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Tetrazene : The Glycemic Optimizing Repartitioning Supplement

Posted in: Articles by ProSource, Supplement Articles, BioQuest: Tetrazene, Superfeature Articles
By Richard B. Kreider PhD, FACSM | Dec 4, 2007

Barbara Ross' Story Introduction

Tetrazene™  is a scientifically-formulated dietary supplement that contains ingredients reported to promote weight loss and increase metabolism. While it is primarily considered to be a weight loss supplement, it contains glucomannan which is a dietary fiber that research has shown can help control blood sugar by lowering the glycemic response to ingesting a meal as well as lower blood lipid levels. This article discusses the powerful weight-loss power and health benefits of this amazing super fiber.

What is KGM™?

KGM (Konjac Glucomannan) is a polysaccharide dietary fiber that primarily comes from the Amorphophallus konjac plant, a member of the Araceae family found in east Asia [1]. It is a highly soluble dietary fiber that forms a gel. It has been used for a variety of dietary and medicinal purposes for over 1,000 years.? High fiber diets have been long suggested as an effective means to promote weight loss by helping individuals feel full, slow digestion, and promote appetite control. Both Tetrazene™ KGM-90 and the thermogenic charged Tetrazene ES-50 are unique in that they contain the purest source of KGM (over 90% functional) available in dietary supplements (other glucomannan containing supplements and/or foods only typically contain 20-60% functional extract). The theoretical rationale behind KGM as a weight loss supplement is that ingesting it prior to eating would increase feelings of fullness (satiety), control appetite, and thereby lead to less food intake and weight loss over time. In terms of health benefits, consuming KGM with food slows digestion rates allowing for a more stable release of sugar into the blood. In other words, it lowers the glycemic index of a meal. This can allow people to ingest moderate to high glycemic foods without the normal glucose and insulin response. Soluble fibers such as glucomannan have also been reported to support lower total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein (LDL) levels. Consequently, this type of fiber may not only aid in weight management but also help support healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Kris Gethin's Story
*These results not typical

Benefits of Dietary Intake of KGM

Research since the mid 1970s has indicated that dietary supplementation of KGM can promote impressive weight loss and/or improve markers of health. For example, Sugigyama and Mihara [2] reported in a 1976 patent filing that 15 weeks of supplementation of a konjac mannan extract (1 gram/day) promoted a 10 kg weight loss in men and women. The authors concluded that dietary supplementation of a konjac mannan extract is useful medicinally since it has been found to be effective in alleviating constipation and reducing weight in human beings. In 1979, Doi and colleagues [3] reported that three months of glucomannan supplementation (3.6 or 7.2 grams/day) in diabetics promoted an 11% decrease in total cholesterol within the first 20 days of the study. In 1984, Walsh and colleagues [4] evaluated the effects of ingesting 1 gram of KGM fiber one hour prior to breakfast, lunch and dinner for 8-weeks on weight loss in 20 obese patients. After 8-weeks of supplementation, the researchers reported that subjects in the glucomannan group lost 5.5 lbs of body weight and decreased LDL cholesterol while subjects taking the placebo gained 1.5 lbs of body weight and experienced a slight increase in cholesterol. The researchers concluded results support the use of glucomannan food supplement for the purpose of weight reduction and reducing cholesterol ?

In 1988, Reffo and coworkers [5] evaluated the effects of KGM supplementation weight loss and blood lipids in a group of patients with high blood pressure. Thirty one subjects ingested 1 gram of KGM fiber or a placebo one hour prior to three daily meals for 4-weeks. Subjects were randomized into a KGM plus no-diet restriction group, a KGM and energy restricted diet (1,000 - 1,800 kcals/day), or a placebo with no dietary restriction group. Body weight, blood lipid profiles, blood pressure, and safety measures were taken prior to and following four weeks of supplementation. Results revealed that subjects taking KGM lost 3.0 lbs and 5.3 lbs in the no calorie restricted and calorie restricted groups, respectively, while no changes were seen in the placebo group. In addition, triglycerides and total cholesterol levels were reduced. The researchers concluded "A dietary supplement, such as glucomannan, is therefore useful as a natural obstacle to nutrient intake in maintaining energy balance and in management of overweight."

In 1989, Biancardi and associates [6] evaluated the effects of ingesting 1.5 grams of KGM prior to breakfast and dinner (3 grams/day) on weight loss in 20 overweight patients with osteoarthritis. Subjects were divided into two groups and were randomly assigned to ingest a placebo or KGM for 8-weeks. Subjects then replicated the study using the alternate supplement for another 8-weeks in a crossover experimental design. Results revealed that subjects ingesting KGM lost 7.4 lbs when ingesting KGM in the first part of the study and that the weight loss was maintained when ingesting the placebo in the latter half of the study. Similarly, subjects taking the placebo first observed no change in weight until they started taking KGM and then observed a 5.7 lbs weight loss. Overall, the mean amount of weight lost following KGM supplementation was 8.2 lbs over the 8-week period. The researchers concluded that results "confirm that glucomannan is suitable for treating overweight patients."

