In 2010, Life Extension announced a new Calorie Control Weight Management Formula product. This product combines a new fiber ingredient called propolmannan with three of the ingredients from previous successful Life Extension weight loss products including Enhanced Irvingia with Calorie Control Complex and Optimized Irvingia with Phase 3 Calorie Control Complex. The new fiber ingredient is a specially processed propolmannan fiber called LuraLean. Propolmannan is similar to the well-researched fiber glucomannan.
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Calorie Control Weight Management Formula is presently sold on Life Extension’s frequent summer weight loss sale for $20 per bottle, a 60% discount off normal price. This applies even to quantity one purchases, so it’s a great opportunity to give this promising product a try before having to commit to buying four or more containers to get the usual member quantity discounts.
Calorie Control Weight Management Formula Ingredients
LuraLean Propolmannan is the main new ingredient in this recent Life Extension weight control product. Propolmannan is similar to the better known glucomannan. The LuraLean form of propolmannan is specially processed fiber that gets rid of the digestive enzymes that break it down, thereby prolonging its effect. It forms a gel in the digestive tract that slows down the absorption of calories from a meal. This reduces the postprandial (after-meal) glucose spike that often makes people hungry a while after meals.
Other ingredients from previous weight loss products include white kidney bean extract (phaseolus vulgaris extract), Irvingia gabonensis, and green tea phytosome.
The white kidney bean extract (the Phase 2 Phaseolus vulgaris extract) and Irvingia gabonensis extract (Integra-Lean) both inhibit the amylase enzyme which helps complex carbohydrates break down to simple sugars that can be absorbed. By blocking amylase, they can prevent the absorption of many calories from starches found in common foods such as breads, potatoes, and most foods made from grains like wheat, corn, and rice.
Irvingia gabonensis also helps sensitize cells to leptin and increase the production of adiponectin. Increased leptin sensitivity helps reduce appetite and remove fats stored as triglycerides from fat cells (adipocytes) so they can be metabolized for energy. Increased adiponectin helps increase insulin senstitivity, thereby helping to keep glucose levels lower. That’s especially important for people with pre-diabetes, diabetes, or metabolic syndrome. The extract also helps block the enzyme Glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase which helps convert glucose to triglycerides.
The Tea Slender green tea phytosome ingredient consists of green tea polyphenols bound to phospholipids that help improve the absorption. It helps reduce fat absorption by impeding the activity of the lipase enzyme and boosting metabolic rate without the central nervous system effects from some metabolic boosters like caffeine.
Overall, this mix of ingredients can help keep blood sugar levels down after meals and to keep fat from accumulating excessively. These are particularly important benefits for people with diabetes, fatty liver disease, and metabolic syndrome which collectively affect more than half the population in many Western nations such as the United States.
Ingredients like these aren’t just for people who are obviously overweight. Virtually everybody packs on the pounds around holidays and as they age. The “battle of the bulge” is particularly difficult for those over 30 as they also have lower metabolisms for various reasons including declining levels of hormones such as DHEA. Being able to safely shave off a pound a two a month could make the difference between being a very healthy weight or being obese in five or ten years. Given the calorie-dense nature of so many Western foods (pizza, burgers, donuts, etc.), it may be easier for many people to use a product like this with big meals than to radically overhaul their diets.
Propolmannan Research Results
Life Extension sponsored research that shows this new formula works better for weight loss in people who derived incomplete benefits from the previous products. It is believed that the LuraLean fiber is responsible for significantly increased weight loss results.
In a pilot trial on overweight individuals who had failed all other weight loss programs, those who took a low dose of propolmannan combined with three other ingredients in a powder mix before meals lost on average almost 12 pounds after eight weeks.
What makes LuraLean special is that its digestive enzymes have been removed. This allows the fiber to go through the digestive tract to capture fats and digestive bile, including a major bile constituent cholesterol, to prevent them from being absorbed into the body via the small intestines. Normal fiber products including the highly regarded glucomannan and chitosan still break down somewhat in the digestive tract and consequently release some of the fats, cholesterols, and bile bound to them before making their way out of the body.
Fiber products also slow the absorption of fats and carbohydrates, thus reducing the after-meal blood sugar and lipid spikes known as postprandial hyperglycemia and postprandial hyperlipidemia.
Even with its digestive enzymes intact, glucomannan has been found to improve blood lipids including total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. It may also be useful for reducing blood glucose levels.
Cholesterol and other lipids
Glucomannan has demonstrated statistically significant improvements in the total cholesterol of obese patients. In healthy men, 4 weeks of taking 3.9 grams of glucomannan decreased total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, triglycerides, and systolic blood pressure; notably, triglycerides dropped by 23%. Glucomannan has also been tested in children with high cholesterol in conjunction with a diet. Interestingly, greater decreases in total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein were observed in female children when compared to male children. When used in conjunction with chitosan, glucomannan decreases serum cholesterol possibly by increasing steroid excretion via the feces.
Type 2 diabetes
Glucomannan may be useful as a therapeutic adjunct for type 2 diabetes. It has been shown to improve the lipid profile and alleviate the fasting blood glucose levels of type 2 diabetics.
Chitosan is another substance used as a dietary fiber to mop up fats in the digestive tract. It and other fiber products are quite successful at mopping up extra fats released from lipase inhibitor supplements and drugs such as Alli, Orlistat, and Xenical that impeded fat digestion and absorption.
