anabolism and greater strength. (It boosts sex drive, too.)
Surprisingly, however, the exact mechanism of this physiological action has been something of a mystery. Until now. Recent research has revealed that the active ingredient most responsible for Tribulus’s LH-boosting benefit is a potent steroidal saponin called protodioscin.
This article is designed to investigate the real science behind Tribulus and protodioscin and its extraordinary testosterone boosting powers.

STRUCTURE, COMPOSITION & PHARMACOKINETICS
The key compounds found in Tribulus terrestris are extracted from the aerial (above ground) parts of the plant. The subsequent extract contains a whole host of phytoactive and phytodynamic ingredients, the most predominant being protodioscin and its related steroidal saponins.

As we now know, protodioscin is the key compound in Tribulus that is most beneficial to the user. However, where it’s grown, when it’s harvested, and how it is processed, all play a critical role in the potency and efficacy. Unfortunately, most trib-based supplements actually contain only negligible amounts of protodioscin, making the quality of your tribulus supplement a real issue if you’re looking for true benefits.

Researchers have credited protodioscin’s physiological effects as being the main source of Tribulus’ T-boosting power because of its remarkable ability to enhance testosterone precursors such as dehydroepiandrosterone1 and dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate.2 As a result, and simply stated, protodioscin-rich Tribulus extracts have been shown to directly elevate the “master” of all muscle-building hormones, testosterone, and its precursor, luteinizing hormone.3

MECHANISM OF ACTION : How does Tribulus terrestris work?
Various mechanisms have been suggested regarding the exact cause for the beneficial effects of Tribulus. Experimental studies dating back to the late 1970′s propose three possible mechanisms, which fit today’s understanding of performance and body composition manipulation. These mechanisms include, first and foremost, testosterone elevation, also Nitric Oxide (NO) release and diuretic effects (water retention control). So let’s take a closer look at how Tribulus terrestris stimulates these powerful biochemical effects in our bodies to enhance performance and physique transformation.


figure1 Tribulus: A Real Anabolic Alternative
Figure 1. The effect of TT on the concentration of
hormones in the hypophyseal-gonadal axis in the blood plasma of healthy males.

shim Tribulus: A Real Anabolic Alternative

TESTOSTERONE ELEVATION
Several hormones stimulate the body’s own production of testosterone. The two most important and potent stimulators of testosterone secretion are again luteinizing hormone (LH), which is secreted from the pituitary gland and also gonadotrophic releasing hormone (GnRH) from the hypothalamus. This regulatory system controlling testosterone is often referred to as the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis. It operates under a classic negative feedback control. When testosterone levels are low, LH and GnRH stimulate testosterone production. When testosterone is high, LH and GnRH can be inhibited, subsequently shutting down the body’s natural production of testosterone.

In a groundbreaking study by Milanov et al. (1981), eight healthy male subjects aged 28 to 45 years were administered 250 mg of Tribulus terrestris, three times daily at 8-hour intervals for 5 days. Hormonal levels were determined before and after the intake of the protodioscin including luteinizing hormone (LH). As you can see in Figure.1, LH levels are markedly elevated following supplementation. Further work by Koumanov et al., also showed similar elevations in LH levels following Tribulus extract supplementation.

But what about its effects on testosterone, the hormone that signals new muscle growth, fat loss and strength gains?

In the same study, authors show that Tribulus supplementation in humans increases plasma testosterone by an impressive 40% (See Figure.2). As many studies have shown, elevation
of testosterone by only a few percentage points is highly correlated with significantly increased muscle strength and decreased fat mass. The interesting thing is that these elevations were achieved with an early generation of low-potency tribulus terrestris yielding only minimal levels of protodioscin. On-going research is currently underway to determine the impact high levels of protodioscin have on testosterone elevation. Researchers speculate that the net increase may be many times that of what was observed in those early studies. This belief is further supported by the truly impressive feedback from athletes who have used the new generation of protodioscin-rich tribulus products. (For an excellent review on this area see Herbst and Bhasin 2004).4

figure2 Tribulus: A Real Anabolic Alternative
Figure 2. Testosterone release following TT extract supplementation.

shim Tribulus: A Real Anabolic Alternative
NITRIC OXIDE (NO) STIMULATION
In addition to being a potential modulator of blood flow, Nitric Oxide (NO) can significantly impact muscle contractility and nutrient metabolism. In particular, recent human data indicates that NO plays a role in muscle glucose uptake5 and is vital for sustained performance and recovery from exercise. In essence, these studies point to the massive impact NO metabolism can make on your muscle function and your nutrient delivery potential. So what is the link between Tribulus and NO synthesis? Well, there are at least two solid studies suggesting Tribulus stimulates the release of nitric oxide. The first study is indirect in that it measures behavior rather than physiological response, and suggests Tribulus increases NO release from nerve endings which stimulate the Corpus Cavernosum (tissue responsible for erection) and increases blood flow.7 The second study directly measures nitrergic neurotransmission.6 Further data has revealed that in healthy patients, 250 mg per day of Tribulus for three months increased sexual desire in 67% and erectile function in 62% of the participants.7 What was even more interesting is that in some patients these effects were experienced in 10 days
or less!

figure3 Tribulus: A Real Anabolic Alternative
Figure 3. Chromatogram of Tribulus extract (AndroTest) containing
42.6 % of protodioscin, 62.8 % furastanol saponin and 83% total
saponins. Courtesy of ProSource research labs.

shim Tribulus: A Real Anabolic Alternative
WATER RETENTION CONTROL
Another important benefit that truly makes tribulus unique in the category of high-powered anabolics is that it may actually help to reduce water retention as it’s jacking up your test levels. In fact, recent research suggests that tribulus may be comparable to a high-dose diuretic for increasing diuresis, the body’s natural way to control excess water retention.
Consequently, users have reported feeling much harder and more vascular within just a few days of using high-potency tribulus products. To the contrary, one of the major drawbacks of anabolic steroids is that they typically cause a soft, puffy, bloated appearance.

QUALITY & SAFETY
With all herbals, there are issues of quality, selection and storage. Where was the plant harvested? What time of year was the plant taken? How was it stored and packaged? How were the active ingredients extracted?


To date, every positive study has used a Bulgarian source of Tribulus terrestris (specifically from the southern region), and it seems there is something in the plant harvested from this part of the country that provides particularly high concentrations of protodioscin.
Bulgarian trib is half the battle to attaining true body-changing potency. The other half involves the processing, which will be further addressed shortly.

