High-fructose corn syrup is the principal sweetening agent in most high-sugar soft drinks. Fructose provides the sweet taste in fruits. In sedentary people, it is linked to an increased risk of the metabolic syndrome (abdominal obesity, abnormal blood fats, high blood pressure, poor blood sugar regulation, inflammation and blood-clotting abnormalities). People consume about 300 more calories per day more than they did 30 years ago, largely because of an increased intake of fructose. A report published in Current Sports Medicine Reports, stated that a high fructose intake was beneficial for athletes. Fructose stimulates the digestion and promotes carbohydrate used during exercise, which are important for optimal performance. Intense training involves high energy expenditure, which protects athletes from the negative effects of fructose experienced by sedentary people.
Lipoic acid supplements increase the size and number of mitochondria, according to a study from the China Agricultural University in Beijing. The mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cells that provide the body’s energy needs, determine endurance exercise capacity, and greatly influence lifespan. Lipoic acid protects the mitochondria from highly reactive free radicals produced naturally from during metabolism. It also helps to stabilise blood sugar metabolism. Supplementing lipoic acid in aging mice improved energy metabolism and increased cell mitochondria production. It also improved body composition, blood sugar regulation, and increased energy expenditure and fat-free weight (lean mass). Lipoic acid, also known as alpha-lipoic acid, might be an effective anit-aging supplement that promotes metabolic health.
Green tea is a popular weight loss supplement. A controlled study published in the Journal of American College Nutrition, reported that green tea or green tea extract supplements reduced body fat and prevented oxidative cell damage in obese people with the metabolic syndrome (eg. high blood pressure, abdominal fat deposition, insulin resistance, abnormal blood fats). People lost an average of 5.5lb of fat and reduced BMI (Body Mass Index, measure of the proportion of weight to height) by 1.9 points. Green tea (4 cups per day) or green tea extract (2 tablets per day) improved metabolic health in obese people.
Abdominal fat deposition is a sign of poor metabolic heath. It is an important symptom of the Metabolic Syndrome that includes insulin resistance, abnormal blood fats, high blood pressure, any type II diabetes. Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine found that midlife abdominal obesity increased the risk of dementia. CT scans of the abdomen and brains of 733 older adults (average age of 60) showed that those with more abdominal fat had the greatest rates of brain deterioration.