At this time of year, a lot of my patients ask me how they can lose weight. As you know, my advice is to always seek natural alternatives to Big Pharma drugs.
And that’s especially important when it comes to diet pills.
The FDA always seems to be approving a new “miracle” weight-loss pill, only to recall it a few years later. To date, dozens of diet drugs have been taken off the market.
Diet pills can cause all kinds of problems, including heart attack, stroke, liver damage, and psychiatric disorders.
And they simply don’t help you lose weight and keep it off.
But, the best news is that you can lose weight and be bathing suit ready… naturally!
You see, there’s new research that reveals supplementing with selenium may hold the key to losing weight and helping you burn fat fast.1
Selenium is a trace mineral with powerful health properties. Research shows that because it fights inflammation, it can protect against heart disease, boost the immune system, prevent free radical damage, reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, improve prostate health, and lower rates of thyroid disease.
A deficiency in this important nutrient can lead to muscle weakness, fatigue, mental fog, hair loss, a weakened immune system, and infertility.
And now, a new animal study by researchers at the Orentreich Foundation for the Advancement of Science (OFAS) found that adding selenium to your diet can be as beneficial as strict calorie restriction. Let me explain.
Earlier research found selenium increases an energy-regulating hormone called IGF-1.2 IGF-1, known as the “weight-loss hormone,” is an insulin-like growth factor that releases fat from fat cells to feed the body.
When you have enough IGF-1 around, you burn fat naturally.
A team of researchers at OFAS wanted to test whether selenium supplementation could offer the same protection against obesity. They fed old and young mice a diet that included the mineral or a control diet.
They that found that supplementing with selenium “completely protected mice of any age and sex against dramatic weight gain and fat accumulation.”3
They also discovered that the mice treated with selenium had significantly reduced levels of leptin.4 That’s the hunger hormone that tells your body it’s time to eat.
But selenium doesn’t just work in animals. In another recent study, researchers put 37 overweight and obese adults on a calorie-restricted meal plan for three months. Half the volunteers also took a 240 mcg selenium supplement every day.5
By the end of the study, the selenium group lost a “considerable amount” of body weight compared to those who got a placebo.6 They also shed more fat and had significantly lower levels of leptin.
And in a third study, researchers at the University of Alberta in Canada found that each 1 mcg/kg/day increase in dietary selenium intake corresponded to a 6% decrease in body fat.7
I recommend getting 100 to 200 mcg of selenium per day. The best way to get enough of this vital mineral is by eating grass-fed organ meat. Each serving provides about half the selenium you need daily.
Brazil nuts are another good source. One Brazil nut contains around 100 mcg of the mineral — so you just need two per day. If you choose to supplement, I recommend taking 200 mcg of selenium every day. Choose supplements that contain selenomethionine, the organic form of selenium, not the inorganic sodium selenite or selenite form.
Two More Weight-Loss Supplements To Try
In addition to selenium, I recommend taking these:
- Supplement with this seed. One of the best weight loss tools is a West African herb called bush mango or irvingia gabonensis. In a study of overweight people, those who supplemented with bush mango lost an average of 28 pounds over the course of 10 weeks8. I recommend 150 mg a day of irvingia seed extract. But… make sure the supplement you take is 100% natural extract of African mango. Ever since this fruit made the news, there’s been a lot of diluted and tainted supplements on the market.
- Eliminate temptation with fucoxanthin. In a 16-week clinical study, researchers followed 151 overweight women. Those that took the fucoxanthin supplements lost an average of more than 15 pounds. The women taking a placebo lost only three pounds.9 Fucoxanthin is found naturally in brown seaweed. Or, you can supplement with 300 mg a day. Look for a supplement that contains 85% fucoidan. And make sure you take it with a full glass of water 30 minutes before a meal.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. Plummer J, et al. “Selenium supplementation inhibits IGF-1 signaling and confers methionine restriction-like healthspan benefits to mice.” Elife. 2021 Mar 30;10:e62483.
2. Fontana L, et al. “Effects of 2‐year calorie restriction on circulating levels of IGF‐1, IGF‐binding proteins and cortisol in nonobese men and women: a randomized clinical trial.” Aging Cell. 2016 Feb; 15(1): 22–27.
3. Pettersson U, et al. “Female Mice are Protected against High-Fat Diet Induced Metabolic Syndrome and Increase the Regulatory T Cell Population in Adipose Tissue.”PLoS One. 2012; 7(9): e46057.
4. Cavedon E, et al. “Selenium supplementation, body mass composition, and leptin levels in patients with obesity on a balanced mildly hypocaloric diet: a pilot study.” Int J Endocrinol. 2020; 2020: 4802739.
5. Plummer J, et al. “Selenium supplementation inhibits IGF-1 signaling and confers methionine restriction-like healthspan benefits to mice.” Elife. 2021 Mar 30;10:e62483.
6. Plummer J, et al. “Selenium supplementation inhibits IGF-1 signaling and confers methionine restriction-like healthspan benefits to mice.” Elife. 2021 Mar 30;10:e62483.
7. Wang Y, et al. “Significant beneficial association of high dietary selenium intake with reduced body fat in the CODING study.” Nutrients. 2016 Jan 4;8(1):24.
8. Oben JE, et al. “Irvingia gabonensis significantly reduces body weight and improves metabolic parameters in overweight humans.” Lipids in Health and Disease. 2009;8:7.
9. Abidov M, et al. “The effect of Xanthigen, a phytomedicine containing fucoxanthin and pomegranate seed oil, on body weight and liver fat, serum triglycerides, C-reactive proteins, and plasma aminotransferases in obese non-diabetic female volunteers: A double-blind, randomized and placebo-controlled trial.” Submitted for publication.
Int J Obesity. 2008.
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