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Weight Loss Cocktail

Every once in awhile you run across a study that is so remarkable that you are left rubbing your eyes in disbelief.  Such is the case with one weight loss study in a 1999 journal called Medical Hypotheses that gave a four-supplement cocktail to obese patients and watched the rolls roll right off the participants. [1]

Those in the study lost an average of 3.3 total pounds per week and 5 pounds of fat per week.  Mama!  Anyone who has dieted knows that normal weight loss peaks at about 2 pounds per week.  Yes, you may lose much more than that in the first week due to water loss, but it quickly tapers off to about 2 pounds per week for those who really limit their caloric intake. So what makes these results really astonishing is that these individuals not only sustained over 3 pounds of weight loss per week but also lost more fat pounds than total pounds!  This implies a net gain of muscle mass as well.

NOTE:  Talk to your doctor before taking any supplement, especially if you are on medications or have medical conditions.

How does it all work? Well, synergism would be the operative word in "supplement cocktails" such as these.  Researchers will sometimes experiment with different supplements that tackle a health problem through multiple pathways yielding additive and sometimes even multiplicative effects. Four supplements were used in such a manner in this study and below are the daily dosages:

  • 8 grams Calcium Pyruvate
  • 1.5 grams HCA
  • 250 mg L-Carnitine
  • 600 micrograms Chromium Picolinate
  • Calcium Pyruvate had in previous studies been shown to produce substantial weight loss in overweight subjects even without reducing calories. [7] Of course, this is amazing in and of itself as partipants lost over 3 pounds total and about 5 pounds of fat in six weeks without the usual issues of hunger and dieting.  A pleasant concept for most trying to lose weight is the idea of just doing a little daily exercising and taking 6 grams of Calcium Pyruvate daily.

    The results from this and other studies were so promising that one prominent researcher in the field decided to take Calcium Pyruvate and couple it with some other studies to hopefully get a fat loss boost. So what are these supplements and what do they do?

    CAUTION:  Calcium Pyruvate has - shock! - a lot of calcium and this is risky for us guys.  (Elevated calcium consumption is linked to prostate cancer in males.)  For this reason, I do not recommend this supplement protocol for more than a few weeks.

    Chromium Picolinate, of course, a common supplement that delivers this all-important mineral to our insulin and glucose metabolism.  Of course, insulin resitance is the arch-nemesis of weight loss and is very often a problem in those with too many extra pounds. Furthermore, the typical modern diet not only delivers too little chromium but actually depletes it from the body. [2] HCA also improves glucose metabolism. [3]

    Calcium Pyruvate and L-Carnitine, on the other hand, work by increasing fatty acid oxidation, i.e. fuel burning. L-Carnitine literally transports your fats into mitochondria to get churned and burned.  HCA helps this same process by shifting your body's balance from carbohydrate to fat burning as well.  And both Calcium Pyruvate and L-Carnitine have been associated with an increased base metabolic rate as well, i.e. more calories are burned by one's system throughout the day. [5][6] The bottom line is that all of these appear to work together to accelerate weight loss in a semi-dramatic fashion, at least for those who are significantly overweight.



    1) Med Hypotheses, 1999 May, 52(5):407-16, "Pyruvate and hydroxycitrate/carnitine may synergize to promote reverse electron transport in hepatocyte mitochondria, effectively 'uncoupling' the oxidation of fatty acids"

    2) Nutrition Research Reviews (2003), 16: 267-275, "Chromium and insulin resistance"

    3) Fitoterapia, 2003 Apr, 74(3):267-73, "Garcinia cambogia extract on serum leptin and insulin in mice"

    4) J Nutr, 2000 Dec, 130(12):2990-5, "Chronic (-)-hydroxycitrate administration spares carbohydrate utilization and promotes lipid oxidation during exercise in mice"

    5) Metabolism, 1986 Feb, 35(2):182-6, "Inhibition of lipid accumulation and enhancement of energy expenditure by the addition of pyruvate and dihydroxyacetone to a rat diet"

    6) J. Nutr, Aug 1 1996, 126(8):1937-1950, "Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) Fed L-Carnitine Exhibit Altered Intermediary Metabolism and Reduced Tissue Lipid, but No Change in Growth Rate"

    7) Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise, 1998, 15(5):337-340, "Effects of Exogenous Pyruvate on Body Composition and Energy Levels"

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