Definition: "An ergogenic aid is any substance or phenomenon that enhances performance "
The clenbuterol effect of flax seed
Flax seed is a health food that organic foods shops have been selling for decades. Components of flax seeds are regularly found in new supplements, in slimming supplements for example. And they may actually work, according to Japanese researchers. Their study showed that the lignans in flax seed stimulate fat burning.
The flax seed you can buy in health food shops is the best source of lignans that we know of. Lignans are phenols and scientists think they have anti-oestrogen properties, protect against diabetes type-2, hormone related types of cancer, and cardiovascular disease.
Flax seeds contain large amounts of secoisolariciresinol diglucoside [SDG]. Micro-organisms in the body convert this compound into enterolactone. The figure below shows how this happens.
The Japanese gave secoisolariciresinol diglucoside to mice together with high-fat feed. When given food containing 0.5 and 1 percent secoisolariciresinol diglucoside, the mice put on less weight. The higher the percentage, the stronger the effect.
At the higher concentration secoisolariciresinol diglucoside reduced the growth of fat tissue [WAT] to the level that the researchers observed in the mice that had been given ordinary feed and that remained slim.
Because the mice that got supplementation did put on weight, you might wonder whether they built up muscle mass. The study does not reveal whether this was the case, but it's not such an implausible suggestion.
The muscle cells started to burn more fat as a result of the supplement. And the production of the enzyme carnitine palmitoyl transferase 1 [CPT-1] rose significantly in the muscle cells too. This enzyme attaches fatty acids to carnitine so that they can pass through the membranes of the mitochondria, where they are converted into energy.
The Japanese looked for the cause of increased fat burning by the muscles in the fat cells. Secoisolariciresinol diglucoside supplementation boosted the production of adiponectin and leptin in the fat cells, as the figure below shows.
Adiponectin and leptin boost the muscles' metabolism and their energy uptake. Adiponectin makes muscle cells more sensitive to insulin.
"These effects may prevent or improve obesity and may reduce the risk of lifestyle-related diseases, including diabetes, atherosclerosis and hypertension", the Japanese conclude. "Flaxseeds are therefore a promising food to help decrease the risk of lifestyle-related diseases."
The researchers may not be entirely objective. They work for Nippon Flour Mills [e-nippn.com], a producer of noodles and other flour-based foods.