Exercise & Sport Nutrition Laboratory
Â Center for Exercise, Nutrition & Preventive Health Research
Â Department of Health, Human Performance & Recreation
Â Baylor University
Â posted on 12-04-2007
Â Tetrazeneâ„¢ is a scientifically-formulated dietary supplement that contains ingredients reported to promote weight loss and increase metabolism. While it is primarily considered to be a weight loss supplement, it contains glucomannan which is a dietary fiber that research has shown can help control blood sugar by lowering the glycemic response to ingesting a meal as well as lower blood lipid levels. This article discusses the powerful weight-loss power and health benefits of this amazing super fiber.
Â What is KGMâ„¢
Â KGM (Konjac Glucomannan) is a polysaccharide dietary fiber that primarily comes from the Amorphophallus konjac plant, a member of the Araceae family found in east Asia . It is a highly soluble dietary fiber that forms a gel. It has been used for a variety of dietary and medicinal purposes for over 1,000 years.? High fiber diets have been long suggested as an effective means to promote weight loss by helping individuals feel full, slow digestion, and promote appetite control. Both Tetrazeneâ„¢ KGM-90 and the thermogenic charged Tetrazene ES50 are unique in that they contain the purest source of KGM (over 90% functional) available in dietary supplements (other glucomannan containing supplements and/or foods only typically contain 20-60% functional extract). The theoretical rationale behind KGM as a weight loss supplement is that ingesting it prior to eating would increase feelings of fullness (satiety), control appetite, and thereby lead to less food intake and weight loss over time. In terms of health benefits, consuming KGM with food slows digestion rates allowing for a more stable release of sugar into the blood. In other words, it lowers the glycemic index of a meal. This can allow people to ingest moderate to high glycemic foods without the normal glucose and insulin response. Soluble fibers such as glucomannan have also been reported to support lower total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein (LDL) levels. Consequently, this type of fiber may not only aid in weight management but also help support healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels.Â Benefits of Dietary Intake of KGM
Â Research since the mid 1970s has indicated that dietary supplementation of KGM can promote impressive weight loss and/or improve markers of health. For example, Sugigyama and Mihara  reported in a 1976 patent filing that 15 weeks of supplementation of a konjac mannan extract (1 gram/day) promoted a 10 kg weight loss in men and women. The authors concluded that dietary supplementation of a konjac mannan extract is useful medicinally since it has been found to be effective in alleviating constipation and reducing weight in human beings. In 1979, Doi and colleagues  reported that three months of glucomannan supplementation (3.6 or 7.2 grams/day) in diabetics promoted an 11% decrease in total cholesterol within the first 20 days of the study. In 1984, Walsh and colleagues  evaluated the effects of ingesting 1 gram of KGM fiber one hour prior to breakfast, lunch and dinner for 8-weeks on weight loss in 20 obese patients. After 8-weeks of supplementation, the researchers reported that subjects in the glucomannan group lost 5.5 lbs of body weight and decreased LDL cholesterol while subjects taking the placebo gained 1.5 lbs of body weight and experienced a slight increase in cholesterol. The researchers concluded results support the use of glucomannan food supplement for the purpose of weight reduction and reducing cholesterol ?
Â In 1988, Reffo and coworkers  evaluated the effects of KGM supplementation on weight loss and blood lipids in a group of patients with high blood pressure. Thirty one subjects ingested 1 gram of KGM fiber or a placebo one hour prior to three daily meals for 4-weeks. Subjects were randomized into a KGM plus no-diet restriction group, a KGM and energy restricted diet (1,000 – 1,800 kcals/day), or a placebo with no dietary restriction group. Body weight, blood lipid profiles, blood pressure, and safety measures were taken prior to and following four weeks of supplementation. Results revealed that subjects taking KGM lost 3.0 lbs and 5.3 lbs in the no calorie restricted and calorie restricted groups, respectively, while no changes were seen in the placebo group. In addition, triglycerides and total cholesterol levels were reduced. The researchers concluded “A dietary supplement, such as glucomannan, is therefore useful as a natural obstacle to nutrient intake in maintaining energy balance and in management of overweight.”
