Medactiv™

the hero of BalaFive™

 

Brief Description

MedActiv™ is a proprietary formula that is designated for the dietary management of obesity and metabolic disorder. MedActiv™ includes numerous ingredients, which target the anatomical systems that influence components of eating behaviors, while also helping manage conditions that are often present and may contribute to unhealthy dietary habits. MedActiv™ is a blend of numerous ingredients that have been subject to studies for the assessment of their efficacy, while also presenting evidence that any potential side effects are minimal and that there are no known safety risks.

Recent research indicates that the onset of obesity is closely linked to uncontrolled urges to overeat and cravings for unhealthy foods that are high in fat, sugar and carbohydrates that may be triggered by low levels of key neurotransmitters and hormones, most prominently dopamine and serotonin, that are commonly known as key components of hunger and mood.1,2

MedActiv™ is comprised of ingredients that are clinically proven to enhance serotonin and dopamine levels to help control cravings.
The onset of obesity has now been linked to numerous disease states as either causal factors, related symptoms or both. The ingredients that comprise the MedActiv™ formulation have been subject to numerous studies that demonstrate substantial efficacy in the management of the symptoms and causes of these related disease states, most prominently, anxiety, stress and depression.

Obesity

Obesity is a chronic disease characterized by deposition of excess fat in adipose cells, reflecting the loss of the ability to synchronize the amount of energy (calories) available from fat stores with energy available from food ingested.

There are numerous causes of obesity. A disruption in the homeostatic mechanisms that regulate energy balance through appetite and satiety cues is a common feature and can be triggered by various elements of an individual’s physiology.3
Obesity is defined as a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health leading to a reduced life expectancy due to increased health problems. People are considered obese when their body mass index (BMI), a measurement obtained by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by the square of the person’s height in meters, exceeds 30 kg/m2.3

Current Therapies

Traditional approaches for appetite control have proven to be unsuccessful in changing eating behavior. Many of the proposed treatments, particularly pharmaceutical agents (some have been removed from the market), have had significant side effects, including death and serious heart valve disease, while also presenting side effects that lead to a lack of compliance. 4
Additional attempts for, such as supplements for appetite control, often fail due to being single purpose, in that they only target one of several anatomical causal factors, while also failing to address recent research that demonstrates that eating behaviors are often driven by uncontrolled cravings than be influenced by metabolic deficiencies.

Epidemiology

In the United States, obesity is estimated to cause 111,909 to 365,000 deaths per year, while one million (7.7%) deaths per year in Europe are attributed to excess weight. On average, obesity reduces life expectancy by six to seven years. Further delineating, a BMI of 30–35 kg/m2 reduces life expectancy by two to four years, while morbid obesity (BMI > 40 kg/m2) reduces life expectancy by ten years.

More than one‐third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are currently considered to be obese and the prevalence of obesity in the United States continues to increase, with more than 85% of adults projected to be overweight or obese by 2030. Health care costs associated with obesity currently comprise almost 10% of national health care expenditures and are projected to increase to 15% over the next 15 years.5
Related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, which are some of the leading causes of preventable death.
Obesity affects some groups more than others. Non‐Hispanic blacks have the highest age‐adjusted rates of obesity (47.8%) followed by Hispanics (42.5%), non‐Hispanic whites (32.6%), and non‐Hispanic Asians (10.8%)
Obesity is higher among middle age adults, 40‐59 years old (39.5%) than among younger adults, age 20‐39 (30.3%) or adults over 60 or above (35.4%) adults.
Socioeconomic status varies within ethnicities, with some having more obesity among people with higher incomes, while others report higher rates among sectors with lower incomes.6,7

Anatomical Components of Eating

Obesity is most commonly considered the result of a combination of excessive food intake, lack of physical activity, and genetic susceptibility, while less common causes include genetic disorders, endocrine disorders, medications, and psychiatric illness. While societal and environmental factors are accepted as causal, recent research indicates that neurological and biological changes are key components of excessive weight gain.8
Expansive research has covered the numerous anatomical and behavioral aspects of obesity. All of the anatomical systems that are involved in the act of food intake are also a component of the choice of food that is ingested and the frequency and volume of meals. The act of securing and ingesting food, while assumed to be simple, is instead a complicated system that includes numerous interconnected anatomical, behavioral, environmental cues and systems that can be exceedingly difficult to manage.

MedActiv™ is a formulation that is comprised of ingredients that address numerous anatomical systems, including the gut, metabolic functions, fat cell formation, endocrine systems and neurotransmitters levels in the brain that are known to influence eating behaviors..

