Low-Carb Diets - An Introduction

Written by Priya Shah

by Priya Shah http://www.priyashah.com

According to a recent survey byrepparttar National Health Institute, about a third of overweight Americans who are trying to lose weight, are doing so by eating less carbohydrates (carbs) largely because ofrepparttar 131429 increased popularity of fad diets like Atkins Diet andrepparttar 131430 South Beach Diet.

Who Invented Low-Carb Diets?

The term "low-carb" was coined around 1992 whenrepparttar 131431 USDA recommended that Americans include six to eleven servings daily of grains and starches in their diet.

In fact, low-carb dieting dates back more than 100 years to 1864, beforerepparttar 131432 trendy Atkins diet, when a pamphlet titled "Letter on Corpulence" was written by William Banting. This was as close torepparttar 131433 first commercial low-carb diet as you could get.

Banting's diet eventually fell out of favor, but low-carb diets began appearing again inrepparttar 131434 20th century. The most famous of these arerepparttar 131435 Atkins and Scarsdale diets that came to popularity inrepparttar 131436 1970s.

While Scarsdale has a set 14-day meal plan that must be followed and greatly restricts calories,repparttar 131437 Atkins diet allows for unlimited calorie consumption as long as those calories are from protein, fat and vegetables and carbohydrate intake is kept low.

Atkins and Scarsdale fell out of favor inrepparttar 131438 1980's whenrepparttar 131439 USDA encouragedrepparttar 131440 consumption of grains and grain products.

It was only inrepparttar 131441 1990's that we began to see a return to low-carb dieting that seems to be more than a fad. Low-carb is now a lifestyle!

As more and more people realizerepparttar 131442 weight loss and other health benefits that are available to people who eat low-carb,repparttar 131443 number of diets and stores that sell specialty low-carb products continue to rise.

In a nutshell, most low-carb diets carryrepparttar 131444 same basic premise: that too much of simple, refined carbohydrates leads to over overproduction of insulin, which leads torepparttar 131445 storage of too much fat inrepparttar 131446 body. This fat storage is especially prominent aroundrepparttar 131447 middle.

While there are degrees of difference amongrepparttar 131448 many diets, they all agree onrepparttar 131449 negative effects that excess insulin production have on our systems.

While it might be great to lowerrepparttar 131450 body's sugar content and be healthier, wouldn't it be great to learn how to do so while being part of this fast-paced world?

Amended Bitter Orange - Ephedra in disguise ?

Written by Jenny Mathers

If you read my last article about bitter orange or citrus aurantium, it was pretty clear how I felt aboutrepparttar herb. I'd readrepparttar 131427 available research concerning bitter orange, and while there was some evidence supporting bitter orange,repparttar 131428 overall picture did not look good.

So that'srepparttar 131429 picture I painted, however, there were some facts that I was unaware of atrepparttar 131430 time, which I felt you might be interested in if you're researching bitter orange.

In order to lay these out, I want to answer four questions:

1. What Is Bitter Orange (Citrus Aurantium) Really ? 2. So does Bitter Orange act similarly to ephedrine ? 3. What aboutrepparttar 131431 reports of adverse ill effects of bitter orange ? 4. Is bitter orange safe to use and does it work ?

It's a bit long, but whatrepparttar 131432 heck !

What Is Bitter Orange Really ?:

The Bitter Orange extract found in popular fat burners, is made fromrepparttar 131433 unripe fruit ofrepparttar 131434 citrus aurantium tree. The fruit is picked when they are a dark green in color, halved, dried and then milled into a powder. This makesrepparttar 131435 herb Zhi Shi[1]. Bitter orange isrepparttar 131436 western name for Zhi Shi.

The bitter orange herb contains five alkaloids (see alkaloid definition[5]),repparttar 131437 most dominant of which is Synephrine (the compound I referred to in my last article), structurally similar to ephedrine. However, while they are similar, they're notrepparttar 131438 same.

Chemically, both synephrine and ephedrine stimulaterepparttar 131439 sympathetic nervous system and at a cellular level, affect classes of cells called alpha cells, and to a lesser extent, beta cells[6]. Alpha and beta cells can then be divided into classes of beta and alpha cells. Beta(1) and beta(2) cell receptors are believed to be responsible for cardiac and pulmonary functions. Beta(3) cell receptors are believed to be responsible for fat burning or thermogenesis. Ephedrine will affect beta(1), beta(2) and beta(3) cell receptors, however, ofrepparttar 131440 beta-cell receptors, synephrine appears to only affect beta(3) cells.[7].

So does Bitter Orange act similarly to ephedrine ?

Does it ? While previously, I've presented a very black and white view of whether it acts similarly to ephedrine, I am now not so sure.

Generally speaking because synephrine stimulates beta(3) cells but not beta(2) and beta(1) cells, it can providerepparttar 131441 thermogenic effects withoutrepparttar 131442 undesirable cardiac side effects that ephedrine did.

What aboutrepparttar 131443 reports of adverse ill effects of bitter orange ?

The American Herbal Products Association has found that there were errors byrepparttar 131444 FDA inrepparttar 131445 reported adverse event reports attributed torepparttar 131446 use of bitter orange in September 2004[3]. The association found that numbers reported inrepparttar 131447 media were in fact duplicates for adverse event reports for ephedrine, and when all was said and done, there was really only one report of an adverse reaction attributed to a bitter orange supplement, where no other ingredient was included inrepparttar 131448 supplement. In this particular case, it involved a 74 year old woman who had been taking prescription medication and two other herbal preparations simultaneously. This one case occurred more than five years ago[3].

What aboutrepparttar 131449 55 year old woman reported by Nykamp DL, Fackih MN, Compton AL (2004), who experienced chest pain after consuming a supplement containing bitter orange. Researchers in this case study had commented "Based onrepparttar 131450 Naranjo probability scale, C. aurantium is possibly associated with this cardiovascular event"[4], however, as bitter orange was notrepparttar 131451 only ingredient inrepparttar 131452 supplement, it cannot be known whether in this case, that bitter orange wasrepparttar 131453 herb responsible.

Is bitter orange safe to use and does it work ?

Now there are many others, who felt as I did, that bitter orange is another Ephedra waiting to happen, and will haverepparttar 131454 same consequences. However, when bitter orange is taken in isolation, it does not have adverse side effects.

In fact, when it is combined with other selected herbs, it may have benefits for health and weight loss. Research performed with 20 individuals over six weeks found no adverse reactions occurred when citrus aurantium was combined with caffeine and St. Johns Wort[2]. They also found thatrepparttar 131455 individuals who were givenrepparttar 131456 supplement (group A) lost an average of 2.9% body fat. "In terms of actual fat loss, group A lost a significant amount (3.1 kg), whereasrepparttar 131457 control group demonstrated a tendency toward fat loss." So, this study has demonstrated that there are weight loss benefits involved here, but alsorepparttar 131458 control group who received nothing exhibited a tendency towards fat loss, suggesting that ifrepparttar 131459 study had been extended beyond 6 weeks,repparttar 131460 control group would have lost body fat as well.

Cont'd on page 2 ==>
ImproveHomeLife.com © 2005
Terms of Use