In 1992, Vita and colleagues [7] evaluated the effects of KGM supplementation (1.33 grams taken before meals for a total of 4 grams/day) for 12-weeks in overweight patients following a low calorie diet. Results revealed that subjects supplementing their diet with KGM had a more significant weight loss in relation to the fatty mass alone, an overall improvement in lipid status and carbohydrate tolerance, and a greater adherence to the diet in the absence of any relevant side effects. The authors concluded "Due to the marked ability to satiate patients and the positive metabolic effects, glucomannan diet supplements have been found to be particularly efficacious and well tolerated even in the long-term treatment of severe obesity." Similarly, in 1995 Cairella and Marchini [8] evaluated the effects of KGM supplementation in patients undergoing 60-days of diet therapy. The researchers reported that in comparison to a placebo, body weight, blood glucose, total cholesterol, and ratings of hunger and satiety were improved more favorably in comparison to diet alone.

In 1996, Pombo et al [9] reported that subjects ingesting 1 gram of KGM prior to breakfast and lunch while maintaining a 2,000 kcal/day diet for 4-weeks lost a similar amount of weight (10.4 lbs) as subjects following a 1,200 kcal/day diet (10.7 lbs). The researchers concluded that "caloric restriction is not the only alternative in obesity dietary treatment." Some dietary fibers, in this case glucomannan, are a useful element, not only in the maintenance phase, but also in the reduction In 1999, Vusken et al [10] reported that providing biscuits enriched with KGM (0.7 grams/100 kcal for a total of 8-12 grams/day of KGM) during dieting significantly reduced the total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol ratio by 10% in diabetic patients in comparison to subjects given wheat bran fiber biscuits.

Lou Salerno's Story
*These results not typical

In 2003, Chen and colleagues [12] reported that in comparison to a placebo, KGM supplementation (1.2 to 3.6 grams/day for 28-days) in diabetic subjects significantly reduced total cholesterol (-11.1%), LDL cholesterol (-20.7%), the ratio of total cholesterol to high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (-15.6%), Apo-lipoprotein B (-12.9%), and fasting glucose (-23.2%). Similarly, Woodgate and Conquer [13] reported that providing a supplement containing KGM, chitosan, fenugreek, Gymnema sylvestre, and vitamin C for 6-weeks to 24 obese subjects promoted a significant reduction in weight (-5.1 versus 0 lbs), percentage of body fat (-1.1 versus +0.2 %), fat mass (-4.4 versus +0.4 lbs), abdominal circumference (-4.5 versus -0.7 cm), waist circumference (-4.1 versus 0.1 cm), and hip circumference (-2.9 versus +0.6 cm). While results can not be attributed to KGM alone, these findings support the theory that adding KGM to a dietary supplement can promote weight loss.

In 2005, Martino and coworkers [14] investigated the effects of adding KGM to the diets of children with high cholesterol following the Step-One-Diet. In the study, 40 children with high cholesterol levels followed a standard diet for 8-weeks. Once this was completed, all subjects were prescribed to follow the Step-One-Diet. Additionally, subjects were randomly assigned to the diet only or to ingest KGM in addition to the diet for 8-week. Results revealed that subjects ingesting KGM in addition to the diet observed significantly greater reductions in total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein (LDL). Additionally, greater reductions were observed in females compared to male subjects in changes in total cholesterol (-24% vs. -9%) and LDL-C (-30% vs. -9%). The researchers concluded that "glucomannan may represent a rationale adjunct to diet therapy in primary prevention in high risk hypercholesterolemic children". While this research is certainly impressive, please note that children should not use dietary supplements unless under the supervision of a physician.

Finally, in 2006 Yoshida and colleagues [15] evaluated whether supplements containing plant sterols and/or KGM would improve lipid profiles and markers of cholesterol synthesis in 16 subjects with mildly elevated cholesterol levels and type II diabetes compared to 18 control subjects. Subjects participated in four 21-day supplementation periods separated by a 28-day washout period. Subjects were randomly assigned in a crossover manner 1.8 grams/day of plant sterols, 10 grams/day of KGM, a combination of plant sterols and KGM, and placebo provided in the form of energy bars. Results revealed that total cholesterol levels were significantly lowered after combination treatment in comparison to control values. LDL cholesterol concentrations were decreased after KGM and the combined treatment. Moreover, plasma lathosterol concentration (which is an index of cholesterol synthesis) was lowered after the combination treatment compared to the plant sterol treatment. The researchers concluded that KGM and a combination of KGM and plant sterols substantially improves plasma LDL cholesterol concentrations.

