Best Fat Binding Ingredients
The most effective fat binding ingredients are prickly pear cactus and shellfish waste meat – these occur in many weight loss supplements but have not been conclusively proven in clinical trials to be effective.
Fat binding is a process through which ingredients attach themselves to food that has been eaten in order to prevent it from being converted by the body into fat stores. Not a lot of ingredients are commonly associated with this attribute, and most dietary supplements which promise fat binding contain either synthetic chemicals, or one of two key fat binding ingredients: prickly pear cactus, and shellfish waste meat. While these ingredients are typically considered the most effective fat binding ingredients, there is some controversy within the medical community surrounding their proven effectiveness in clinical trials.
What is Fat Binding?
Ordinarily, when the body consumes food, any excess calories are converted into fat cells which are stored for later use when the body becomes hungry or requires additional fuel – this is so that, in times of famine or when meals are scarce, the body can keep functioning effectively even when it hasn’t had anything to eat for a while. In the modern era when food is plentiful (as are meals that are high in calories), the body typically has more food available to convert into fat.
Fat binders work to reduce the amount of food that can be converted and stored as fat cells. These binders affix themselves to food on a chemical level, making it impossible for the body to treat them as they would other sources of fat, making sure that the body quickly expels these foods instead of storing them for later consumption.
Not a lot of chemicals produce a fat binding effect as this works directly against the natural purpose and utility of the human body. What’s more, ingredients which bind fat are not generally considered healthy when taken in large doses, as their effects are counterintuitive and can lead to dangerous side effects as a result of restricting calorie intake.
The Best Ingredients for Binding Fat
It’s important to note that the science behind changing one’s diet in order to consume more ingredients associated with fat binding is not a practice that’s considered to be healthy or practical by many healthcare professionals. Because of this, not a lot of research has been undertaken into the effectiveness of various foods and ingredients for aiding fat binding within the body.
Most diet pills which make claims of aiding fat binding rely on the same few ingredients to promote fat binding. Prickly pear cactus is used in many of the most popular fat binders, and inexpensive shellfish waste meat is used in most of the remainder of pills. A very small number of pills forego the use of natural food sources to instead use ingredients that have been created in a laboratory, although these vary in effectiveness and come with additional negative side effects when consumed regularly.
All of these three sources of fat binding benefits have an uncertain and often hotly contested history in medical trials – all of these ingredients have been thoroughly tested, but results from different experiments tend to contradict each other. To make things even more confusing, many of the studies into the effectiveness of prickly pear cactus on fat binding were sponsored by companies producing diet supplements containing this ingredient, thereby casting a possible shadow over the legitimacy of any positive findings these studies have produced.
Prickly Pear Cactus
Prickly pear cactus (also known as Opuntia ficus indica) is a common plant that can be found growing abundantly throughout central America. The plant has been linked by many healthcare professionals to a variety of health benefits including easing the symptoms of diabetes, high cholesterol, diarrhoea and hangovers, as well as being believed to help treat infections and aid weight loss.
Prickly pear cactus is the main ingredient in multiple proprietary weight loss substances, including Litramine – a key ingredient of some dietary supplements that specialise in fat binding.
Clinical Studies On Prickly Pear Cactus
Many studies have been attempted to measure the effects of prickly pear cactus on fat binding and calorie storage, including some studies conducted by companies that sell fat binding dietary supplements – although these have not been published in reputable journals and suffer from a lack of impartiality.
One study which is recognised for its adherence to scientific standards was conducted in 2014. The study aimed to explore the link between prickly pear cactus consumption and fat binding. Twenty participants were split into two groups, one of which received regular cactus supplements over a 45 day period while the other group instead received a placebo.
Their body weights were measured, and regular samples of feces were taken to test for the level of fat binding that occurred within their bodies based on their excrement. It was found that participants who had been given prickly pear cactus supplements had experienced a higher level of fat binding during the period of study when compared with the control group. This led the scientists to conclude that prickly pear cactus may have use as a fat binding agent in the diet of users.
That said, the results of this experiment may not be the most reliable – the study’s small sample size of only twenty people mean that it’s difficult to determine how accurate the results are, and how widely they can be generalised to a larger population.
Shellfish Waste Meat
Commonly known as chitosan, a mixture of waste meat from the husks of shellfish including shrimp, lobsters and crabs is often used as a fat binding agent in dietary supplements. Chitosan is used for a variety of purposes in many different industries, including being used as a fertiliser in agriculture, and as a tool for water filtration. Chitosan is also often used in wine making as a fining agent.
Some clinical studies have been undertaken which may prove a link between the consumption of chitosan and various health benefits including fat binding and the possibility of some antioxidant qualities, which could indicate that shellfish meat could aid weight loss. That said, these studies have not necessarily proven to be reliable.
Clinical Studies Into Shellfish Waste Meat
Because of the number of studies that have been undertaken in an attempt to prove the effectiveness of chitosan in aiding fat binding and weight loss, a clinical review was undertaken in 2008 with the aim of determining the accurate effects that chitosan has on weight loss and combating obesity. The study analysed the results of fifteen trials and over 1200 participants in a variety of studies that had previously been concluded.
The studies’ results were analysed and attention was paid to their methodology in order to determine how clinically sound their process for conducting experiments had been. The review found that while there was some difference between these previous studies in the way they operated, the results they achieved, and their analysis of their findings, overall there was no significant difference caused in participants who were involved in these studies. It was concluded that for all that chitosan may be popular as a fat binding agent, there’s not enough concrete evidence to support its use in weight loss supplements.
Fat binding is a process through which some foods attach themselves to potential fat stores in order to prevent the body from converting them into fat cells. While there are several popular forms of fat binding dietary supplements available, most use either prickly pear cactus or shellfish waste meat as their core ingredients. Neither of these ingredients are strongly supported by clinical trials although there is slightly more evidence to support the use of prickly pear cactus. These two ingredients, while not confirmed to be significantly effective at aiding fat burning, are the most potent forms of fat binding currently on the market.
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