A blackcurrant-extract supplement can burn as much fat as four weeks of regular exercise, new research suggests.
When taken twice a day for just one week, the vitamin increases fat burning by an average of 27 percent, with one study participant achieving a rise of 55 percent.
Known as CurraNZ, the supplement is made from New Zealand blackcurrants and costs £21.75 for a pack of 30.
The berries contain nutrients, called polyphenols, which are thought to encourage fat burning during exercise by increasing blood flow, according to the researchers.
Study author Dr. Sam Shepherd, from Liverpool John Moores University, said: ‘Seven days is not a very long time to see such big changes.
‘Anything above 20 percent is typically what we expect to see with three-to-four weeks of regular endurance exercise training.’
Supplement causes 21% fat-burning increase in men
This follows previous research that found the same supplement increases fat burning by around 21 percent in active men.
Dr. Shepherd said: ‘It was positive to see that the effects of blackcurrants on fat burning extend to females, especially since women already have a greater reliance on fat as a fuel compared to men.’
The researchers believe their findings may also benefit people with obesity or type 2 diabetes.
Dr. Shepherd said: ‘Unhealthy people have a reduced capacity for fat burning compared to healthy people and therefore, in theory, the supplement could potentially exert at least a similar or greater effect in unhealthy individuals.’
Professor Mark Willems, from the University of Chichester, who has previously been involved in CurraNZ studies, said: ‘It is great to know that there are now observations of enhanced exercise-induced fat oxidation by New Zealand blackcurrant extract in endurance-trained women and men.
‘These high-impact findings reinforce the unprecedented effect blackcurrant is having on fat oxidation, which is an exciting development in unlocking the potential of New Zealand blackcurrant extract for all from athletes to unhealthy people.’
The findings were published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology.
How the research was carried out
The researchers analyzed 16 active women who took either 600mg of CurraNZ or a placebo twice a day for a week.
The women then cycled for two hours, with blood samples being taken every 15 minutes, as well as at the beginning of the study, via a cannula.
Blood samples were taken to determine the women’s fat and carbohydrate levels.
Herbal supplement boosts memory, strength, and speech in stroke survivors
This comes after research released last December suggested an over-the-counter supplement found on the High Street boosts memory, muscle strength and speech in stroke survivors.
The herbal supplement ginkgo biloba, which is thought to relieve depression and headaches, prevents cell death in the brain by improving its blood flow, previous studies suggest.
When taken with aspirin, which prevents further clots by thinning the blood, ginkgo biloba also improves stroke sufferers’ attention, reflexes and language skills in as little as 12 weeks, the new research adds.
Study author Dr. Yun Xu from Nanjing University in China said: ‘In the UK, Europe, Canada and the USA, Ginkgo biloba extract is a commercially available food supplement available without a prescription.
‘The study demonstrated patients with stroke who received ginkgo biloba extract manifested better memory function, executive functions, neurological function and daily life.’
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