What is a lipotropic?

Lipotropic is that substance which promotes hepatic metabolism of lipids. The term lipotropic factor It was first used in 1935 and was defined as a substance that prevents or reduces excessive accumulation of fat in the liver. The human body has its own substances with lipotropic action, such as hillthe inositol and some related substances and their precursors.

Nutritional supplements with lipotropic substances have become very popular in weight control diets. In some medical centers they are also administered as injectables. Lipotropic supplements primarily use methionine, choline, inositol, and betaine, often in combination with vitamins B6 and B12.

How do lipotropics work?

The liver metabolizes fat for its mobilization to the rest of the body for consumption. When there is a high level of fat in the body, the metabolism of fat slows down in relation to the amount of fat that arrives. This can produce a progressive accumulation of gauze in the liver which in turn can lead to more serious health consequences such as an increased risk of cirrhosis.

Lipotropics act by promoting the metabolism of fats in the liver, reducing their accumulation, helping in the processing of fat-soluble nutrients and also in the metabolism of glucose and glycogen. The four main lipotropics used in supplements are methionine, choline, inositol, and betaine:

  • methionine: essential amino acid that has an estrogen-inactivating effect, useful in fat metabolism since estrogen reduces the flow of bile from the liver. Methionine also affects liver levels of glutathione, an antioxidant that is very important in protecting against free radicals and reactive oxygen species.
  • Hill: essential in lipid metabolism. Helps in the emulsification of cholesterol in the blood. In combination with inositol it promotes the mobilization and use of fat.
  • inositol: participates in the metabolism of lipids and helps in their transport through the bloodstream.
  • betaine: involved in biochemical processes of transfer of methyl groups (choline is a methyl donor) and influences hormones that regulate growth and metabolism, resulting in increased protein synthesis and lipid metabolism.

Are they effective for weight loss?

Lipotropic supplements are used in diets and slimming programs. Nevertheless, its effectiveness is unclear. From MedicineNet, they maintain that there is not a single nutritional supplement based on lipotropics that has shown an effect of clinically significant weight loss in controlled studies or maintenance of weight loss.

Studies can be found with lipotropic compounds such as caffeine, ephedrine and amphetamine-like substances that have shown effectiveness in weight loss, but these preparations are not approved in most countries as free-use nutritional supplements due to health risks involving.

In addition to being of questionable effectiveness, lipotropic supplements can cause some side effects, mainly diarrhea and gastrointestinal discomfort. Serious side effects can be caused by allergic reactions to some of the components of the preparations. For all this, it is important to consult a specialized nutritionist or other qualified health professional before using this type of supplement.

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