Thanks to recent leaps and bounds in the science behind nutrition supplements, most new fat-burning products contain a selection of several ingredients. Each ingredient is effective on its own—but together, they help maximize the effects of each.
That’s great news for your waistline and your wallet. Trying to get all of these ingredients would be overkill and a waste of your money. Instead, look for supplements that have two or more of these ingredients, along with other established fat-burners like green tea extract and caffeine. (Sesamin, for example, is readily available as a stand-alone, and can be taken to supplement any multiple-ingredient fat-burner.)
Regardless of the product you choose, follow label instructions closely for the best and safest way to take them.
Say “aspidosperma quebracho-blanco extract” five times fast.
Okay, the common name is just quebracho, and it’s a South American evergreen tree species found mostly in the northern regions of Argentina. The name is derived from two Spanish words, quebrar and hacha, which together mean “the axe breaks because the wood is very hard.”
The bark, however, contains alkaloids such as aspidospermine, aspidospermatine, aspidosamine, quebrachine, hypoquebrachine, and quebrachamine, which act as central nervous system stimulators that can get your body lean and hard. In addition, the extract offers high amounts of yohimbe, which works to block specific receptors that actually inhibit fat loss.
Dose: It appears 50-250 mg of aspidosperma quebracho-blanco extract standardized for 0.3% alkaloids taken twice daily is an effective dose.
Sesamin is a lignan from sesame oil. Sesamin had previously been known as a powerful antioxidant, but new research shows it can effectively aid fat loss.
The active form of sesamin has been found to turn on a specific receptor—found in muscle, heart and liver cells—known as peroxisome proliferator-activator receptor alpha (PPAR alpha). Activating PPAR alpha simultaneously turns on genes that increase fat oxidation (burning) and decrease fat storage. Hitting body fat from both sides of the equation with sesamin can result in faster fat loss.
Dose: Take 500-1,000 mg of sesamin 2-3 times a day with food.
If you drink enough beer, you might achieve a fat-loss effect similar to what this supplement offers—but obviously we wouldn’t recommend drinking a six-pack to get a six-pack.
Hops extract is in fact from the same hops flowers (humulus lupulus) used in brewing beer. Traditionally, it has been used as a calming supplement and sleep aid, and it also possesses anti-inflammatory properties, making it a good joint-support product. The active ingredients in hops with fat-fighting properties are called isohumulones, which contribute to beer’s bitter flavor.
New research suggests that isomerized hops extract can decrease body fat via several mechanisms. First, it inhibits the absorption of fat by the intestines. Second, it activates genes involved in fat oxidation to ramp up the fat-burning engines. And third, it decreases the activity of genes that control the synthesis and storage of bodyfat. Talk about a fat-burning hat trick.
Dose: Take 200-400 mg of hops extract 1-3 times a day.
Oleoylethanolamide (OEA) is a lipid produced by the intestines. When you eat a meal, your body produces more OEA and works to activate PPAR alpha receptors, simultaneously ramping up fat-burning and decreasing fat storage. Most supplement users who have tried OEA claim its most impressive effect is decreased hunger. Normally, when you eat OEA levels increase and the lipid works to decrease your appetite by stimulating the sensory nerves that feed back to your brain to inform you that you’re full. When you take extra OEA in the form of a supplement, you essentially trick your body into thinking you’ve already eaten. This decreases hunger, accelerates fat-burning and blocks fat storage.
Dose: Take 25-50 mg of OEA twice a day with food.
Tetradecyl thioacetic acid (TTA) is a specialized fatty acid that has sulfur added to it, which prevents the body from burning it for fuel but allows it to regulate the burning and storage of dietary fats. TTA works by stimulating PPAR alpha receptors as well; research suggests it also activates PPAR delta and PPAR gamma receptors, which provide other effects in the body like helping decrease levels of LDL and total cholesterol, and boosting insulin sensitivity. This means your body can release less insulin than normal, which aids fat-loss efforts. In addition to regulating fat metabolism, this fatty acid also has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immunity-enhancing properties.
Dose: Look for products that supply 1,000 mg of TTA and take twice daily.
Inula racemosa, also called pushkarmoola, is an Ayurvedic herb that grows in the hilly regions in the northwestern Himalayas. Its root appears to contain several active ingredients known as lactones that provide its medicinal properties. The most important of these for fat loss is alantolactone, which enhances insulin sensitivity, meaning you secrete less insulin after eating and less of the meal is stored as dietary fat.
Dose: Use products that contain about 25-100 mg of Inula racemosa standardized to 2% alantolactone and take twice a day.