Adults in America face a 30% chance of being overweight or obese. Surplus body fat is as lethal as tobacco. 400,000 Americans are expected to die from the effects of excess body fat this year alone. Excess fat is a major contributor to heart disease, liver disease, diabetes, and cancer. If three out of 10 Americans are in this category, that means 100 million people whose health is threatened by excess fat. And, the threat is not limited to adults. 17% of children and teens in the U.S. are obese, and many of those already have metabolic syndrome or cardiovascular issues such as hypertension and atherosclerosis.

In the obese, fat cells behave differently than in lean individuals, which makes losing fat and keeping it off  a huge challenge. An informative article in Life Extension magazine (June 2015) explains why the fat cells behave differently, and it’s due to a malfunctioning enzyme called hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL). HSL is required to help break down fat and burn it for energy, rather than storage. Fat tissue, especially the white fat found in abdominal stores, pumps out huge amounts of inflammation-promoting substances that lead to life-shortening chronic diseases. That’s the bad news.

The good news: A series of studies has shown that flavonoids from a blend of Mediterranean citrus fruits and South American seed extracts help to restore HSL to proper functioning. In one human study, those taking a blend of this extract reduced body fat by 15.6% and weight loss of 12 pounds. This study was published in the journal Phytomedicine, 10/08.

In another human study, published on Phytother Res (2/14) citrus fruit/seed extract supplements were given to subjects, who subsequently lost 9.73% of their white abdominal fat stores. Remember that white abdominal fat is the most dangerous to your health.

The bottom line is that consuming these supplements not only reduces body weight but also shrinks body fat stores. Life Extension makes a good supplement called Mediterranean Slim. There may be other good ones on the market. Again, I receive no financial compensation for endorsing any products.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.