Weight Loss Through the Control of Thermogenesis

Thermogenesis simply means the creation of heat. When we create heat, we burn calories (Kilojoules) and this can actually decrease our weight. Any substance that stimulates the resting or basal metabolic rate (BMR) and raises the bodies temperature is called a Thermogenic agent. After centuries of use, we now know that thermogenesis stimulates of brown fat to burn off white fat and this can directly stimulated by certain herbs.

A substance known as norepinephrine (noradrenaline) is produced by the body in response to signals carried by the sympathetic nervous system. When the norepinephrine enters the brown fat, it activates thermogenesis (the fat furnace) to begin burning off thousands of calories. But if only a tiny amount of norepinephrine is released, the corresponding brown fat burned off is also tiny.

The Chinese found that the herb Ma Huang, a source of ephedra (ephedrine). Ma Hung excites the sympathetic nervous system, which causes vaso-constriction of the nasal mucosa, bronchodilation and cardiac stimulation

Other herbs or herbal extracts have the ability to excite the sympathetic nervous system and stimulate fat burning. These act by stimulating both alpha and beta adrenergic receptors ( in simple terms switching the right chemical switches inside your body). This then increases the metabolic rate and fat is burned. Brown fat is reluctant to burn protein for fuel so 90% of the fuel you burn from flat moment on is pure, ugly fat.

Now hold that thought! Nature has supplied an even better chemical switch, that is natural and found in a fruit.

The fruit of Citrus Aurantium (bitter orange) is that chemical switch and it has the potential to induce weight loss, increase physical performance, and improve lean muscle mass.Only recently, Dr Dennis Jones, MA., Ph.D., discovered that, in certain stages of maturity of bitter orange a rare combination of five adrenergic amines (natural plant substances)~ Synephrine, N-methyltyramine, Hordenine, Octopamine, and Tyramine, these function not only to stimulate weight loss, but also to increase physical performance.

In a recent study (Carpene et al , April 1999) it was shown that Octopamine is a specific activator of the beta3-andronergic receptor. So what does this mean to thermogenesis?

The first select natural plant chemical switch that stimulates the loss of fat!

So what else can you take to speed up weight loss or help a sports person reach their ideal muscle to fat ratio. Well, gurana (Paullina cupana) is a well known stimulant that is known to enhance fat breakdown and also increase metabolism. This in combination with Garcina cambogia, the best natural source of Hydroxy Citric acid (HCA) will greatly enhance the weight loss properties of a thermogenic supplement. HCA converts carbohydrates into glycogen rather than fat, this in turn enhances stamina and eventually acts on the brain center where appetite is controlled leading to appetite suppression, which helps with over eating and unnecessary weight gain. Clinical trials have also demonstrated the ability of HCA to decrease body fat with out loosing protein or lean body mass, two features that are of importance to sports people.

The Chinese herbs Astragalus membranaceus and Elutherococcus senticosus (Siberian Ginseng) are both well recognised for their potent immune enhancing effects. Immune suppression is common during fasting if occurs for more than 3 days, or if you are a competitive sports person. Enhancing the immune system has a number of positive effects during weight loss. More importantly Siberian Ginseng is a well recognised performance enhancing herb a number of studies have demonstrated its effectiveness in enhancing endurance. The inclusion of ginger root, capsicum, cinnamon, chromium, papaya will enhance a thermogenic supplement as these herbs and minerals play important roles in improving glucose utilisation, general metabolism and more importantly digestion.


  1. Only use recommended doses of any thermogenic supplement – More is not better.
  2. Take the supplements at the same time each day and away from meals to get the best results.
  3. Don’t take them after 4.00pm to avoid insomnia.
  4. Be aware of adrenal exhaustion. Using supplements that stimulate the adrenals without allowing some rest periods can cause the adrenal glands to shut down. Four weeks using the supplement followed by 2 weeks rest.

** If you experience any adverse side effects, lower the dosage or stop taking the thermogenic supplement altogether. Always check with your health care professional before starting a thermogenic weight loss program.

Contraindications: Anyone with heart disease, prostate disease. thyroid disease, high blood pressure, diabetes or adrenal disease should not use thermogenic agents with without their doctor’s approval. Pregnant women and nursing mother should not use these supplements.