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Grains of Paradise

What it is:

Grains of paradise, scientifically known as Aframomum melegueta, is a spice belonging to the ginger family (Zingiberaceae). It is native to West Africa and has been traditionally used both as a culinary spice and in traditional medicine for its various health benefits. In recent years, grains of paradise extract has gained attention in the realm of supplements, particularly for its potential benefits related to fat loss and metabolism.


Benefits:

Grains of Paradise has a host of benefits:

  1. Increased Thermogenesis: Grains of paradise contains bioactive compounds, particularly 6-paradol, which has been shown to activate brown adipose tissue (BAT) and increase thermogenesis. BAT is a type of fat tissue that generates heat by burning calories, leading to increased energy expenditure and fat loss.
  2. Enhanced Fat Oxidation: Research suggests that grains of paradise extract can enhance lipid metabolism by increasing the oxidation (burning) of fatty acids. This means it can promote the breakdown of stored fat for energy, supporting fat loss efforts.
  3. Improved Insulin Sensitivity: Some studies indicate that grains of paradise may improve insulin sensitivity, which is beneficial for regulating blood sugar levels and potentially reducing fat storage.
  4. Appetite Regulation: There is evidence to suggest that grains of paradise extract may help in appetite regulation by influencing hormones that control hunger and satiety. This can contribute to better control over food intake and support weight management goals.
  5. Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Grains of paradise has shown anti-inflammatory properties in animal studies, which may indirectly support metabolic health and weight management by reducing inflammation associated with obesity.

 

Science:

This 2014 randomized controlled trial investigated the effects of daily ingestion of grains of paradise (GP) extract on energy expenditure (EE) and body fat young women. Participants consumed 30 mg of GP extract daily for 4 weeks. The findings showed that GP extract significantly increased whole-body EE compared to placebo, suggesting enhanced metabolic activity. Moreover, GP extract was associated with a decrease in visceral fat area, or fat around the abdomen. This indicates that GP extract may effectively reduce visceral fat accumulation, contributing to improvements in body composition. Additionally, a 2013 randomized controlled trial investigated the effects GP extract on whole-body EE and its relation to brown adipose tissue (BAT) activity in healthy male volunteers. GP was administered orally (40 mg) to participants in a randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover trial. Prior to ingestion, participants underwent FDG-positron emission tomography (PET) after exposure to cold to assess BAT activity. Results showed that individuals with detectable BAT activity (BAT-positive) exhibited significantly higher EE levels within 2 hours of GP extract ingestion compared to those without BAT activity (BAT-negative). This increase in EE was not observed with placebo ingestion. These findings indicate that GP extract enhances whole-body EE through the activation of BAT in humans, highlighting its potential as a beneficial addition to fat loss supplements targeting metabolic enhancement and potentially aiding in weight management strategies. Overall, these results support the inclusion of GP extract in fat loss supplements due to its ability to increase EE and target visceral fat, thus promoting metabolic health and potentially aiding in weight management strategies.