(from Wikipedia: Chitosan)
Chitosan is frequently sold in tablet form at health stores as a “fat binder”: It is supposed to have the capability to interact with lipids (fat) from the digestive system and limit their absorption in the body. Therefore, chitosan can be an effective complement to help lose weight during diet period or to stabilise one’s weight. In the 2007 Cochrane meta-analysis  which evaluated all available clinical trials performed with chitosan on the subject of weight loss, it was concluded that body weight and all parameters related to cholesterol changed in favor of chitosan compared to placebo. The mean difference in body weight was −1.7 kg (range: −2.1 to −1.3) in favor of chitosan. This change in body weight was statistically significant. There was no difference between chitosan and placebo concerning side effects. The various qualities (in terms of duration, sample size, doses, subject characteristics, type of diet, chitosan quality and characteristics, etc.) of the clinical trials performed to evaluate the effect of chitosan on body weight might account for some of the disparities observed in clinical trial results  and the subsequent critics regarding the real efficacy of chitosan. In an experimental model of the stomach and duodenum tract, chitosan has shown to interact with oil, which inhibited duodenal absorption and enhanced lipid excretion.
Propolmannan should work similarly to other fibers. The LuraLean brand in theory should work even better than most fiber products because of the special processing removing digestive enzymes. The highly viscous nature of the propolmannan fiber is also likely to be better at slowing down calorie absorption and blunting after-meal glucose/insulin spikes, too. Of course the exact results will vary from person to person as is always the case with supplements and drugs.
Calorie Control Weight Management Formula Usage Tips
These active ingredients listed above are mixed with natural blueberry and pomegranate flavors and low-calorie sweeters from stevia leaf extract. Mix a scoop of the powder with 8 to 16 ounces of water to get a drink with 15 calories and 2 grams of fiber. The usage instructions suggest consuming it 15 to 30 minutes before each of the two largest meals of the day.
One bottle is enough for 60 servings, providing a month supply at the suggested two servings per day usage.
Taste and Drinkability
I’ve tried Calorie Control Weight Management Formula myself. The taste is actually quite pleasant, enjoyable enough that if it was drink mix featuring the natural blueberry and pomegranate flavors along with the included stevia natural non-sugar sweetener then it could be a popular low-calorie (15 calories per serving) treat. You need to mix it thoroughly with a cup of water as it does not dissolve without stirring. For best results, you must drink it relatively quickly as remaining propolmannan fiber in the cup becomes sticky and clumpy after a few minutes.
After several minutes, whatever fiber remains in the cup will become a sticky glob that is harder to swallow. You’ll probably need to drink it with a small cup of water, add a bit more water and stir again, and then drink it again to get it all down without leaving significant amounts of leftover fiber sticking to the cup. This is a common issue with fiber supplements, but frankly this one is better than most.
Digestive Side Effects
If you’re mixing Calorie Control Weight Management Formula with other Life Extension weight loss products, keep in mind that the Phase 2 carbohydrate blockers can make you gassy if you consume too many of them along with a lot of carbohydrates.
I haven’t noticed any digestive upset from this product when used alone, but have in the past noticed some products containing Phase 2 complex carbohydrate blockers from multiple supplements vendors tend to produce a bloated feeling with flatulence. Since they are derived from beans which are widely reputed to have similar effect in large quantities, I’d guess this is probably the most common side effect from this particular mix of ingredients.
Life Extension has also introduced a variety of other weight loss and glucose control products with and without Phase 2 carbohydrate blockers. Check the ingredient lists when combining products and do a little experimenting to figure out just how much Phase 2 carb blocker you can tolerate with which foods without feeling overly bloated or gassy. It will vary depending upon the type of meal you are eating. In general, meals low in complex carbs are less likely to leave a lot of undigested carbs in your digestive tract for gastrointestinal bacteria to eat and produce flatulence than meals heavy in complex carbohydrates such as pasta, bread, and potatoes.
It is also possible that your digestive tract flora may effect the results. Many people claim such problems are reduced by the regular use of probiotics to help normalize the population of healthy bacteria necessary for proper digestion.
Using Fiber Products With Fat-Soluble Supplements
When using weight loss supplements and medications, it may be best to use those that don’t affect fat absorption with breakfast or small snacks and to take those that do with larger meals. This way you can concentrate your fat-soluble supplements with the smaller meals and get the most effect from the weight loss products on biggest meals without impeding uptake of the fat-soluble ingredients in your vitamins and supplements.
This suggestion is especially pertinent to fiber products such as propolmannan, glucomannan, and chitosan and to fat-blockers such as lipase inhibitors (such as Tea Slender). You don’t want to block absorption of fat soluble nutrients such as vitamins A, D, E, and K as well as omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil and flax supplements as you paid your hard-earned money for those ingredients and your health suffers if you don’t get as much of them because of a weight loss product. So you should take those supplements a couple hours or more apart from using this or other fiber products and especially strong lipase (fat digesting enzyme) blockers like Orlistat, Xenical, and Alli.
Note that although most multivitamins are tablets rather that softgels like fish oil, they contain fat-soluble vitamins, too, and it is therefore best to also take them hours apart from fiber and lipase blocker supplements.
For many, it may make the most sense to take fat-soluble nutritional supplements with breakfast and small snacks containing some fat without any fiber supplements. Reserve the fiber supplements for lunch and dinner as they tend for most people to be higher calorie meals with more fat content. Cottage cheese and cheese sticks can be good convenient snacks with high protein, low carbs, and some fat that aids in absorbing fat-soluble vitamins.
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