Â In 1989, Biancardi and associates  evaluated the effects of ingesting 1.5 grams of KGM prior to breakfast and dinner (3 grams/day) on weight loss in 20 overweight patients with osteoarthritis. Subjects were divided into two groups and were randomly assigned to ingest a placebo or KGM for 8-weeks. Subjects then replicated the study using the alternate supplement for another 8-weeks in a crossover experimental design. Results revealed that subjects ingesting KGM lost 7.4 lbs when ingesting KGM in the first part of the study and that the weight loss was maintained when ingesting the placebo in the latter half of the study. Similarly, subjects taking the placebo first observed no change in weight until they started taking KGM and then observed a 5.7 lbs weight loss. Overall, the mean amount of weight lost following KGM supplementation was 8.2 lbs over the 8-week period. The researchers concluded that results “confirm that glucomannan is suitable for treating overweight patients.”
Â In 1992, Vita and colleagues  evaluated the effects of KGM supplementation (1.33 grams taken before meals for a total of 4 grams/day) for 12-weeks in overweight patients following a low calorie diet. Results revealed that subjects supplementing their diet with KGM had a more significant weight loss in relation to the fatty mass alone, an overall improvement in lipid status and carbohydrate tolerance, and a greater adherence to the diet in the absence of any relevant side effects.? The authors concluded “Due to the marked ability to satiate patients and the positive metabolic effects, glucomannan diet supplements have been found to be particularly efficacious and well tolerated even in the long-term treatment of severe obesity.” Similarly, in 1995 Cairella and Marchini  evaluated the effects of KGM supplementation in patients undergoing 60-days of diet therapy. The researchers reported that in comparison to a placebo, body weight, blood glucose, total cholesterol, and ratings of hunger and satiety were improved more favorably in comparison to diet alone.
Â In 1996, Pombo et al  reported that subjects ingesting 1 gram of KGM prior to breakfast and lunch while maintaining a 2,000 kcal/day diet for 4-weeks lost a similar amount of weight (10.4 lbs) as subjects following a 1,200 kcal/day diet (10.7 lbs). The researchers concluded that “caloric restriction is not the only alternative in obesity dietary treatment.” Some dietary fibers, in this case glucomannan, are a useful element, not only in the maintenance phase, but also in the reduction In 1999, Vusken et al  reported that providing biscuits enriched with KGM (0.7 grams/100 kcal for a total of 8-12 grams/day of KGM) during dieting significantly reduced the total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol ratio by 10% in diabetic patients in comparison to subjects given wheat bran fiber biscuits.
In 2003, Chen and colleagues  reported that in comparison to a placebo, KGM supplementation (1.2 to 3.6 grams/day for 28-days) in diabetic subjects significantly reduced total cholesterol (-11.1%), LDL cholesterol (-20.7%), the ratio of total cholesterol to high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (-15.6%), Apo-lipoprotein B (-12.9%), and fasting glucose (-23.2%). Similarly, Woodgate and Conquer  reported that providing a supplement containing KGM, chitosan, fenugreek, Gymnema sylvestre, and vitamin C for 6-weeks to 24 obese subjects promoted a significant reduction in weight (-5.1 versus 0 lbs), percentage of body fat (-1.1 versus +0.2 %), fat mass (-4.4 versus +0.4 lbs), abdominal circumference (-4.5 versus -0.7 cm), waist circumference (-4.1 versus 0.1 cm), and hip circumference (-2.9 versus +0.6 cm). While results can not be attributed to KGM alone, these findings support the theory that adding KGM to a dietary supplement can promote weight loss.
Â In 2005, Martino and coworkers  investigated the effects of adding KGM to the diets of children with high cholesterol following the Step-One-Diet. In the study, 40 children with high cholesterol levels followed a standard diet for 8-weeks. Once this was completed, all subjects were prescribed to follow the Step-One-Diet. Additionally, subjects were randomly assigned to the diet only or to ingest KGM in addition to the diet for 8-week. Results revealed that subjects ingesting KGM in addition to the diet observed significantly greater reductions in total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein (LDL). Additionally, greater reductions were observed in females compared to male subjects in changes in total cholesterol (-24% vs. -9%) and LDL-C (-30% vs. -9%). The researchers concluded that “glucomannan may represent a rationale adjunct to diet therapy in primary prevention in high risk hypercholesterolemic children”. While this research is certainly impressive, please note that children should not use dietary supplements unless under the supervision of a physician.