Causes, Risk Factors, and Associated Disorders

Recent studies support that the cravings that are experienced by individuals suffering from obesity and/or metabolic syndrome are, indeed, uncontrollable, and are no different than any other compulsive or addictive behaviors.9
While the systems that are involved are quite complicated, there is compelling evidence that unhealthy consumption of food in high volume stimulates dopamine production, which is commonly referred to as the “pleasure” hormone.

Studies now indicate that once people become used to bursts of dopamine that they will continue to pursue behaviors to replicate that feeling. The studies below offer clear evidence that individuals will not only eat an increased volume of food, but also choose foods that are especially high in sugar, fat and carbohydrates to trigger increased levels of dopamine.10

Initial studies with animals concluded that highly processed foods – or those with added fat or refined carbohydrates, such as white flour and sugar – could trigger addictive‐like eating behavior, in that, once the animal subjects developed a desire for foods high in sugar, fat and carbohydrates, they were willing to withstand painful electric shocks to maintain that food choice as opposed to regular food.11
Two subsequent studies conducted at the University of Michigan were recently completed and confirmed a similar phenomenon to be present in humans. They found that highly processed foods such as pizza, chocolate, potato chips and French fries are among the most addictive of any available food choices and that unprocessed foods, such as fish or vegetables, are not connected to addictive eating habits.12
The studies focused on “highly processed” foods. The specific combinations of fat, carbohydrates and sugars in foods that are defined as highly processed are unique in that they never occur naturally.13
These results are consistent with previous studies that indicated increased excitatory brain activity not only when subjects ingested highly processed foods, but also when subjects were merely shown pictures of these so‐called “comfort” foods.14
The term “food addiction,” as referenced in the studies, is appropriate as it shares common behavioral attributes with other addictive disorders, for reasons both behavioral and physiological.15,16
A food addiction scale developed at Yale, based on standard testing queries that are consistent with commonly accepted psychological testing standards, was utilized in one of the University of Michigan studies. The results were consistent with other addictive behaviors, including, “loss of control over consumption, continued use despite negative consequences, and an inability to cut down despite the desire to do so.” Addictive‐like eating has also been associated with increased impulsivity and emotional reactivity.17
Of specific relevance to MedActiv™ is the role of dopamine increases due to consumption of highly processed foods, in addition to its contribution to reward and motivational aspects of eating behavior, which can contribute to overeating. Specific dopaminergic receptors that mediate the acquisition and expression of conditioned food preferences are activated by ghrelin and inhibited by leptin and insulin.18

MedActiv™ has ingredients that are clinically proven to increase dopamine levels and limit insulin spiking to inhibit uncontrolled cravings for highly processed foods and/or the desire to overeat. This action has been borne out in numerous studies that have demonstrated that the ingredients in MedActiv™ can enhance satiety (feeling full), while limiting snacking behaviors and have resulted in subjects reducing their weight.

Stress Eating

There is a clear relationship between numerous disease states that are often present in people that suffer from obesity and metabolic syndrome, with stress and depression being the most common, either as a symptom or causal factor, or in many cases, both. A primary component is what is referred to as “stress eating”, which can encompass eating behaviors that may be rooted in stress, anxiety and/or depression.19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30
Serotonin levels are closely linked to depression and anxiety, which is why serotonin is often referred to as the “calming” hormone. The same activity that is aimed at weight reduction and dieting, can have a contrary result as dieting is known to increase stress, which leads to a stress-related increase in eating.19,20,21
The link between depression and obesity can be either causal or symptomatic, or both. A review of 15 studies indicate that obese people have a 58% higher risk of being depressed, but also indicate that people that are obese have a 55% of people that are obese. In other words, depression can lead to obesity or obesity can lead to depression. This certainly indicates that an attempt at managing obesity will have a more successful outcome if the symptoms of depression are effectively mitigated.31
Unfortunately, many of the drugs that are prescribed for depression are also known to cause substantial weight gain, so alternatives that do not have this side effect would be optimal.32
Stressed people often eat to temporarily alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression. This eating can often result in weight gain, guilt, and renewed dieting—all stressors that perpetuate the cycle.19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,30

Diet, stress, eating and further stress is a common scenario. This is referred to as stress-induced reactional hyperphagia, which is defined as an abnormal increased appetite for consumption of food due to stress.33