One thing’s for certain–the quality and effectiveness of Tribulus products is always dependent on its protodioscin content, and to a somewhat lesser degree, its total saponins content. To ensure consistent potency, the manufacturer should be using HPLC (High performance liquid chromatography) to calculate the content of protodioscin, furastanol saponin and total saponins in each batch of Tribulus. Below is just one example showing identification of protodioscin using HPLC. The large peak at 24 minutes in the protodioscin content of the Tribulus sample should be much larger than all other peaks as it is the most important active ingredient. (See Figure 3)

shim Tribulus: A Real Anabolic AlternativeSafety
One important issue prior to the use of any compound is its safety profile, and in fact, Tribulus is one of the safest on the market. Researchers Tanev and Zarkov were the first to examine the toxicological and safety aspect of Tribulus extract and protodioscin administration. They concluded that the Tribulus extracts could be included in the group of practically nontoxic substances.

Human data in a series of studies has also shown no negative consequences to the use of Tribulus extracts over a range of dosing protocols.8,9,10 In addition, toxicological studies,11 teratogenic studies12 as well as clinical check ups3,13,14 show that Tribulus extracts have a very good tolerance and no undesired mental or physiological side effects.

Now that studies and real-world results have basically confirmed Tribulus is safe as well as effective, how should you be using it?

Well, first of all, as with all supplements, be sure to follow the label instructions for suggested use before ingesting. And then beyond that, the general recommendation is as follows: because protodioscin is rapidly released into the body after ingestion, you should take it immediately pre-workout to get the greatest release of testosterone. If you can afford to double dose, late afternoon/early evening might also be advantageous as this is the time when testosterone levels are at their lowest. Another reason to take Tribulus close to exercise is that blood flow is greater at this time, which should consequently generate greater effects on androgen release.

psp059 Tribulus: A Real Anabolic Alternativeshim Tribulus: A Real Anabolic AlternativeANDROTEST–THE INDUSTRY’S
PROTODIOSCIN CONTENT LEADER

As noted earlier, the origin of the Tribulus and the extraction procedures used are the essential factors to ensuring maximum potency and optimum results. And the fact is, only one product on the market puts it all together to provide maximum effectiveness.

AndroTest uses standardized Bulgarian Tribulus extract that contains an unprecedented 40-48% protodioscin, 60% furastanol saponins, and 80% total saponins. ProSource puts this southern Bulgarian trib through a "multiple extraction" process (sometimes up to 20 steps) to yield what lab tests have shown to be the absolute most potent Tribulus on the market. Most companies just put the raw tribulus through one (at the most) extraction process. Although these inferior products will be cheaper, the fact is they will be far less potent and significantly less effective.

As one of our Research & Development staffers said: "We recently processed 26,000 pounds of raw trib so many times to yield the desired potency that when all was said and done, we had only 60 pounds of our super-potent trib left. No one else in the industry does this!"

A POWERFUL ANABOLIC SYNERGY
The AndroTest formula was designed to promote maximum testosterone elevations via a synergistic approach that combines two of the most potent natural T-boosters known to science. The other key active ingredient in this potent stack is "Tongkat Ali" (Eurycoma longifolia Jack), standardized for quassinoid content (including eurycomalacton, eurycommanon, and eurycomanol). In fact, it is the same proprietary extract, called LJ-100– that is used in impressive human studies done at a major university15 and recently presented at a prominent medical conference16.

One study found that after 3 weeks of use, DHEA levels increased 47%, SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) decreased 66%, and the Free Testosterone Index escalated 73%. In the Quality of Life questionnaire 91% of the subjects reported improvement in the sexual component, 73% reported improvement in the physical component, and 82% noted improvement in the psychological component. In just a short time, the Tongkat ali extract not only improved androgen levels, but contributed to a greater sense of well being. Another study found subjects who performed an intense training regimen over 5 weeks and supplemented with Tongkat ali increased their strength by over 40 percent, while increasing fat-free mass, and reducing body fat17,
and thus may have an ergogenic effect.

CONCLUSION
From the industry’s leading researchers to world champion bodybuilders to weekend warriors, all of us recognize the vital correlation between testosterone enhancement and significant lean mass gains. You simply can’t have one without the other.

The evidence speaks for itself. This new generation of protodioscin-rich tribulus represents what may be the single most potent and powerful natural T-booster ever introduced to our industry. In fact, based on all the scientific data and our own personal testing, we are convinced that, when combined with proper training and diet, this amazing compound may very well be the first REAL alternative to synthetic anabolics the sport of bodybuilding has seen to date.

To truly understand just how much anabolic potential this new technology may have to offer, check out the amazing transformation of amateur bodybuilder Mark Dormon.



References

1. Adimoelja,A., and Adaikan, P.G. (1997) Protodioscin from herbal plant Tribulus terrestris L improves
male sexual function possibly via DHEA. Int.J.Impot.Res 9 (1).

2. Adaikan, P.G., Gauthaman, K., Prasad, R.N.V., Ng, S.C. (2001) History of herbal medicines with an insight on the pharmacological properties of Tribulus terrestris. Aging Male 4: 163 – 169.

3. Koumanov, F., Bozadzhieva, E., Andreeva, M.(1982) Clinical trial of the drug “Tribestan”. Savr.Med
4: 211-215..

4. Herbst KL, Bhasin S. (2004) Testosterone action on skeletal muscle. Curr.Opin.Clin Nutr.Metab.Care 7(3):271-7.

5. Scherrer, U., Randin, D., Vollenweider, P., Vollenweider, L., Nicod, P. (1994) Nitric oxide release accounts for insulin’s vascular effects in humans. J.Clin.Invest 94(6):2511-5

6. Gauthaman, K., Ganesan, A.P., Prasad, R.N. (2003) Sexual effects of puncturevine (Tribulus terrestris) extract (protodioscin): an evaluation using a rat model. J.Alt. Comp. Med 9: 257-265.

7. Gauthaman, K., Adaikan, P.G., Prasad, R.N.,Goh, V.H.N., Ng, S.C. (2000) Changes in hormonal
parameters secondary to intravenous administration of Tribulus terrestris extract in primates
(abstr.6). Int.J.Impot.Res 12 (2): s11.

8. Antonio, J., Uelmen, J., Rodriguez, R., Earnest, C., 2000. The effects of Tribulus terrestris on body composition and exercise performance in resistance-trained males. Int.J.Sport.Ex.Metab 10: 208-215.

9. Moeloek, N., Pangkahila, W., Tanojo, T.D. Adimoelja, A. (1994) Trials on Tribulus terrestris on idiopathic ologo-astheno-teratozoosperms. Programme and Abstract book. 6th National Congress Indonesia Society of Andrology and 3rd International Symposium Andrology, Manado, Indonesia.

