When you google “Grains of Paradise”, you’re confronted with a lot of random search results. Martha Stewart, sprinkled with information about cooking and spices, WebMD, and Wikipedia of course are amongst the top search engine results. Oddly enough, there is nothing about dietary supplements. While yes, grains of paradise is a spice, used in the culinary arts, much like it’s long distant cousin turmeric it is also used as a dietary supplement. Often found in supplements, as the patented ingredient Paradoxine, studies have shown that this feisty grain has some proven fat burning properties. We’re going to discuss what the research says about the benefits of grains of paradise, and how this supplement Paradoxine could help you burn some body fat.
What Is Grains Of Paradise (Paradoxine)
Grains of paradise comes from the aframonum melegueta plant. It’s an aromatic spice, that looks similar to a peppercorn. Part of the ginger species and closely related to cardamom, it has a potent black pepper like taste, with a hint of citrus and is found in swampy areas of West Africa.
As a dietary supplement, you’ll often find grains of paradise used in fat burning or weight loss supplements under the patented name Paradoxine.
Paradoxine is a standardized ethanol extract of grains of paradise. In the seed of the aframomum melegeuta, there are many bioactive compounds with similar chemical structure, such as 6-paradol, 6-gingerol, 6- shogaol, and 6-gingerdione. The proprietary matrix of pungent aromatic ketones was named Aframols. Paradoxine® is standardized to aframols.
How Does Grains Of Paradise (Paradoxine) Work, What Does Grains Of Paradise (Paradoxine) Do
In the human body there are two types of body fat, white adipose tissue (WAT) and brown adipose tissue (BAT). Studies have shown that grains of paradise, or paradoxine has a direct effect on these tissues, by initiating a thermogenic effect.
WAT and BAT have essentially antagonistic functions, meaning opposite functions biologically. WAT stores excess energy as triglycerides or body fat and BAT is specialized in the dissipation of energy through the production of heat. Higher quantities of BAT are associated with lower body weight since it helps control body fat content through thermogenesis.
In vitro studies have shown that, Afromomum meleguetta inhibits pancreatic lipase activities in a dose dependent manner. Pancreatic lipase is usually secreted by the pancreas and transferred to the duodenum to participate in the hydrolysis and digestion of fat, cholesterol esters, and fat-soluble vitamins. This mechanism makes grains of paradise a potential candidate for weight loss and obesity [R].
Research also shows that grains of paradise, structurally is similar to capsaicin, a bioactive alkaloid found in hot peppers.
The effects of capsaicin and capsinoids are attenuated in animal studies, that lack the transient receptor potential vanilloid (TRPV1) a capsaicin receptor. This suggests that the thermic effect and fat reducing effects of capsaicin are elicited by activation of the pathway of TRPV1, the sympathetic nervous system and BAT. Grains of paradise shares important structural features, with capsaicin, namely a vanilloid moiety. Thus, it is speculated that grains of paradise will elevate energy expenditure and a consequent reduction of body fat.
Grains Of Paradise (Paradoxine) Benefits
Increased Thermogenesis And Decreased Body Fat
Grains of paradise, increases the body’s thermic effect. Thermogenesis refers to the process of heat generation, in relation to metabolism and the heat expended in direct response to the food you eat. The heat your body burns is measured in calories. The greater the thermogenic effect of your body, the high number of calories you’ll expend [R].
Thermogenics can support weight loss goals, and help you optimize your results when taken consistently in lieu of a healthy diet and exercise program. An increase of thermogenesis leads to an increase in energy expenditure, which could help with weight loss.
Grains of paradise contains phenolic compounds such as paradols, shogaols and gingerols, which show great thermogenic effect.
A double blind-randomized controlled trial investigated the thermogenic effects of grains of paradise extract in 70 obese patients. 250mg was administered, twice daily for twelve weeks. The primary efficacy endpoints included energy expenditure (indirect calorimetry), body composition (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA)) and fat distribution (computed tomography (CT scan)), analyzed at baseline and after 12 weeks of treatment.
The results found that grains of paradise extract, significantly increased thermogenesis and energy expenditure by 18.5%, improved body composition, increased BMI, and produced a significant decrease in body fat and total visceral fat [R].
Grains Of Paradise Dosage
Studies indicate that the therapeutic dose to initiate thermogenic effect, is around 500mg of extract per day.
Grains Of Paradise Side Effects
Unfortunately, there is not enough clinical research documenting the side effects of grains of paradise, to have any definitive conclusions. Studies have shown that similar to ginger and turmeric, it is very safe and well tolerated, at prescribed doses.
Grains Of Paradise (Paradoxine): Takeaway
Preliminary studies, as well as the etiology and molecular structure of grains of paradise, show promising thermogenic effects for grains of paradise as a potential weight loss aid. However, scientific evidence is considerably lacking to support the purported benefits. Currently there are only 3 human clinical trials, investigating the effects of paradoxine or grains of paradise extract. More research is needed to definitely conclude, that it does possess significant fat burning effects.
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