Diet Aids and Thermogenesis? – DesMoinesRegister.com

Some diet aids (supplements) are labeled to promote thermogenesis. In warm blooded animals, thermogenesis is a normal body process of generating body heat. The food we eat is the source of fuel used to generate heat and warmth that we feel.

Thermogenesis is the process of heat production in organisms. It occurs in all warm-blooded animals, and also in a few species of thermogenic plants such as the Eastern skunk cabbage, the Voodoo lily, and the giant water lilies of the genus Victoria. The lodgepole pine dwarf mistletoe, Arceuthobium americanum disperses its seeds explosively through thermogenesis.

The thermogenic effect of eating, digesting and other food energy related functions only account for 10 percent of a person’s basal metabolism rate (BMR). An active individual, for example, may require 2,000 calories each day: therefore 200 calories are consumed by thermogenic burn activity to maintain minimum body processes. The remainder 1,800 calories are available for the physical activity energy and fat. If the active individual continues to consume 2,000 calories each day, becomes inactive, calories are not consumed, then fat accumulates and the individual gains weight. Some types of obesity may be related to a defect in this process.

There are “dietary supplements” on the market that claim their natural product formula helps accelerate food metabolism, suppress appetite, increase mental focus, increase energy and provide weight loss due to thermogenic activity. “Dietary supplements” are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They are not considered drugs and, instead, are treated like special foods. So while every drug sold in the U.S., whether a prescription drug or a non-prescription drug, must be proven safe and effective before it is allowed on the market, thermogenic supplements are not required to meet the same requirements.

Currently, FDA approved drugs in the U.S. are labeled to be safe and effective for the intended use. In the case of food supplements, it’s the exact opposite, dietary supplement ingredients are considered safe until proven otherwise. Manufacturers are not required to test their ingredients or pills in clinical trials, which could determine unsafe interactions with other medications.

Because these supplements are self-prescribed and not under doctor supervision, there’s also no organized system for individuals to report their side effects or bad reactions. When considering thermogenics, be aware of possible side effects. It is always a good idea to read the label.

Ask questions. A wise consumer is an informed consumer. Learning the right information can help you live a healthy life and may save you some money.

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