Â Finally, in 2006 Yoshida and colleagues  evaluated whether supplements containing plant sterols and/or KGM would improve lipid profiles and markers of cholesterol synthesis in 16 subjects with mildly elevated cholesterol levels and type II diabetes compared to 18 control subjects. Subjects participated in four 21-day supplementation periods separated by a 28-day washout period. Subjects were randomly assigned in a crossover manner 1.8 grams/day of plant sterols, 10 grams/day of KGM, a combination of plant sterols and KGM, and placebo provided in the form of energy bars. Results revealed that total cholesterol levels were significantly lowered after combination treatment in comparison to control values. LDL cholesterol concentrations were decreased after KGM and the combined treatment. Moreover, plasma lathosterol concentration (which is an index of cholesterol synthesis) was lowered after the combination treatment compared to the plant sterol treatment. The researchers concluded that KGM and a combination of KGM and plant sterols substantially improves plasma LDL cholesterol concentrations.
Â Lowering the Glycemic Index of Meals
Â The glycemic index (GI) measures the rate of absorption and digestion of carbohydrates and their effect on blood sugar levels. When you consume a high GI food, blood glucose and insulin levels increase promoting storage of the glucose into the liver and muscle . For people trying to lose weight and/or promote health, it makes sense to consume low GI carbohydrates in the diet instead of high GI carbohydrates [16-18]. In this regard, high GI diets have been associated with obesity, diabetes, and heart disease . Short-term intervention trials suggest that simply replacing high GI foods with low GI foods promotes weight loss and improves insulin sensitivity [19-21]. For this reason, a growing number of obesity researchers recommend that people consume a moderate to high carbohydrate diet consisting primarily of low GI foods [18, 19, 22-25]. While this seems to be sound advice, one of the challenges of following a low GI diet is that these diets can be rather bland and have limited choices of carbohydrate. It is also difficult to eat and follow a GI diet. Consequently, some have suggested that KGM can be utilized in conjunction with higher GI foods in order to minimize the glycemic response of ingesting the food. KGM delays digestion of food from the stomach and thereby reduces the natural increases in blood glucose and insulin that occur after eating (i.e., postprandially). In other words, it lowers the GI of a meal. This means you can ingest higher GI foods without the same effect on blood glucose levels. As such, KGM may in effect act as a natural “repartitioning” agent because it can promote fat-loss while consuming a substantial amount of calories (eg as observed in Pombo, et al study mentioned above).
Â There are several studies that support the GI lowering concept. Hoopman et al  reported that adding KGM (2.6 and 5.2 grams) to a carbohydrate rich breakfast in patients with previous gastric surgery suffering from postprandial hypoglycemia improved in a dose dependently manner reactive hypoglycemia and postprandial increases in insulin levels. The researchers concluded that “small amounts of glucomannan may be beneficial to patients with reactive postprandial hypoglycaemia” For this reason, KGM supplementation has been studied as a potential means to help control blood sugar particularly in diabetics. Additionally, since changes in blood sugar have been correlated with appetite and cravings for carbohydrate, KGM supplementation has also been studied to evaluate the effects on hunger, appetite, and cravings for carbohydrate foods. Several studies have reported that KGM supplementation reduces blood glucose [3, 8, 12] and decreases perceptions of hunger/appetite [5, 7, 8]. There is also evidence that KGM may decrease the appetitite hormone cholecystokin [11, 26]. So what does all this mean? If you are trying to follow a low GI diet in order to control blood sugar levels and/or promote weight loss, ingesting glucomannan before you eat can slow digestion and allow you to enjoy more moderate or high GI foods without the negative impact.
Â Don’t believe us? Check out ProSource’s Tetrazeneâ„¢ success stories!Â
Â Â© ProSource 2007. All rights reserved. Healthy weight management and substantial weight loss are best achieved by making lifestyle changes, such as lowering caloric intake and increasing exercise activity. Clinical evidence indicates that when used in combination with a sensible diet and exercise, the key ingredients in Tetrazene can support your weight loss program. Consult a health care professional before beginning any weight-loss program. Read and follow all label instructions before using. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Eat these foods and supplements your diet to keep your “twigs and berries” working properly.
