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 per cent, with one study participant achieving a rise of 55 per cent.
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 per cent is typically what we expect to see with three-to-four weeks of regular endurance exercise training.’
Blackcurrant-extract supplement boosts fat burning by as much as four weeks of exercise
WHAT SIZE BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND DINNER IS BEST FOR WEIGHT LOSS?
A blow out breakfast, ‘average’ lunch and small dinner may be the best combination for those suffering from diabetes or obesity, research suggested in March 2018.
Obese diabetes patients following such a diet lose 11lbs (5kg) over three months compared to a 3lb (1.4kg) weight gain for those eating the traditionally recommended weight-loss plan of six small meals a day, a study found.
Sticking to just three meals a day of varying sizes also reduces diabetics’ glucose levels and insulin requirements, as well as their hunger and carbohydrate cravings, the research adds.
Lead author Dr Daniela Jakubowicz, from Tel Aviv University, said: ‘The hour of the day – when you eat and how frequently you eat – is more important than what you eat and how many calories you eat.
‘Our body metabolism changes throughout the day.
‘A slice of bread consumed at breakfast leads to a lower glucose response and is less fattening than an identical slice of bread consumed in the evening.’
Results further suggest fasting glucose levels decrease by 54 mg/dl (from 161 to 107) in those eating three meals a day group compared to only 23 mg/dl (from 164 to 141) in those consuming six.
Healthy levels are considered to be less than 108 mg/dl.
Having breakfast as the main meal of the day also significantly reduces the need for insulin by -20.5 units/day (from 54.7 to 34.8) compared to those spread out throughout the day, which requires people have 2.2 more units a day (from 67.8 to 70).
Overall amounts of glucose in the blood are also lower just 14 days after adopting a three meal a day eating plan.
Supplement causes 21% fat-burning increase in men
This follows previous research that found the same supplement increases fat burning by around 21 per cent 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 analysed 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.
When taken twice a day for just one week, the supplement increases fat burning by an average of 27 per cent, with one study participant achieving a rise of 55 per cent (stock)