The restrictions of dieting often generate stress, anxiety, and depression. In some people, the resultant changes in neurotransmitters and hormones create an overwhelming impulse to seek out what scientists call ʺhighly palatableʺ or “comfort foods.” Much like the elements that comprise the aforementioned “food addiction”, this is an additional component that leads to both an overconsumption of food in addition to the desire for unhealthy foods.19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,34

Additionally, stress elevates cortisol levels (common in people with depression) and may alter substances in fat cells, which result in fat accumulation, especially in the belly, which is a common element of metabolic disorder.35

Stress activates the entire HPA (hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal) axis, which is regulated by serotonin.36,37 Serotonin is strongly related to depression, anxiety and mood and an increase in serotonin may well ameliorate the symptoms.38
Stress increases levels of glucocorticoids, which diminish the transport efficiency of serotonin, in turn, lowering serotonin activity and negatively affecting both mood and appetite—promoting serotonin activity would be a natural way to counter this transport effect and favorably modulate both mood and appetite.33

The ingredients in MedActiv™ have been shown to increase serotonin levels to mitigate any symptoms that are associated with low levels of serotonin, thereby helping alleviate symptoms of depression and mitigate the development of stress or depression-related cycles of overconsumption of food and/or cravings for unhealthy comfort foods.

Justification As A Medical Food

The ingredients in MedActiv™ are clinically proven to influence hormones and/or neurotransmitters, which have been shown to contribute to obesity and metabolic syndrome.
As outlined above, people who overeat and suffer from obesity, often have a metabolic deficiency. As detailed in the aforementioned studies, these individuals have low levels of key hormones, such as dopamine, which triggers overeating and/or uncontrolled cravings for unhealthy foods, or serotonin, which can be a component of symptoms of depression and/or anxiety, which can result in stress eating.1,2
MedActiv™ helps manage these conditions by including ingredients that are clinically proven to affect anatomical functions or neurotransmitters that are known to contribute to obesity and/or associated disease states.

There are studies that support MedActiv™'s influence on hormones and neurotransmitters, in addition to modification of eating behaviors, enhancing weight loss, reducing the symptoms of depression or enhancing performance when placed in stressful environments.

For example, clinical studies demonstrate that Crocus sativus, a primary ingredient in MedActiv™, which is derived from a genus of a specific saffron plant, is proven to raise both serotonin and dopamine levels.
As overeating or consuming unhealthy foods dramatically increases dopamine levels, it has been demonstrated that people often engage in these activities to enhance dopamine levels. It is theorized that by enhancing dopamine levels, these uncontrolled cravings can be limited.1,2,39,40
Clinical evidence (see below) confirms that the administration of Crocus sativus can curtail snacking episodes and enhance satiety, thereby supporting this contention. Additionally, the improved serotonin levels can be linked to the relief of many of the symptoms of anxiety and depression that are often linked to overeating due to stress.41,42
This same cause and affect has been demonstrated for many of the ingredients of MedActiv™ as illustrated in Table 1. The results of numerous studies relevant to disease states that are commonly associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome are highlighted in the ingredient summaries below, in addition to summarizing the mechanism of action relevant to each ingredient

Ingredients Not Available in Traditional Diet

While the ingredients are naturally occurring, they could not be consumed in the amounts and/or combination that would be comparable to the MedActiv™ formulation.
For example, green tea has been widely accepted as having an affect on satiety (feeling full), but it would have to be consumed in amounts that would not be sustainable to have a comparable result while also supplying a considerable amount of caffeine. MedActiv™ isolates L‐theanine, which is deemed to be the component of green tea that is most responsible for increasing dopamine and serotonin production and is considered to be the key element that enhances mood and eases symptoms of anxiety.43
Additionally, 5‐HTP, which may enhance serotonin levels, occurs naturally in only two places, the human body, and the seeds of the Griffonia simplicifolia, a West African medicinal plant, which would not be readily available in a traditional diet.44,45,46,47
The ingredients of MedActiv™ are either isolates or not available in therapeutic levels from a traditional diet.

Ingredient Attributes

The ingredients in MedActiv™ have been shown to help manage symptoms associated with obesity and metabolic disorder, while also addressing other conditions that are commonly associated, including pain, energy levels, sleep disorders and focus. By helping manage these other related health issues a person can more easily participate in calorie-burning activities.