10. Wang B., Ma, L., Liu, T (1990) 406 cases of angina pectoris in coronary heart disease treated with saponin of Tribulus terrestris . Chung. Hua. Chieh. Ho .Ho .His. Tsa. Chih 10:85-7.

11. Tanev, G., Zarkova, S. (1985) Toxicological studies on Tribestan. Cited in Zarkova S. Tribestan: Experimental and Clinical Investigations. Chemical Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Sofia.

12. Ilieva, Z. (1981) Embriotoxic and teratological studies on Tribestan. Chemical Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Sofia.

13. Protich, M., Tsvetkov, D., Nalbanski, B. (1983) Clinical trial of the preparation Tribestan in infertile men. Akush.Ginekol 22(4):326-329.

14. Viktorov, I.V., Kaloyanov, A.L., Lilov, L. (1982) Clinical investigation on Tribestan in males with disorders in the sexual function. Med.Biol.Inf.

15. M.I.M Tambi, S. Othman, and J.M. Saad “Water-soluble extract of LJ100TM as a potential natural energizer for healthy aging men” Department of Biochemistry, Department of Medicine, University of Malaya, Malaysia.

16. Abstracts of the 8th International Congress of Andrology, 12-16 June 2005, Seoul, Korea.
Int J Androl. 2005 Jun;28 Suppl 1:1-133.

17. Hamzah, S., Yusof, A. (2003) The ergogenic effects of eurycoma longifolia jack: A pilot study: (Astr 007): Joint conference BASEM and BASES. Br.J.Sports.Med 37:464-470

Estrogenic Foods – Not for Real Men?

By Douglas S. Kalman MS, RD

article 2007 estrogenic foods Estrogenic Foods   Not for Real Men?Wow! I just returned from test-driving the Porshe Carerra GT (no, I don’t make that kind of money) and the power is just unbelievable. I have to say that if a car had balls and the balls could talk, this car would be screaming; “I have testosterone”. The car is sleek, has great take off power and no pulling on the turns, it is simply fantastic. This car certainly does not have any estrogenic compounds coursing through its engine.

After scaring the bejesus out of my buddy (my dog, Stain) I decided I was famished and it was time to load up on protein and healthy fats. This got me to thinking about is it possible that to be a real man, do we always have to be vigilant about what we eat? Let me explain. We all know there is a difference between how we eat when at a party with good friends and how we eat when we are at a family dinner. But, how about if certain foods that are typically included in the diet can affect our testosterone or estrogen levels? Can testosterone-like foods affect our results from training? This is an issue that is at the core of what currently has my curiosity piqued.

Before I pour into the medical research surrounding foods and their effects on our hormones, a recent event warrants mentioning. It is amazing, at a recent bachelor party for a friend of mine, the topic of conversation was benching. It sort of seemed wrong to me. Where were the strippers? I caught myself thinking, I don’t care what you bench, but then it hit me. I was there with a bunch of cardiologists and surgeons. People who consider themselves, men among men, to borrow a term from the great Alec Baldwin movie “golden gods” if you will. Instead of talking about the latest five star restaurants that the drug reps bribed them with (oops, educational session, not “bribes”), or how endothelial damage is at the core of heart disease, here these fine fellows were talking about working out.

I took some time to myself to reflect upon the surging levels of testosterone in the room. The doctors at this time were more concerned with how to gain strength and size and lose fat, all while gaining vitality–sounds testosteronish to me! Quietly listening to them, their talk became a game of one-upmanship, reflective of high school years. The message that I took home from what turned out to be a very wild night (don’t worry Mitch, I will never tell) is testosterone is very much alive and desired by all walks of life.

It is estimated that 80% of the world’s population still relies on natural phytotherapy (foods, plants, herbs, etc.) as a major source of medicine. Through the years, certain foods and herbs have been recognized for their use in treating sex hormone related conditions. For some, this may be menopause, while others it is libido enhancement. Interestingly enough, many of these phytotherapeutic agents are not detected by conventional testing methods. Fortunately, scientists have developed methods for identifying the estrogenic content and bioactivity of foods, herbs and other related agents (1-3).

Most research has focused on the estrogenic and progestogenic activity of foods, herbs and spices. This may be of greater importance than direct effect of foods, herbs and spices effect on testosterone levels. Altering the testosterone to estrogen ratio can greatly influence anabolism in man. The present research examined the effects of 150 different foods, herbs and spices on estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone binding properties. In addition, the effects on alkaline phosphatase (a group of isoenzymes which are involved with generating phosphate-used to produce energy, as in ATP and clinically used to diagnose diseases which impair bile formation, liver disease and certain cancers), as well as the effects on down regulation of estrogen (4).

The herbs tested for ER binding activity were also tested for their ability to stimulate cell proliferation in breast cancer cells. Table 1 lists the results regarding ER binding potential. Soy milk and the 11 herbs/spices listed are with the highest activity and are expressed in total estradiol binding equivalents per 200 cc (6 oz.) of soy milk or 2 grams of dried herb.

Table 1.
Herbs and Spices Containing ER Binding Components
Micrograms of Estradiol Equivalents/200 cc or 2 gm Dry Herb
Soy milk 8/200cc Yucca 0.5
Licorice 4/2 gm Tumeric 0.5
Red Clover 3 Hops 0.5
Mandrake 3 Verbenna 0.5
Bloodroot 2 Yellow Dock 0.5
Thyme 2 Sheep sorrel 0.5
It is important to understand that just because a food, herb or spice has ER binding capability, it does not mean that it inhibits estrogen formation or acts as a natural aromatase inhibitor. In fact, the total opposite is true. In short, Table 1 indicates that the 12 listed agents have estrogenic activity at low physiological doses. If you take at least 2 grams of any of the herbs daily or drink 6 ounces or more of soymilk, your body is getting in touch with its feminine side. It is time to start watching Oprah and Dr. Phil and having long talks on the phone with your friends, pal.

If breast cancer runs in your family, especially estrogenic receptor positive breast cancer, that paying attention to what you eat and supplement with becomes of utmost importance (this applies more to women, than men). Now, you may be saying that this doesn’t directly affect you. Perhaps, but since breast cancer effects 1 in 9 females over a lifetime, chances are we all know someone who has it or will have it in our lifetime. Therefore, it is my belief that having information that may affect risk of breast cancer, it is important that we all know and share the information. Within the limited scope of this article, the information presented fits into potential supplements and foods or spices to avoid or eat in limited amounts. Table 2 lists the results of the research examining the effects of the herbs on ER (+) breast cancer cells. Any herb or spice with a score above 400 has greater estrogenic activity than estradiol.

