Weight-management ingredients that complement and support today’s popular diets-keto, paleo, Mediterranean, and more
The correct way to use a weight-management dietary supplement is to incorporate it in one’s overall weight-loss routine, which should include dietary changes and exercise. While there has always been a desire for easy solutions, more consumers now understand that a “one-pill wonder” does not exist. “Many of our consumers are well aware that there is no miracle diet pill, so they are looking for a broader approach to weight management, which includes lifestyle changes,” says Asma Ishaq, CEO of health product brand Modere Inc. (Springville, UT).
Increasingly, dietary changes play a huge part in people’s lives as they seek long-term solutions for losing weight and staying healthy. Lifestyle diets such as the Mediterranean diet, the paleo diet, and the ketogenic diet are among the most popular diets, with packaged foods actively making Mediterranean-, paleo-, and keto-friendly label claims. There is, however, opportunity here for dietary supplements to complement these lifestyle diets.
For example, Modere’s M3 system is a group of products designed to work in tandem with a Mediterranean diet. “Studies have shown that a Mediterranean diet delivers exceptional, all-natural benefits that support cardiovascular health, may slow down age-related weight gain, and help people lose 52% more weight than an average low-fat regimen,” says Ishaq. “For best results, we encourage our consumers to ‘Take 3 and Make 3,’ meaning take the three core products included in our M3 system daily-Burn, a morning thermogenic; Sustain, an afternoon protein shake; and Sync, an evening fiber-and make at least three of these suggested lifestyle changes: cut out sugary drinks, fried foods or refined flour, white rice, and sugar; drink five 12-oz glasses of water daily; or walk at least 7,500 steps each day.”
The goal is long-term support to achieve permanent weight loss. “Our belief is that weight management should be sustainable, and our products are designed to be used long term, both during and after weight loss,” says Ishaq. “For example, Trim combines conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and [our proprietary] Collagen/Hyaluronic Acid (HA) Matrix Technology that work potently together for safe and effective weight loss and a total body transformation experience. The clinical strength, plant-derived CLA in Trim accelerates fat loss to help you lose inches during the weight-loss process and keeps you toned and sculpted when you have reached your ideal weight. The Collagen/HA Matrix Technology in Trim keeps your skin beautiful and firm both during and after weight loss, and it helps to promote joint health, which is helpful in maintaining an active lifestyle.”
Jayesh Chaudhari, senior director of research and development for supplier Prinova (Hanover Park, IL), supports a similar approach. “With increased health awareness among the millennial and Gen Z generations, who represent a large portion of the population, the most desired trends seen in the weight-management category at Prinova are the powdered drinks, sustained-release supplements, and bars made with potent blends of exogenous ketones (beta-hydroxybutyrate salts), conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), collagen, carnitine, natural caffeine, and green tea, etc.,” Chaudhari explains. “Fat-burning ingredients (spices, natural caffeine/green coffee bean extract, Coleus forskohlii extract, CLA, teacrine, capsaicin, and black pepper extract) in addition to the ingredients boosting satiety (potato extract, dietary fibers) are targeted for achieving permanent weight loss.”
Fat burning, a popular function of weight-management supplements, is a primary component of the ketogenic diet, which is perhaps the trendiest diet currently. According to Google Trends, the search term “keto” reached peak popularity on January 6, 2019, based on web searches, increasing by more than half the number of “keto” searches that took place during the same time the year before. A ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet specifically targeting 70% fat, 20% protein, and 10% carbs. “This way of eating switches your body from burning sugar and carbs as fuel to using fats as its primary energy source, and can be a total game changer for losing weight-when it’s done properly by those who can tolerate it,” explains The New York Times bestselling author Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, who wrote Radical Metabolism.
“When it’s done properly by those who can tolerate it” is an important caveat, because a ketogenic diet promotes physiological changes in the body, which may not be good for everyone. For example, Gittleman explains that those with pancreatitis, high triglycerides, gallbladder disease (or those without a gallbladder), low blood pressure, kidney disease, multiple nutrient deficiencies, or previous weight-loss surgeries should not adopt a ketogenic diet. Proper functioning of the gallbladder and liver is paramount in life, but particularly when on a ketogenic diet, for optimal fat metabolism.
“Your liver synthesizes and secretes about a quart and a half of bile daily and then stores it in your gallbladder,” says Gittleman. “Bile is the key to absorbing and assimilating fat as well as serving as a toxic waste dump for excess chemicals, hormones, drugs, heavy metals, and other toxins that eventually need to be eliminated from the body. Without adequate bile, your body can’t absorb fat-soluble vitamins or essential fatty acids.”
Supplements can be an important tool to support bile production. Gittleman cites choline, taurine, beet root, pancreatic lipase, ox bile, and collinsonia root as “must-have” supplements for supporting bile production. Choline, she says, supports fat digestion. Taurine helps the body bind bile and excrete chemicals detoxed by the liver, as well as promotes bile production. Beet root contains betaine, which thins the bile, preventing the formation of gallstones. Pancreatic lipase, she says, is the main digestive enzyme used to break fats down for absorption. And for those with impaired bile production, ox bile is an excellent source of bile salts. Collinsonia root, for its part, reduces the risk of constipation-which can occur during a ketogenic diet-and gallstones.
Chaudhari also points to some limitations of the diet. “[Keto] is high in saturated fats from oils (palm, coconut), lard, butter, and cocoa butter. The plan doesn’t typically differentiate the lean-protein foods from protein sources high in saturated fat, such as beef, pork, and bacon,” Chaudhari explains. “Lastly, a keto diet could result in micronutrient deficiency-such as a deficiency in chromium, selenium, iodine, zinc, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, and water-soluble vitamins-due to lack of consumption of vegetables, fruits, and grains.”
Supporting fat metabolism and filling any gaps in micronutrients can therefore be important ways supplements can contribute to someone’s diet and weight-loss goals. Gittleman, for example, formulated a product called Bile Builder for Uni Key Health System containing all six of her must-have bile-building ingredients.
Prinova is formulating ingredients designed for keto supplements, sports and powdered drinks, and nutrition bars. “Although there is a lack of defined regulation to claim identity of keto products, the product should encompass the effective load of exogenous ketones derived from beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) salts such as sodium, magnesium, calcium, and potassium; healthy fats and oils such as butter, medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), olive oil, and avocado oil; and matcha,” explains Chaudhari. “Finally, some additional functional ingredients such as a black pepper extract should be included to enhance the bioavailability of the macro-ingredients.”