The following capsules illustrate the various outcomes of studies relevant to the ingredients in MedActiv™. There is certainly overlap in the symptoms or causes that may be affected, which can be an attribute as they may have different mechanisms of action. Additionally, the ingredients in MedActiv™ are in units that most commonly mirror the therapeutic levels that they are subjected to in studies. MedActiv™ is comprised of ingredients in the amounts that offer optimal efficacy, yet have minimal or no side effects or safety warnings.
Summary Table 1 follows ingredients description and study capsules:

Saffron Extract (Crocus sativus)

• Studies indicate Crocus sativus can reduce snacking episodes by 55%.41,42 • Crocus sativus can increase satiety.41,42 • Has been demonstrated to be a viable alternative to anti-depressants.48
The effects of Crocus sativus on the control of food intake are mediated by the active components crocin and safranal.49 Both components regulate neurotransmitter concentrations at the synaptic binding sites of the monoaminergic neurons that relay signals regarding energy state from the peripheral tissues to the brain.50
Crocin is a dopamine reuptake inhibitor, which preserves the intensity of appetite‐stimulating signals of an energy deficit originating in the gastrointestinal tract and adipose tissue.41,42
Safranal functions in a complementary manner as a serotonin reuptake inhibitor, which preserves serotonin concentrations at postsynaptic serotoninergic binding sites to preserve the strength of satiety‐promoting signals in the gastrointestinal tract and adipose tissue that reflect increased energy availability. As food intake is increased during a meal, dopamine activity diminishes as serotonergic activity increases so that satiety signals begin to dominate appetite signals and a feeling of fullness develops.51

Clinical Studies

Weight Management

Studies demonstrate that Crocus sativus extract can reduce the incidence of snacking by overweight women.41,42

One key study was comprised of 60 overweight women that were otherwise considered to be healthy. The randomized, placebo‐controlled, double‐blind study evaluated the efficacy of crocus supplementation on snacking frequency, while also recording changes in specific body weight measurements. Subjects consumed either a crocus extract twice a day or a matching placebo at the same frequency. Caloric intake was left unrestricted over an 8‐week period.42
The crocus group had a significantly greater body weight reduction, while also substantially lowering snacking incidents. The number of snacking episodes was reduced by 55% compared to baseline. Additionally, the subjects in the crocus group reported that they were less hungry before meals compared to the placebo group.41,42

Depression

Saffron (Crocus sativus) has been historically utilized for potentially influencing mood disorder.52

Several studies indicate that crocus has been shown to be effective for the symptoms of depression and have compared the efficacy for alleviating the symptoms of depression to be comparable to pharmaceutical agents, yet without the same incidence of side effects.

Two studies compared Crocus sativus to either imipramine, a commonly used pharmaceutical anti‐depressant (SSRI), while the other contrasted Crocus sativus with fluoxetine, more commonly know as Prozac.

In both studies they were deemed to be comparable to the pharmaceutical agents, but without the troublesome side effects of antidepressants that often lead to a lack of compliance. Additionally, the subjects in the crocus arm had a reduction in symptoms of depression with the first week of administration.53,54

One significant fact that emerged from one study was that 33% who are taking a pharmaceutical agent reported an increased appetite, while the effect was minimal in the crocus group.

The efficacy of Crocus sativus as a component of a comprehensive approach to obesity is supported by a meta‐analysis of 15 studies that indicate that depression is clearly related to obesity as both a symptom and causal factor. 55

DL-Phenylalanine

• May be effective for the management of depression.56,57,58 • Stimulates the production of cholecystokinin, which is known to suppress appetite.59,60 • Studies indicate efficacy for chronic pain.61
Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid (a building block for proteins in the body) that the body needs for health.62

The inclusion of DL‐phenylalanine in MedActiv™ is based on studies that demonstrate its effect on satiety, while also indicating effectiveness in the management of depression and chronic pain. MedActiv™ utilizes both the D‐ and L‐ forms of phenylalanine as they both have different properties and the D form is much more rapidly absorbed.63

Clinical Studies

Weight Management

Human studies also suggest that it can influence components of obesity. Research indicates that the addition of a natural dietary supplement that included L‐phenylalanine during a 4‐week diet‐and‐exercise weight‐loss program accelerated the rate of body fat loss and helped to maintain fat‐free mass (lean tissue), thereby producing favorable changes in body composition.63

Depression

Multiple studies indicate a possible role for phenylalanine for the dietary management of depression. One study improved symptoms within 20 days and resulted in 60% of subjects exhibiting no symptoms and another 20% stating their symptoms were significantly improved.64
An additional study compared D‐phenylalanine to imipramine (a tricyclic antidepressant used in the treatment of major depression). They were judged to have comparable efficacy, but while the imipramine took weeks to demonstrate a substantial difference, the D‐phenylalanine resulted in a significant improvement of symptoms within 15 days.65,66