Table 2.
Effects of ER binding herbs on ER (+) Breast Cancer Cells
Coumestrol 2500 Licorice 1600
Mandrake < 50 Bloodroot 0
Red Clover 3000 Nutmeg 200
Mistletoe 500 White Clover 500
Dong Quai 200 Yucca 2600
Hops 1000 Damiana 200
Black Cohosh 200 Motherwort 1200
Table 2 indicates that coumestrol, red clover, mistletoe, don quai, hops, licorice, white clover, yucca and motherwort are more estrogenic than estradiol! For people at risk for breast cancer and men who want to remain real T men, avoiding the aforementioned herbs and spices seems prudent. Again, occasionally eating foods spiced with these herbs is okay, but if you drink a lot of beer (hops) or like real licorice and other certain items is a sure fire way to negate the hard work that you put into your exercise training.

psp059 Estrogenic Foods   Not for Real Men?Typically, when people are trying to gain muscle size via weight training, they are also attempting to eat a clean diet, get adequate rest and take appropriate supplements. Most of us incorporate a good CFM whey isolate protein shake, a high potency multivitamin, German creatine, omega 3′s, and perhaps other supplements that are aimed at bolstering testosterone levels (i.e. AndroTest). Andro-Test is purported to raise testosterone levels via modulating the action of sex hormone binding globulin and LH to further stimulate the Leydig cells to produce more testosterone. As a method of naturally enhancing gonadotropic hormones (i.e., testosterone) many people look to stimulate luteinizing hormone (LH), this is what the ingredients or compounds in Andro-Test are shown to do. Foods, herbals or spices that stimulate progesterone can inhibit the release of new LH and reduce the circulating levels of LH (5). Therefore, while progesterone is not produced in men, certain foods, herbs and spices do have progesterone like activity. Eating these progesteronic foods in appreciable amounts theoretically may reduce testosterone levels. Table 3 notes the progesterone-like activity of herbs and spices.

Table 3..
Micrograms of Progesterone Equivalents/2 g Dry Herb
Bloodroot 100 Thyme 4
Ocotillo 8 Calamus Root 3
Mandrake <50 8 Red Clover 3
Oregano 8 Goldenseal 3
Damiana 6 Licorice 3
Pennyroyal 6 Licorice 3
Verbena 5 Cumin 2
Nutmeg 4 Fennel 2
Tumeric 4 Camomille 2
Yucca 4 Cloves 2
According to the researchers, none of the herbs tested are progesterone antagonists (the abortion pill and sometimes used bodybuilding drug, RU486 is a progesterone antagonist). However, red clover, licorice, goldenseal, pennyroyal and nutmeg are progestin (a progesterone-like hormone) antagonists. The herb with the greatest progesterone receptor binding activity was bloodroot. Interestingly enough, in alternative medicine, bloodroot, mandrake, pennyroyal, yucca and mistletoe are all used to bring on menses. These are definitely herbs to be avoided by anyone looking to be all that they can be.

What about Food and Testosterone?
Unfortunately, there is not a plethora of well-conducted studies investigating the potential testosterone raising effects of herbs or spices as there is with estrogen and progesterone. We all know that in order to remain or even attain an anabolic state, you have to include more than enough protein and calories in your diet. If you eat a boatload of protein, but still take in an insufficient amount of calories, your body will preferably use the ingested protein for energy rather than shuttling it toward the muscles for growth and recovery. This does not mean when on a cutting diet, it is worthless to eat high protein, rather research indicates that the extra protein may help preserve the muscle mass during times of slight (but not starvation) calorie deprivation.

Recent research indicates that licorice lowers testosterone levels in men. Logically, this makes sense, since it is such a strong phytoestrogen. Now it is becoming more apparent that men should avoid the foods, herbs or spices that have estrogen or progesterone-like activity (unless indicated by your physician i.e., prostate cancer) when training to gain strength and/or size.

Can Eating Beef or Pork actually Lower Testerone?
Believe it or not, the meat industry in the United States actually uses an abundance of hormones and antibiotics along with other pharmaceuticals in order to breed bigger animals that will yield more meat and a softer cut at that. If you ever want to have a scary read of what goes on in the meat industry, read the book Fast Food Nation. If you increase the size of cattle, cow, bull, steer, pig or whatever, the result will be that more meat will be available after the animal is slaughtered. However, there is a potential downside to the increased meat yield — namely the meat for human consumption may contain a greater amount of hormones than which normally occurs.

According to a study in the journal Human Reproduction Update, the use of estrogens in animals to yield a heavier more-meaty animal also results in more estrogen than what is normal being passed onto the consumer. In fact, the estrogen and estrogenic metabolites in the meat and dairy (i.e., milk) is estimated to run between four and 20-times the normal levels (6). The animals exposed to estrogens alone (no anabolic hormones used) have been found to contain up to 150-times the amount of estrogen as compared to non-treated animals in their muscles, internal organs and in the fat (7). So if you like to eat a marbled steak and believe that you are getting “good muscle food”, you may in fact be getting a high estrogen load! According to a more recent review paper in a leading agriculture journal, the fact that we are being exposed to greater amounts of food-related estrogens is a concern and one that may be linked to certain cancers, changes in growth rates of children and other scary items as well (6). Since the majority of us who workout, train, like to have a good time, think about muscle growth as it relates to food and nutrition, we too should be concerned with the amounts of estrogens in the meat and dairy supply. Yes, the normal meats and dairy that you purchase in the supermarket does contain as much as 150-times the amount of estrogenic compounds as compared to their organic, non-hormonally treated bretheren.

A “Bam!” Recap
The work of Zava et al in the hormonal effects of food, herbs and spice is unparalleled. Herbal therapies are gaining daily in popularity (it is a multi-billion dollar business). As people who are into lifting, looking good, staying healthy and every now and then adventurous, making gains and being a strong man is important. Think of it, would you be reading this website if you were not in search for the information to help you attain the athletic look and attitude? Making wise choices with supplements and foods is one key towards success. The following herbs, spices or foods should be avoided in your quest to remain all man soy, soy milk, soy protein powders, licorice, red clover, dong quai, damiana, black cohosh, verbana, motherwort, thyme, oregano, tumeric, hops, (sorry guys, beer itself lowers testosterone levels in men, while having the opposite effects in females), bloodroot, mandrake, pennyroyal, yucca and mistletoe.