There’s only one time when shrinkage down there is a good thing, and that’s when your prostate is enlarged. As men age, their prostate (the gland that produces the fluid the carries the sperm) tends to grown bigger and as a result, it can cause urination and bladder problems. In fact, it may have you running to the bathroom as much as a woman who is pregnant.
Luckily there are things that you can do to keep the prostate from growing and protect it from cancer. The first is to exercise on a regular basis since inactivity seems to worsen symptoms. The second is developing a good nutrition plan. Read on to find out the foods and supplements you should be consuming to keep everything relatively sizeable.
Decrease Size with Saw Palmetto
The most popular of the prostate helping herbs is saw palmetto, known to the scientific community as Serenoa repens. Recent research has confirmed saw palmetto’s prostate prowess. Chinese researchers reported in the September 2007 issue of the International Journal of Oncology that saw palmetto inhibited the growth of prostate cancer tumor cells in mice. Along similar lines but done on human cells, Swedish researchers reported in the March/April 2007 issue of Anticancer Research that saw palmetto had an antiproliferative effect on cancer cells. These studies confirm previous findings. More specifically, a Spanish study that had men take 160 mg of saw palmetto extract twice a day for a year, in which the men experience a decline in benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH)â€”the medical term for an enlarged prostate â€“symptoms. And the herb may also have a synergetic effect with other herbs as Eastern European studies have found. When 160 mg of saw palmetto is paired with 120 mg of stinging nettle and both are taken twice a day, a decrease in BPH symptoms were experienced. There are also studies that suggest that saw palmetto improves the quality of life for those with BPH and that there seems to be no drug-interaction problems. In addition, previous research has found that a combination of saw palmetto and pygeum lessen BPH symptoms.
Relieve the Pressure with Pygeum
Pygeum can help reduce the symptoms of an enlarged prostate. The result: fewer trips to the men’s room. Why? Because this supplement that comes from the bark of an evergreen tree found in the mountains of central and southern Africa has been found to contain not one, but three types of compounds that relieve the symptoms of prostate enlargement. The most important of the three is beta-sitosterol, which interferes with the formation of substances that cause inflammation and swelling in the prostate. The other two compounds are pentacyclic terpenes, which also reduce swelling, and ferulic esters, which combat enlargement.
Recently, three studies have closely studied these compounds and how they inhibit the proliferation of cells that promote prostate growth and affect bladder function. Two separate groups of French researchers found that Pygeum stopped prostate cell growth in the lab and in the body. While researchers in the United Kingdom and six European countries followed 2,351 patients suffering from BPH. Some were treating it with prescription medications (tamsulosin, finasteride, or alpha-blockers) and others were treating it with supplementation (Pygeum africanum or Serenoa repens). Their results, reported in the January 2007 issue of the journal of European Urology, found significant improvements in 43% of patients taking supplements compared to 57% of those on finasteride and 68% on alpha-blockers. Proving that natural means lessen the symptoms of BPH and cut down on the amount of trips to the bathroom.
Don’t Shun Soy
Soy isn’t just a super food for women anymore, according to a large-scale study of Japanese men. Researchers found that increasing intake of soy isoflavones significantly reduced the risk of prostate cancer by as much as 50 percent. The study, published in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, recruited 43,509 Japanese men with a generally high soy isoflavone intake and followed them for five years. During that time, 527 men were newly diagnosed with prostate cancer. In fact, the highest intake of soy isoflavones (at least 32.8 milligrams of genistein per day) had a 40 percent reduced risk compared to those with the lowest intake (less than 13.2 milligrams per day). In addition, a recent study of Seventh-Day Adventist men in California, conducted by Loma Linda University, found that those who consumed soymilk at least once per day had a 70% reduced risk of developing prostate cancer. An earlier study found similar results for Japanese men living in Hawaii who ate tofu. How can soy have such a profound effect on prostate cancer? Soy isoflavones may reduce testosterone levels and inhibit an enzyme involved in the metabolism of testosterone. Itâ€™s this hormone that may increase prostate cancer risk. But before you start reaching for your wifeâ€™s or girlfriendâ€™s "made for her" soy-fortified foods, know this: these results occur in men eating whole soy foods, such as edamame and miso soup. Considering that over 500,000 new cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed worldwide every year, eating soy foods could be a potent step in prevention.
