Irvingia gabonensis and fucoxanthin
The crude seed extract of Irvingia gabonensis has been found to be possibly safe for adults when taken for up to four weeks. And the specific standardized seed extract identified as IGOB131 is given the green light for up to 10 weeks. (Note the wording "possibly safe.") Side effects include flatulence, headaches and sleep problems. I would prefer to eat foods high in fiber, which will satisfy my appetite and taste much better. I steer clear of supplements that are deemed safe if only taken for a few weeks.
The weight-loss supplement fucoxanthin claims to promote thermogenesis, or the rate of fat burning. A Utah nutritional biochemist, Shawn M. Talbott, who researches dietary supplements, believes the problem lies in the extraction process. He states, "Fucoxanthin is expensive to extract properly, so not all brown-seaweed products may contain enough fucoxanthin extract to prompt thermogenesis."
My opinion of this seaweed is that it's a little too early to endorse because no studies have been done on humans. It has reduced belly fat in rats, but side effects can't be predicted and it may interfere with thyroid function.
So are all supplements bad?
There are thousands of supplements on the market eager to jump off the shelf into the consumer's hand. But beware: Those claiming to promote quick weight loss are merely a temporary fix. Sooner than later, weight loss must be approached with serious commitment, a lean diet and lots of physical activity. Not all supplements are bad or untested. Some are excellent and capable of improving health, such as fish oil containing omega-3 fatty acids. But I tend to see red flags when I am promised shortcuts to health.
Keep the faith
Fitness strides can be illusive and frustrating when you are training consistently and paying attention to diet. Keep the faith. We all must work within the confines of our body. With that said, my only suggestion is to tighten up the diet and make certain you are continually pushing the intensity. Even a turtle needs a challenge to stay the course.
Cindy Boggs, fitness presenter, author and Activate America director, has been an ACE-certified coordinator/instructor since 1989. Send your questions about fitness, training or health to YMCA of Kanawha Valley, 100 YMCA Drive, Charleston, WV 25311, or e-mail cindys...@aol.com. Look for her award winning fitness advice book, "You Can Find Health in Your Hectic World" on her website, www.cindysays.com, or contact the YMCA at 304-340-3527.