It seems like a no-brainer, if you want to maximize the testosterone and anabolic hormonal response to weight training, avoiding or minimizing the amount of estrogenic herbs, spices and foods that you eat, you eat organically and smartly. If you want to ensure that you are helping tilt your body to fight off estrogenic items in the environment, you consider using dietary supplements such as Andro-Test. Without doubt, a hormonally healthier way to eat for muscle building and perhaps overall health is to only eat meats and dairy items that come from farms or facilities that do not use hormones in their rearing of the animals.


References
1) Zava DT, Duwe G. Estrogenic and antiproliferative properties of genistein and other flavonoids in human breast cancer cells in vitro. Nutr Cancer 1997;27:31-40.
2) McLachlan JA. Functional toxicology: A new approach to detect biologically active xenobiotics. Environ Health Perspect 1993;101:386-387.
3) Soto AM, Lin T, et al. An “in culture” bioassay to assess the estrogenicity of xenobiotics. In: Colburn T, Clement C, Eds. Chemically induced Alterations in Sexual and Functional Development. Princeton Scientific Publishing Co. 1992:295-309.
4) Zava DT, Dollbaum CM, Blen M. Estrogen and progestin bioactivity of foods, herbs, and spices. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 1998;217:369-378.
5) Marieb EN. Human Anatomy and Physiology. Benjamin Cummings Publishing Co. Inc. 1989. Chapter 28, pp 914-954.
6) Daxenberger A, Ibarreta D, Meyer HH. Possible health impacts of estrogens in food. Hum Reprod Update 2001;7(3):340-55.
7) Henricks DM, Gray SL, Hoover JL. Residue levels of endogenous estrogens in beef tissues. J Anim Sci 1983;57(1):247-55.

TYRAMINE: Questionable “Trace Amine” Supplement

By Alan E Lewis

Tyramine is one of the so-called trace amines, naturally found in food and the human body. This group includes phenylethylamine (found in chocolate), octopamine, and synephrine, in addition to tyramine.

The amino acid L-tyrosine is the precursor of most of the trace amines, including tyramine. Some of the benefits of supplemental L-tyrosine may be attributable to its conversion in the body (and especially in the brain) to these trace amines, which can function like neurotransmitters. Unlike the amines themselves, however, L-tyrosine can be absorbed and taken up across the blood-brain barrier.

Theoretical Benefits
The main theoretical benefit of supplemental tyramine is to increase norepinephrine release, and thus to get the many benefits of increased norepinephrine: more energy, greater mental acuity, upregulated thermogenesis and calorie-burning, fat mobilization, and so forth. While research on the norepinephrine front appears to be lacking, some data suggests Tyramine does in fact stimulate the release of epinephrine (adrenaline), the less desirable of the two neurotransmitters. As a result, tyramine may also increase blood pressure and heart rate at higher doses.

Tyramine also stimulates glucose uptake in a variety of tissues (like insulin), and stimulates fat synthesis in fat cells, while inhibiting fat breakdown. The desirability here is obviously mixed: glucose uptake is generally good; fat synthesis is clearly bad.

Unfortunately, there have been no human trials of adequate length, assessing the net effect of tyramine on metabolism or body composition. Further, it is known that: 1) tyramine, like other amines, is rapidly degraded in the liver by amine oxidases, and 2) none of the trace amines can be taken up across the blood-brain barrier so as to effect central nervous function. That means that most of the (putative) stimulant and anti-depressant effects of the trace amines cannot result from oral use of the amines themselves. (Though precursor supplementation — with L-tyrosine and DL-phenylalanine — still remains a viable and often-effective approach.)

The real world results of tyramine also appear to be less than promising. Consider the fact that we consume relatively high concentrations when we eat larger portions of yogurt or aged cheeses and following that, no noticeable thermogenic or nuerostimulant effect is felt. At best, tyramine appears to be nothing more than label dressing for companies that are trying to look cutting edge by having new high tech sounding ingredients listed.

Sensitivities & Side Effects
High sensitivity to dietary tyramine is not uncommon. Tyramine occurs naturally in foods such as yeast, aged cheeses and cured meats, cocoa products, some wines, and fruits and vegetables. Sensitive people often report headaches and various allergic-type reactions after consuming these foods.

There is a large medical literature on the ability of tyramine to precipitate migraine and other types of headaches — much more literature than is available on the use of it as a beneficial supplement.

The serious risk with tyramine is for those people who are taking MAOI (monoamine oxidase inhibitors) — drugs used in the treatment of depression. MAOIs drastically reduce the tolerance to trace amines, and drastically reduce the amounts needed to have an effect. Even small amounts of tyramine in combination with MAOIs could have dangerous effects.

Regardless of whether or not you are using MAOIs, you should be cautious with this experimental compound, for which there is so little human clinical data. The watchword is: start low, go slow. If you use it at all, start with a low dose, and increase gradually, watching carefully for any signs of excess such as racing heart, increased blood pressure, “jitters”, insomnia, etc. If you have any sensitivity to tyramine based foods (e.g. yogurt, aged cheeses, milk, etc) then don’t use any tyramine-based supplements.




Bibliography

D’Andrea G, et al. Elevated levels of circulating trace amines in primary headaches. Neurology. 2004 May 25;62(10):1701-5.


Meck JV et al. Pressor response to intravenous tyramine is a marker of cardiac, but not vascular, adrenergic function. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2003 Jan;41(1):126-31.


Goldstein DS, et al. Vasodilation during systemic tyramine administration response. Circulation. 2004 Jan 27;109(3):E17-8.


Jacob G, et al. Neurovascular dissociation with paradoxical forearm vasodilation during systemic tyramine administration. Circulation. 2003 May 20;107(19):2475-9.


Jansen SC, et al. Intolerance to dietary biogenic amines: a review. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2003 Sep;91(3):233-40.


Morin N, et al. Tyramine stimulates glucose uptake in insulin-sensitive tissues in vitro and in vivo via its oxidation by amine oxidases. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2002 Dec;303(3):1238-47.


Roeder T, Seifert M, Kahler C, Gewecke M. Tyramine and octopamine: antagonistic modulators of behavior and metabolism. Arch Insect Biochem Physiol. 2003 Sep;54(1):1-13.


Silkaitis RP, Mosnaim AD. Pathways linking L-phenylalanine and 2-phenylethylamine with p-tyramine in rabbit brain. Brain Res. 1976 Sep 10;114(1):105-15.


Visentin V, et al. Inhibition of rat fat cell lipolysis by monoamine oxidase and semicarbazide-sensitive amine oxidase substrates. Eur J Pharmacol. 2003 Apr 18;466(3):235-43.

