Vitamin supplements have often been used by serious bodybuilders to augment their physique, and improve their body's response to exercise. But they can also provide a way for those simply interested in losing weight to get faster, more healthy results.
Probably the most interesting news from the scientific quarter is the study that suggests that vitamin C can help lower body fat levels, and that a deficiency in vitamin C may be linked to a gradual increase in body fat in people who aren't dieting. In the study, 20 obese men and women were either given a placebo or 500mg of vitamin C a day. All of the people in the study were put on a low fat diet.
At the start of the trial, researchers found that those who had the most body fat also had the lowest levels of vitamin C (as measured in the blood). During the trial, those taking the vitamin C supplement had blood levels of vitamin C increase by 30%, and those taking the placebo had their blood vitamin C levels reduced by 27%.
Both groups lost the same amount of weight. However, those not taking vitamin C had an 11% drop in their ability to oxidize fat. The researchers found that body fat mass did decrease more in the group of people taking vitamin C, although they describe the difference as not being statistically significant.
Diet is obviously the most important factor in losing weight, as the study found. However the results may be beneficial for those whose weight loss has reached a plateau, or for those wanting to give their body as much help as possible. And ensuring there is enough vitamin C in your diet may prove to be a good safeguard against putting weight back on, if it is combined with sensible eating and exercise.
Vitamin C is believed to work in fat oxidation because it is involved in the creation of the amino acid carnitine. Carnitine is involved in transporting fats in the body.
Another popular bodybuilding supplement, whey, has been found to have a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels. Some meals are what is called high glycemic, which means that when they the carbohydrates in them are metabolized, they are released quickly into the bloodstream. This causes a spike in blood sugar levels, which gives you a lot of energy for a short while, but then leaves you feeling tired. It can also lead to cravings for other foods, which can make it difficult to stick to a diet.
The study was done on those with type 2 diabetes, although whey has been found to help healthy people improve their blood sugar levels after a high glycemic index meal also. In the study, when whey was added to a meal at lunch, there was a big improvement in the way the body handled the carbohydrates. It did not have much of an impact at breakfast, however. But at least for lunch and possible dinner, adding whey protein to a meal could help dieters control cravings, as well as regulate their energy levels after a meal.
For more information on vitamin C , click here. For information on how the herbal sports supplement leucine can help with fat loss, click here. Rebecca presents this natural health and vitamin site .