Drink Red Wine
When it comes to wining and dining, pick up a bottle of cabernet to put her in the mood and do your prostate some good. Researchers have found that men who drink an average of four to seven glasses of red wine per week are only 52% as likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer as those who do not drink red wine, reports the June 2007 issue of Harvard Men’s Health Watch.
Researchers in Seattle collected information about many factors that might influence the risk of prostate cancer in men between ages 40 and 64, including alcohol consumption. By evaluating each type of alcoholic beverage independently, researchers were able to link wine drinking to a reduced risk of prostate cancer. And when white wine was compared with red, red had the most benefit. Even low amounts seemed to help, and for every additional glass of red wine per week, risk declined by 6%.
Why red wine? Much of the speculation focuses on compounds—including various flavonoids and resveratrol—missing from other alcoholic beverages. These components have antioxidant properties, and some appear to counterbalance androgens, the male hormones that stimulate the prostate. In fact, researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) have found that when male mice were fed resveratrol, the mice showed an 87 percent reduction in their risk of developing prostate tumors. You see, a glass of wine with dinner may provide unexpected benefits.
Get Your Fruits and Vegetables
You know that you should be eating seven to nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily, but are you? You may want to hustle down to your produce department tout suite after reading this. Johns Hopkins researchers reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that foods containing nutrients with antioxidant properties or that influence cell growth and differentiation may reduce the risk of prostate enlargement. More specifically, consumption of fruit and vegetables rich in beta-carotene (such as carrots and sweet potatoes), lutein (such as corn, mango and leafy vegetables), or vitamin C (such as kiwi and oranges) were found to help keep your prostate in check. They also found that men who ate a lot of foods that are high in vitamin C were less likely to have an enlarged prostate.
Pop or Pound Pomegranates
The pomegranate has been shown to possess strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. And while you would think the pom should be included in the above category, it is unlike most fruits and vegetables. This is because it has a very short season; many fruits and vegetables are available year around thanks to worldwide transport. Luckily, food and supplement makers have been able to harness this fruit’s tasty goodness in the form of juice and extracts. And this may actually be better. University of Wisconsin at Madison researchers reported in the journal Cell Cycle that pomegranate fruit extract inhibited cell growth and caused cell death of potentially cancerous prostate cells. If you decide to drink pomegranate juice instead of popping a pill, make sure its label says, "100 percent fruit juice."
Make Friends with Fish
Unless you have been hiding in a proverbial nutrition news cave, you have probably heard that omega-3 fatty acids do a body good. The benefits are numerous and it seems that we can add another benefit to the list—slow prostate cancer growth. Research done in mice and reported in the July 2, 2007, issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation suggests that a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil and certain types of fish could potentially improve the prognosis of men. The studyâ€™s authors from Wake Forest University concluded that a change in diet could mean the difference between dying from prostate cancer and surviving it. Adding fish to your diet doesnâ€™t seem like an awful idea when you consider that the disease is the most frequently diagnosed cancer and is a leading cause of death in men in the United States, and population studies have suggested that consumption of fish or fish oil reduces prostate cancer incidence. In the current study, the mice were fed varying levels of omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Both are "essential" fatty acids, which means the body needs them for proper cell function but cannot produce them. Many vegetable oils contain omega-6 PUFA. Fish like mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Nutritionists recommend that people consume equal proportions of omega-3 and omega-6 PUFA. However, in current western diets, the proportion of omega-6 to omega-3 is between 30 and 50 to one. Donâ€™t like fish? Then you may want to take fish oil supplements. A diet rich in soy, fish, fruits, vegetables and red wine supported by supplemental pomegranate fruit extract, pygeum and saw palmetto is a good way to keep your prostate healthy and your physique ripped.