5HTP

• 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) is a chemical precursor for the production of serotonin in the brain and other tissues.68 • Enhanced serotonin can play a role in many conditions, including depression, insomnia, obesity, pain perception, mood, anxiety and sleep quality.69,70 • Studies show 5‐HTP ingestion may help people feel fuller with less food.71 • Low serotonin levels are often common in people who are considered obese.72
5‐hydroxytryptophan, also called 5‐HTP, is a chemical the body makes from the essential amino acid L‐tryptophan. An essential amino acid must be obtained from food or supplements because the body cannot create it.
The brain converts 5-HTP to the chemical serotonin, which plays an important role in regulating mood, appetite and sleep.73

Clinical Studies

Weight Management

The effect of 5-HTP intake on food intake and mood is based on serotonin production. Numerous studies have shown that long‐term consumption of 5-HTP (levels up to 900 mg daily) reduced food intake and resulted in weight loss.74
Four double‐blind, placebo‐controlled clinical trials, examined whether 5-HTP can aid weight loss. The first, a double‐blind crossover study, found that use of 5‐HTP reduced caloric intake, despite the fact that the participants made no conscious effort to eat less, while appearing to enhance the feeling of satiety after eating.73
A follow‐up study by the same research group enrolled 20 overweight women who were trying to lose weight. Participants received either, 5‐HTP or placebo for two consecutive 6‐week periods, one while following a low calorie diet and another without dietary restrictions. The participants lost 3% of their body weight during the “diet” period and 2% when there were no restrictions.73 Of special note is a separate study that focused on individuals with adult‐onset diabetes. They reported an average loss of 4.5 lbs. over a two-week period and 75% reduction in carbohydrate intake. This is important because the incidence of diabetes is especially pronounced in obese individuals.73

Depression

Many antidepressant drugs work, at least in part, by raising serotonin levels. The supplement has been introduced in cases of depression for a similar reason; the body uses 5‐HTP to make serotonin so providing the body with 5‐HTP can, therefore, raise serotonin levels.75,76,77,78
Several small studies have compared 5‐HTP to standard antidepressants. The most cited is a six‐week study of thirty-six people given either 5‐HTP or an SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) antidepressant (fluvoxamine). Researchers found equal benefit for either the supplement or the drug. However, 5‐HTP caused fewer and less severe side effects.79

Sleep

In an often related condition, several clinical studies have shown 5‐HTP to produce positive results in promoting and maintaining sleep in normal subjects as well as in those experiencing sleep abnormalities. 5‐HTP may help increase REM sleep (typically about 25%), while simultaneously increasing deep sleep stages 3 and 4, without increasing total sleep time.80,81,82
People who suffer from obesity often suffer from sleep abnormalities so any improvement may help improve the individuals overall health.83

L-theanine

• An amino acid derivative that has been shown to alter one’s brain waves to a calmer disposition. Theanine administration increases alpha wave brain activity.84 • Theanine, in animal models, has been show to increase both dopamine and serotonin production.85 • Theanine is known to counteract the stimulatory effects of caffeine.86 • Studies indicate theanine can enhance mental performance.87
L‐theanine is included in MedActiv™ as it has been reported to enhance brain activity, elevate mood and improve cognitive function. Additionally, it has been shown that the metabolic effects of caffeine (a component of MedActiv) are more easily tolerated because theanine has been shown to stunt the nervousness that often accompanies the ingestion of caffeine.86,88
L‐theanine has also been shown to be beneficial for people that experience anxiety.84

Clinical Studies

Mental Performance

Studies demonstrate that theanine has a significant effect on anxiety, mood and concentration. As dieting alone has been shown to increase stress, the improved functionality of individuals ingesting either theanine alone, or in conjunction with caffeine, may improve the mental state of people suffering from obesity.86,88,89
In one key study, students with high levels of anxiety who took L-theanine showed slower heart rates and improved attention and reaction times compared to other highly anxious subjects who took a placebo. Among low‐anxiety students, there were no differences between those taking L‐theanine or placebo, indicating that L‐theanine does not over‐relax—it only works for those who need it. L‐theanine did not have the side effects of drowsiness, slowed reflexes or diminished concentration common among anti‐anxiety medications.89

