Do Grains of paradise have a connection to weight loss? This natural ingredient features in many weight loss supplements on the commercial market. How do the claims stack up?
Can Grains of Paradise Help Weight Loss?
Grains of paradise is a natural ingredient that’s becoming increasingly popular in many weight loss pills. Trimtone is a prime example.
It comes from the plant Aframomum melegueta, which is a member of the ginger family.
They are the seeds of the plant and, like ginger, they are often used as a cooking spice.
Grains of paradise appears to support weight loss in a few ways but the most interesting thing about the ingredient is its ability to cause a transition of body fat.
There are two types of fat in the human body. One of them is brown, the other is white.
Grains of paradise acts on the white kind of fat and changes it to brown.
This is desirable because having more brown fat can help you to lose weight.
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Brown Adipose Tissue Vs. White Adipose Tissue
White adipose tissue (WAT) is the predominant type of fat.
When the diet provides more energy than the body requires, it stores the excess energy as WAT.
WAT also cushions the organs and protects them from damage.
This is also the type of fat the body burns to get the energy it requires when the diet fails to provide enough.
Brown adipose tissue (BAT) also stores energy but it does so in a smaller space so it’s not so bulky.
BAT contains a lot of iron-rich mitochondria. This is what provides it with its darker color.
BAT is integral to a process called thermogenesis that generates heat without shivering.
Thermogenesis burns calories. That’s a good thing when you are trying to lose weight.
Some research shows BAT may also help the muscle cells to take in extra glucose, thereby providing them with extra energy.
The benefits don’t end there. BAT helps stabilize blood sugar levels as well. By doing this, it can help prevent the blood sugar crashes that trigger carb cravings.
Grains of Paradise and BAT: The Research
Researchers at Tenshi College in Japan have conducted several studies exploring the way grains of paradise affect BAT.
Their research suggests the ingredient’s potential as a weight-loss aid may be due to the presence of aromatic ketones, including 6-paradol, 6-gingerol, and 6-shogaol.
These ketones are also responsible for providing grains of paradise with its distinctive pungent flavor.
Early studies, involving mice, had already shown a grains of paradise alcohol extract was capable of activating BAT thermogenesis in rodents.
Taking their investigation further, the researchers wanted to see if the ingredient was capable of doing the same for men.
The researchers recruited 19 healthy men, aged 20-32, to assist them in their investigation.
Their response to a cold environment was monitored before and after ingesting a grains of paradise extract (40 mg).
Data from the study shows grains of paradise significantly increased energy expenditure via thermogenesis.
The researchers  concluded this was because oral ingestion of grains of paradise “increases whole-body energy expenditure” by activating BAT.
Research involving female volunteers was more weight loss focused.
The study was conducted over a 4-week period.
Some of the women were given grains of paradise to take before their meals, while others received a placebo.
The women were not required to make any changes to their diet or levels of physical activity.
At the end of the study, the women who got the placebo showed a slight increase in body fat.
However, the women who took grains of paradise lost fat from the areas around their lower abdomen.
The Benefits of Supplementing with Grains of Paradise for Weight Loss
It’s important to remember the capabilities of the ingredient are still under investigation so, although we know it activates BAT, it may have other capabilities that have yet to be discovered.
However, as with all the other good diet pill ingredients, grains of paradise is not a magic bullet.
Don’t see it as one. It can support your efforts to lose weight but cannot replace them.
Nevertheless, the main benefits are likely to be:
- Increases in BAT conversion
- Enhanced thermogenesis
- Improvements in lipid levels
- Regulates blood sugar
Grains of paradise also appears to support improvements in the digestive system. Ginger has a similar ability though, so this is not so surprising.
They may also have potential as a possible treatment for heart disease and for alleviating certain problems that affect sexual function.
However, there is a need for further study of its abilities in these areas.
Grains of Paradise Side Effects
Grains of paradise does not have any known side effects.
Nevertheless, it would be unwise to take during pregnancy or while breastfeeding a child unless a doctor has confirmed it is safe for you to do so.
Grains of Paradise and Weight Loss – Summary
It is a natural ingredient that supports fat-loss in quite an unusual way.
It converts white fat into the brown kind the body uses during thermogenesis.
Animal and human-based research prove its ability to do this and also supports its value as a weight-loss aid.
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