Lowering the Glycemic Index of Meals

The glycemic index (GI) measures the rate of absorption and digestion of carbohydrates and their effect on blood sugar levels. When you consume a high GI food, blood glucose and insulin levels increase promoting storage of the glucose into the liver and muscle [16]. For people trying to lose weight and/or promote health, it makes sense to consume low GI carbohydrates in the diet instead of high GI carbohydrates [16-18]. In this regard, high GI diets have been associated with obesity, diabetes, and heart disease [17]. Short-term intervention trials suggest that simply replacing high GI foods with low GI foods promotes weight loss and improves insulin sensitivity [19-21]. For this reason, a growing number of obesity researchers recommend that people consume a moderate to high carbohydrate diet consisting primarily of low GI foods [18, 19, 22-25]. While this seems to be sound advice, one of the challenges of following a low GI diet is that these diets can be rather bland and have limited choices of carbohydrate. It is also difficult to eat and follow a GI diet. Consequently, some have suggested that KGM can be utilized in conjunction with higher GI foods in order to minimize the glycemic response of ingesting the food. KGM delays digestion of food from the stomach and thereby reduces the natural increases in blood glucose and insulin that occur after eating (i.e., postprandially). In other words, it lowers the GI of a meal. This means you can ingest higher GI foods without the same effect on blood glucose levels. As such, KGM may in effect act as a natural "repartitioning" agent because it can promote fat-loss while consuming a substantial amount of calories (eg as observed in Pombo, et al study mentioned above).

There are several studies that support the GI lowering concept. Hoopman et al [27] reported that adding KGM (2.6 and 5.2 grams) to a carbohydrate rich breakfast in patients with previous gastric surgery suffering from postprandial hypoglycemia improved in a dose dependently manner reactive hypoglycemia and postprandial increases in insulin levels. The researchers concluded that "small amounts of glucomannan may be beneficial to patients with reactive postprandial hypoglycaemia" For this reason, KGM supplementation has been studied as a potential means to help control blood sugar particularly in diabetics. Additionally, since changes in blood sugar have been correlated with appetite and cravings for carbohydrate, KGM supplementation has also been studied to evaluate the effects on hunger, appetite, and cravings for carbohydrate foods. Several studies have reported that KGM supplementation reduces blood glucose [3, 8, 12] and decreases perceptions of hunger/appetite [5, 7, 8]. There is also evidence that KGM may decrease the appetitite hormone cholecystokin [11, 26]. So what does all this mean? If you are trying to follow a low GI diet in order to control blood sugar levels and/or promote weight loss, ingesting glucomannan before you eat can slow digestion and allow you to enjoy more moderate or high GI foods without the negative impact.

Virginia Kritsikokas' Story
*These results not typical

Bottom Line
Every once in a while a scientifically-based supplement comes along that holds real promise. Tetrazene™ contains the highest purity glucomannan (93% functional extract) available in dietary supplements. KGM has been reported in numerous clinical trials to increase feelings of fullness, reduce appetite, slow digestion, lower the GI of a meal, promote weight loss, and support reduced blood lipids. For those interested in managing weight and watching their blood sugar levels, adding glucomannan to the diet can be a real help [28, 29] .

�© ProSource 2007. All rights reserved. Healthy weight management and substantial weight loss are best achieved by making lifestyle changes, such as lowering caloric intake and increasing exercise activity. Clinical evidence indicates that when used in combination with a sensible diet and exercise, the key ingredients in Tetrazene can support your weight loss program. Consult a health care professional before beginning any weight-loss program. Read and follow all label instructions before using. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Consequently, KGM appears to be particularly useful for those on a bodybuilding diet which typically consists of substantial caloric intake including many protein sources containing high amounts of cholesterol such as red meat, as well as significant consumption of higher GI carbs. For this reason, some bodybuilders consider it a powerful "repartitioning agent" since it may allow for the higher caloric consumption necessary to build muscle while helping to promote simultaneous reductions in bodyfat thanks in part to its GI lowering effect. It's not surprising that Tetrazene has become very popular among many hardcore bodybuilders. The specific actions of KGM precisely address many of the key concerns involved with following an extreme bodybuilding diet. Clearly, Tetrazene is a supplement that puts the power of real science to work for you. There are few, if any, products in this category that have this level of research behind them.

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Disclaimer: All rights reserved. Healthy weight management and substantial weight loss are best achieved by making lifestyle changes, such as lowering caloric intake and increasing exercise activity. Clinical evidence indicates that when used in combination with a sensible diet and exercise, the key ingredients in this product can support your weight loss program. Consult a health care professional before beginning any weight-loss program. Read and follow all label instructions before using. Endorsers used this product in conjunction with diet and exercise and were remunerated for their appearance. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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