And The Winners Are…Bodybuilding’s Top 10 Diet Products (2007)

By Alan Lewis

This comprehensive product review was conducted by Alan Lewis, a long-time veteran researcher and leading author in the field of dietary supplementation. ProSource called upon Alan to spearhead an exhaustive investigation of more than 100 diet products currently available on the marketplace. The goal, of course, was to determine the Top 10 supplements in this crowded category. His unrelenting analysis of every critical detail of every product literally took him months to complete.

All ten of the following reviews are based on the best research and information available, including independent clinical studies, product labels and literature, web site info and customer feedback. Each of the winners is listed in descending order of preference for your convenience. It is our hope that Alan’s focus and attention to detail has helped take the guesswork out of your decision-making process, while at the same time, ensuring that you get the results you’re looking for.


bqt003 And The Winners Are...Bodybuildings Top 10 Diet Products (2007)shim And The Winners Are...Bodybuildings Top 10 Diet Products (2007)#1 Tetrazene ES-50 from BioQuest
The highest-rated product from this entire review is BioQuest’s Tetrazene ES-50. This dynamic formulation combines a highly-effective green tea extract, standardized for EGCG, in combination with pharmaceutical energy factors to make for a high powered thermogenic stack. And a powerful boost of energy. But ES-50 goes the extra mile by including a potent level of the pathway-nutrient, L-tyrosine. This is critical for enhancing the effect of the thermogenic base, the "pathway drivers". The result is better metabolic stimulation without a let-down. L-tyrosine has also been shown to enhance mood, energy and mental performance. You should consider a thermogenic stack product that does not contain a high level of tyrosine to be fundamentally crippled and not capable of delivering the full potential of the stack.

Tetrazene ES-50 is also fortified with vinpocetine–the potent new norepinephrine-releaser (thermogenic enhancer) that also helps to improve circulation, boost oxygen uptake, and improve concentration and mental energy–for more focused and productive workouts. This is great stuff that is not used often because it is so expensive. But it really works and is worth every nickel. BioQuest should be commended for not cheaping-out here.

ES-50 teams all that up with the super-class polysaccharide KGM-90. This ultra-high-molecular-weight glucomannan is manufactured in Japan and is the most potent source of its kind available worldwide. KGM-90 has been shown to help reduce appetite and blood sugar levels (already in the normal range) and to cause significant weight loss in a number of clinical trials. With KGM-90, you effectively reduce the glycemic index of every mouthful of food, and with that, you reduce your insulin levels, enhance insulin sensitivity, all of which sets the stage for weight-loss results. In sum, Tetrazene ES-50 is a superbly-engineered thermogenic, energizing formula with the added benefit of an ultra-potent KGM compound. When it comes to state of the art technologies, no other product in this category even comes close. But perhaps the most compelling evidence of Tetrazene’s superiority in the diet category is the feedback from actual users. Customer surveys have consistently ranked Tetrazene as the #1 rated product in the category, since its introduction.

Editor’s Note: Tetrazene ES-50 is a rich source of high EGCG standardized green tea extract, which has gained enormous popularity among people everywhere, including celebrities such as Hollywood actress Estella Warren. "I’m a big fan of green tea," she admits. "It’s one of my favorite supplements. It boosts your immune system and it’s full of antioxidants–I love the numerous health benefits I get from it." With the year round fitness level she maintains, there’s no disputing the benefits of this remarkable compound.


psp054 And The Winners Are...Bodybuildings Top 10 Diet Products (2007)shim And The Winners Are...Bodybuildings Top 10 Diet Products (2007)#2 Provadex from ProSource
In a very close race, second place goes to ProSource’s Provadex. This high-intensity energizer offers serious thermogenic action, while emphasizing performance- boosting activity as well. The Provadex formulation is simply packed with the most powerful, best- documented active ingredients possible.

Provadex achieves all of its objectives: to boost thermogenic norepinephrine levels, boost cellular cAMP, boost mental and physical performance-enhancing neurotransmitters–and keep them all boosted, for hours. And these effects are achieved without the "jitters" and other side effects that were common with earlier beta-agonists like clenbuterol and ephedrine. Provadex has a synergistic impact that far exceeds that of the anemic, half-baked "energy" and "performance" formulations that clutter the market today. This impressive formula provides the fuel for a dramatic energy and performance boost, increased mental clarity, metabolic and thermogenic upregulation, and a positive, high-spirited mood–just the state you need for the most amped-up and productive workouts you can imagine. And while Provadex utilizes some caffeine, it is not loaded over the top like many of the other hardcore energy products out there. Instead, Provadex is powered by a high-tech compound called 5-Dexetriamine, which is designed to work through a sophisticated mechanism called neuroamine synthesis. This unique action results in increased energy levels, without the jitters or crash associated with mega high levels of caffeine.

And I should point out, that while ProSource markets Provadex primarily as an energy booster, the research I’ve reviewed indicates that some of its active ingredients represent the most potent natural metabolic boosters known to science. As a result, I consider this to be an extremely promising muscle-sparing weight loss agent as well. This seems to be echoed by feedback from many competitive bodybuilders who are calling it a powerful tool for leaning out. This a serious bodybuilding supplement specifically designed to stimulate rapid and dramatic increases in energy and focus, and there’s not much more you could ask for in a single product!

ultragtx And The Winners Are...Bodybuildings Top 10 Diet Products (2007)shim And The Winners Are...Bodybuildings Top 10 Diet Products (2007)#3 Ultra GTX from ProSource
A strong third-place showing goes to ProSource’s Ultra GTX. This new entry in the category delivers a powerhouse blast of the most effective thermogenic in our arsenal: green tea extract, standardized for an ultra-potent level of EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate).

EGCG is the green tea polyphenol with the documented effects on calorie-burning, insulin action, metabolism boosting and weight loss. It is also responsible for the many long-term antioxidant health benefits of green tea.


Ultra GTX is unique in that it packs a whopping 500 milligrams of an industry-leading 45% EGCG green tea extract into every capsule, which is equal to 225 mg of EGCG–far more than competing products, which yield little as 5% of this critical metabolic-boosting agent.

Not only that, but Ultra GTX contains a total of 95% total polyphenols (including the EGCG). And that means Ultra GTX may have as much as 475 milligrams of active polyphenols per one capsule! Okay, enough said. This amazing new super-supplement is simply the king of green tea formulas. For real energizing, metabolism-boosting benefits, you can’t go wrong with Ultra GTX from ProSource. The bottom line is that I scoured the market and can tell you for certain that to experience the true weight-loss power of green tea, there simply is not a better source of this natural wonder nutrient available. Ultra-GTX is truly the real deal when it comes to green tea weight-loss supplements.

cdt060 And The Winners Are...Bodybuildings Top 10 Diet Products (2007)shim And The Winners Are...Bodybuildings Top 10 Diet Products (2007)#4 Xenadrine-EFX from Cytodyne LLC
Fourth place is held by Cytodyne’s excellent Xenadrine-EFX–probably the most recognized of all these products. Extra Strength Xenadrine-EFX is similar to the immensely popular original formula but now includes the key addition of Norambrolide.


