Losing weight can be hard work. Alongside exercise and a good diet, one supplement may be able to help your body burn fat. What is it?
Researchers from the Department of Gastroenterology at the Silesian School of Medicine, Poland, investigated how a supplement could aid weight loss.
Twenty female participants – who were classified as obese – were subjected to a three-week low-energy diet (1,000 calories per day).
Afterwards, 10 random subjects received 5mg of yohimbine four time a day, while the other 10 participants consumed a placebo.
The double-blind study went on for another three weeks, in addition to a low-calorie diet.
At the beginning of the experiment, thermogenesis (resting and exercise energy expenditure) was assessed by indirect calorimetry.
Additionally, serum noradrenaline concentration was taken as an index of sympathetic system activity and serum glycerol level as an index of lipolysis.
These measures were repeated at the end of each three-week period, with the results concluding that yohimbine “significantly increased weight loss” compared to the placebo.
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Found in the bark of the Pausinystalia yohimbe tree in Central and Western Africa, yohimbine has been found to block alpha-2 adrenergic receptors in the body.
Alpha-2 adrenergic receptors normally bind to adrenaline to suppress its effects – adrenaline is known to encourage the body to burn fat.
Thus, as yohimbine blocks alpha-2 adrenergic receptors, adrenaline is enabled to do its thing by promoting fat loss in the body.
Another experiment, conducted by the Institute of Sports Medicine, examined the role yohimbine plays in weight loss.
The study enrolled 20 top-level male football players to take part in two randomly assigned trials.
One group ingested 20mg of yohimbine supplements twice a day for three weeks, whereas the other group ingested the same amount of placebo.
After the three-week trial, the researchers noted that those who had taken yohimbine had experienced up to 2.2 percent body fat reduction.
Published in the National Library of Medicine, a link was made between yohimbine and reduced appetite.
The animal study focused on genetically obese mice, who only had six-hour food access throughout the day.
Mice who had been administered yohimbine showed significant reduction in how much they ate during the six-hour window where they had access to food.
Yohimbine didn’t alter the water intake of mice, suggesting that yohimbine has a specific effect on appetite suppression.
To be aware that yohimbine may cause side effects, such as nausea, anxiety, panic attacks and high blood pressure. This is due to keeping adrenaline levels elevated.
As with any weight loss supplement, speak with your GP to make sure it’s safe for you to consume – considering your own medical history.
The most effective way to lose weight is to exercise and eat less. You need to be burning off more calories than you consume every day.
Additionally, it would be beneficial to go tee-total during your weight loss journey, as alcohol has a lot of calories.
The NHS offer a weight loss plan you can access here – this is a 12-week weight loss plan that is safe and effective.