Xenadrine-EFX also includes a high-EGCG green tea extract with caffeine stack. The product is further fortified with the unique cocoa extract Seropro, which is standardized on phenylethylamine, tyramine and theobromine–each of which works like norepinephrine to speed metabolism. In addition, it also contains standardized Yerba Mate and Guarana (other great sources of caffeine and metabolism- stimulating methylxanthines) and a proprietary blend called Isotherm. Isotherm consists of hydroxyflavones that are synergistic with caffeine and methylxanthines (like theobromine) in promoting the release of norepinephrine. As a result, Extra Strength Xenadrine-EFX helps reduce appetite, decrease fatigue and increase peak metabolic rate.


In conclusion, Xenadrine-EFX is jam-packed with active metabolic goodies and more than deserves this ranking.

cdt020 And The Winners Are...Bodybuildings Top 10 Diet Products (2007)shim And The Winners Are...Bodybuildings Top 10 Diet Products (2007)#5 Taraxatone from Cytodyne LLC
Taraxatone is Cytodyne’s outstanding herbal definition formula, which is absolutely perfect for increasing your definition and vascularity, or for a very quick improvement of appearance. Taraxatone is the industry’s clear leader in the herbal diuretics category.

Taraxatone’s most unique feature is that it incorporates three standardized herbal extracts. This is unusual simply because most companies do not want to fork over the big bucks that these standardized extracts cost–in spite of the fact that standardization is the only way to guarantee potency and activity.

The three herbs are Taraxacum officinale (dandelion root), standardized on taraxacin, Uva Ursi, standardized on arbutin, and a standardized equisetum extract–each of which is very effective, standing alone. In combination, they’re dynamite.

In addition, Taraxatone adds pyridoxal-5-phosphate, the active form of vitamin B6 (useful for stimulating diuresis), and critical electrolytes like potassium and magnesium, plus a “Hydroxanthine Complex” of Green Tea and Yerba Mate extracts standardized for caffeine (a modest amount). The caffeine will provide a bit more diuretic stimulation, along with a mild thermogenic effect.

As a water-pill for the very last phase of training for a contest, Taraxatone cannot be beat. In fact, it is the product of choice for many of the industry’s top competitors because it really shows off and defines those chiseled hard-earned mass gains.

ins001 And The Winners Are...Bodybuildings Top 10 Diet Products (2007)shim And The Winners Are...Bodybuildings Top 10 Diet Products (2007)#6 LeanFire from InStone
Finishing at number six, and the leader among the 7-keto DHEA-based products, is InStone’s LeanFire.

The nice thing about LeanFire is that it supplies efficacious levels of this key compound, along with powerful thermogenics and energy/performance enhancers. This is an excellent one-pill choice for supporting your regimen.

LeanFire features the DHEA derivative 7-keto DHEA–a superior form of DHEA, or dehydroepiandrosterone. 7-keto DHEA activates thermogenic enzymes to a much greater extent than plain DHEA. Plus it may help balance-out elevated cortisol levels (one big culprit in abdominal fat accumulation). LeanFire combines 7-keto with a green tea and caffeine stack, further enhanced with L-tyrosine–the precursor to norepinephrine. This provides the key nutritional precursor that complements the action of the "pathway drivers" caffeine and green tea extract. Excellent!

InStone goes even further, pumping-up the formula with 255 mg of the “Evolean” proprietary blend. This consists of E and Z guggulsterones, evodiamine, and Rhodiola rosea extract. The guggulsterones are potential thyroid boosters–among the best natural products for this purpose. Evodiamine is mildly thermogenic, and Rhodiola rosea is a phenomenal Siberian adaptogenic tonic that mildly boosts energy, heightens mental and physical performance, and improves general health.

InStone claims that LeanFire "helps to support stamina and endurance" during dieting–quite believable, just looking at all the active ingredients.


One warning: Keep in mind that LeanFire contains 300 mg of caffeine per serving–the highest amount of any product in this review. This is not a dangerous amount for healthy people, but it may cause jitteryness in sensitive people. Take it easy, and lower the dose if need be.

cdt002 And The Winners Are...Bodybuildings Top 10 Diet Products (2007)shim And The Winners Are...Bodybuildings Top 10 Diet Products (2007)#7 Cytodyne AAC from Cytodyne LLC
Number seven in my review is the venerable Cytodyne AAC, the original flagship product from Cytodyne. This is a really great product that has not only the science behind it, but a loyal following of hardcore bodybuilders for more than seven years now. Cytodyne AAC is a body repartitioning formula that helps to transform your physique without losing those hard-won gains in lean muscle weight.

Cytodyne AAC features a full 1100 mg per serving of the incredible acetyl l-carnitine. The main benefits provided by this powerful amino acid, is it helps promote fat breakdown and subsequently enhance energy while boosting exercise performance, reducing muscle soreness after hard workouts, sparing glycogen, and promoting protein synthesis. How could you reasonably ask for more? The tragedy is that it is only used, in significant amounts, in a very few products. And Cytodyne AAC is one of them.

Along with the acetyl l-carnitine, Cytodyne supplies 175 mg of phosphatidylserine. A cousin of lecithin, phosphatidylserine reduces circulating cortisol levels. This is great for athletes with overtraining syndrome, and with signs of high cortisol levels such as stubborn abdominal fat and mood problems. It is also an outstanding anti-stress nutrient that specifically targets the abdominal area, where cortisol does its worst (fat-retaining).

Last but not least, Cytodyne provides two full grams of glutamine (the exact amount shown in research to stimulate GH release), a gram of taurine (a great insulin potentiator), alpha ketoglutaric acid (AKG), ketoisocaproate, and inositol.

Simply stated, Cytodyne is one of the all-time best repartitioning-type agents we’ve ever seen and truly deserves its legendary status among bodybuilders.


mst018 And The Winners Are...Bodybuildings Top 10 Diet Products (2007)shim And The Winners Are...Bodybuildings Top 10 Diet Products (2007)#8 Hydroxycut from MuscleTech

MuscleTech’s Ephedra-Free Hydroxycut, a unique dual-action product, takes eighth place in this
ultra-competitive review.


HydroxyCut’s two proprietary blends–Hydroxagen and HydroxyTea–target both thermogenesis and appetite/insulin control, and the results are very good.


The HydroxyTea blend gives us a nice amount of green tea with EGCG, along with plenty of caffeine (200 mg) and willow bark extract. Hydroxycut also includes the Hydroxagen blend, based on hydroxycitric acid (HCA). HCA is the garcinia fruit extract, which may help boost CNS serotonin levels, and thus reduce the desire for carbs (and food, generally). It may also help normalize insulin–which is a critical part to any diet regimen. HCA may be useful when given in sufficient amounts, which fortunately, Hydroxagen provides. This is unusual: most products contain only “window dressing” amounts of HCA, and thus the results are poor.


Hydroxagen is fortified with glucomannan and chromium, for further help with insulin control. Lastly, Hydroxagen contains alpha-lipoic acid and L-carnitine, both of which are important. The lipoic works by enhancing insulin action, and the carnitine helps support fat- mobilization. This is a solid combination that should be used in many formulations.


Altogether, MuscleTech’s Ephedra-Free Hydroxycut appears to be a quality thermogenic formula designed to work through several different angles.

leanbalance And The Winners Are...Bodybuildings Top 10 Diet Products (2007)shim And The Winners Are...Bodybuildings Top 10 Diet Products (2007)#9 LeanBalance from Iovate

Number nine is Iovate’s LeanBalance, one of the best (with #8, Hydroxycut)
of the Garcinia-based products. This product contains, like Hydroxycut, an high amount of hydroxycitric acid (HCA)–the fruit acid that can potentially cut appetite and insulin levels (see Hydroxycut, above, for details). But the special advantage with LeanBalance is in the other ingredients.


LeanBalance includes a generous amount of calcium–an old-fashioned nutrient with, surprisingly, some very important actions. There is now a great amount of scientific literature on the role of dietary calcium, especially milk-source calcium, in body-fat control. Give LeanBalance credit for being one of the very few formulations out there that is “calcium aware”.


Iovate has enhanced the product with Gymnema sylvestre, another effective herb for helping to suppress sugar absorption and for helping to control blood glucose, plus chromium for improvement of insulin action. LeanBalance even includes American ginseng (a tonic), policosanol and a caffeine-free green tea extract with 90 mg of EGCG. This is particularly useful if you are avoiding caffeine.


Altogether, LeanBalance offers several key ingredients that work on complementary mechanisms to help cut appetite and assist in weight control. Iovate did a very good job with this formulation.


psp056 And The Winners Are...Bodybuildings Top 10 Diet Products (2007)shim And The Winners Are...Bodybuildings Top 10 Diet Products (2007)#10 HoodiaTech from Prosource
ProSource’s HoodiaTech — one of the many new Hoodia-based formulas — takes the number 10 position. With this product, ProSource has kept things very simple, and very effective, by limiting it to a single ingredient: an authentic, high-P57 extract of Hoodia gordonii. This was no easy feat, as the demand for hoodia has far outstripped supply, and the market is clogged with preparations of unknown quality.


The story, in case you missed it, goes like this: Hoodia gordonii is a remarkable African cactus, discovered millennia ago by natives of the Kalahari desert, that quells appetite at the hypothalamic level. It does this by virtue of its content of a steroidal glycoside ("P57") that shuts off the hypothalamic mechanism that stimulates the desire for food. The result is that the body is biochemically tricked into thinking it is full. It’s a beautiful story, and the stuff works great.

In fact, hoodia is proving to be more effective than HCA (above) and the other common appetite suppressants.

Hoodia is clearly on the leading edge of appetite-control technology, and ProSource’s HoodiaTech delivers the goods better than any other product of its kind.



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Bioavailability of L-DOPA From HP-200-A Formulation of Seed Powder of Mucuna Pruriens (BAK): A Pharmacokinetic and Pharmacodynamic Study. Mahajani,SS: Doshi,VJ: Parikh,KM: Manyam,BV: Phytother Res 10 3: 254-256 (1996)

Occurrence of L-DOPA and Dopamine in Plants and Cell Cultures of Mucuna Pruriens and Effects of 2,4-D and Sodium Chloride on These Compounds. Wichers,HJ :Visser,JF: Huizing,HJ: Pras,N: Plant Cell Tissue Organ Cult 33 3: 259-264 (1993)

Determination of L-DOPA Content and Other Significant Nitrogenous Compounds in the Seeds of Seven Mucuna and Stizolobium Species in China. Yang,X: Zhang,X: Zhou,R: Pharmaceutical Biol 39 4: 312-316 (2001)

The Inhibitory Effect of the Cowhage Plant Mucuna Pruriens and L-DOPA on Chlorpromazine-Induced Hyperprolactinemia in Man. Vaidya,RA: Sheth,AR: Aloorkar,SD: Rege,NR: Bagadia,VN: Devi,PK: Shah,LP: Neurology (India) 26 : 177-178 (1978)

Activity of Bromoergocryptine, Mucuna Pruriens and L-DOPA in the Control of Hyperprolactinemia. Vaidya,RA: Aloorkar,SD: Sheth,AR: Pandya,SK: Neurology (India) 26 : 179-182 (1978)

Mucuna Pruriens Proves More Effective than L-DOPA in Parkinson’s Disease Animal Model. Hussain,G: Manyam,BV: Phytother Res 11 6: 419-423 (1997)

Study of the Effects of Speman on Semen Quality in Oligospermic Men. Pardanani, DS et al. Indian J Surg 38 : 34-39 (1976)

Speman in Oligospermia. Madaan,S: Probe 1985 : 115-117 (1985)

Experimental Assessment of Relative Efficacy of Drugs of Herbal Origin on Sexual Performance and Hormone Levels in Alcohol Exposed and Normal Rats. Mitra,SK: Muralidhar,TS: Rao,DRB: Phytother Res 10 4: 296-299 (1996)

Sexual Function Improving Effect of Mucuna Pruriens in Sexually Normal Male Rats. Amin,KMY: Khan,MN: Zillur-Rehman,S: Khan,NA: Fitoterapia 67 1: 53-58 (1996)

Fortege, and Indigenous Drug in Common Sexual Disorders in Males. Bhargava,NC: Singh,OP: Mediscope 21 6: 140-144 (1978)

Effect of Some Indigenous Drugs on the Sexual Behavior of Male Rats. (Abstract). Rao,MRR: Parakh,SR: Indian J Pharm Sci 40 : 236E-. (1978)

Aphrodisiac Effect of Indigenous Drugs- A Myth or Reality? Nisteswar,K: Murthy,VK: Probe 28 2: 89-92 (1989)