Metabolic Health and Thermogenesis

Recent studies have also found that theanine is linked with the regulation of blood pressure, promotion of weight loss and improving the quality of sleep.90,91,92Green tea has been historically utilized to affect satiety, whileimproving fat burning, and theanine has been identified as the main component that elicits this result.93

L-theanine

• Psychological stress depletes epi‐ and norepinephrine, which is restored by supplemental tyrosine.94 • Tyrosine converts to dopamine, which can be a component of hunger onset.95 • Tyrosine is recognized as being effective in performance enhancement for people under stress.96 • Tyrosine has been reported to help alleviate depression. 97
The role of tyrosine as a precursor for norepinephrine and dopamine synthesis has prompted research relevant to its efficacy as an anti‐depressive agent.

Clinical Studies

Stress and Performance

Studies indicate that L‐tyrosine can be effective for the dietary management of depression and stress. Several clinical trials have demonstrated tyrosine administration ameliorates some effects of stress, including hypertension. People were in environments that placed them under undue stress in either a military or competitive academic setting and were able to maintain focus and perform complicated mental tasks. This is relevant as stress can often accompany obesity, yet people will be expected to maintain productivity in a work setting.98,99

Depression

One study was initiated when one of the researchers had a positive response to the administration of tyrosine with a patient that could not tolerate anti‐depressants due to side effects. The patient had a marked improvement in symptoms after two weeks. When a placebo was substituted, the symptoms quickly returned, while the improvement quickly recurred when tyrosine was reintroduced.100
This led the physician to initiate a study of 14 patients that compared the efficacy of oral tyrosine versus placebo; 67% of the subjects reported a clinically significant improvement in their symptoms of depression, which was more than twice that which was reported by patients that were taking a placebo.101

Rhodiola rosea

• Called artic root, this plant extract has been used for brain and body stamina for thousands of years.102 • Utilized by professional and Olympic athletes to enhance physical performance.103 • Rhodiola extract may also reduce the stress hormone, cortisol, which in turn, can help reduce body fat.104 • The actives in Rhodiola rosea are called rosavins, and have a direct action on energy, mood and mental performance.105 • Studies indicate that Rhodiola rosea improved numerous symptoms related to stress.
Rhodiola rosea (also known as golden root and Arctic root) has been categorized as an adaptogen by researchers due to its observed ability to increase resistance to a variety of chemical, biological, and physical stressors. It has been used historically for stimulating the nervous system, improving depression, enhancing work performance, improving sleep and eliminating fatigue.106 It can be an important component in improving the benefits of exercise by increasing performance.

Clinical Studies

Depression and Stress Anxiety

Numerous studies have been completed that focused on people that have suffered from depression and/or undue stress as Rhodiola rosea has been shown to lower levels of cortisol, fight stress‐induced depression and restore brain cells that have been damaged by stress‐induced depression. Additionally, both human and animal studies indicate that Rhodiola rosea enhances serotonin production.170
One large-scale study has indicated substantial improvement for symptoms of both depression and stress due to both social and work‐related factors.
Dysfunction and stress‐related fatigue was significantly reduced among subjects using Rhodiola rosea, and using numerous, accepted, clinical measurements, the subjects reported an improved mood, reduced symptoms of stress, with no disability or functional impairment, while having an overall therapeutic effect.

108

Mental and Physician Performance

Rhodiola rosea has been used for decades by professional Olympic athletes as a safe, effective, non‐steroid supplement to maximize endurance and accelerate muscular recovery. It has also been studied for enhanced physical and mental performance in educational, military and work environments.109

Astragin™

• AstraGin™ increases the steady state absorption of key amino acids that can improve metabolic health. • Increases vitamin absorption by 50%. • Improves ATP production by 18%. • AstraGin™ significantly improves the absorption of L‐Tryptophan, which helps regulate sleep and mood.
AstraGin™ is a proprietary, all natural plant‐based formulation that is derived from highly purified Panax notoginseng and Astragalus membranaceus, using a pharmaceutical grade extraction and processing technology. AstraGin™ is included in MedActiv™ as it promotes the absorption of key nutrients, vitamins and amino acids and may help people achieve a higher level of overall metabolic health. AstraGin™ improves ATP production and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is a nucleoside triphosphate used in cells as a coenzyme, often called the ʺmolecular unit of currencyʺ of intracellular energy transfer.119

Clinical Studies

Nutrient Absorption

AstraGin™ significantly increases absorption levels of nutrients such as amino acids, vitamins and protein. When AstraGin™ and L‐arginine were stacked together, the absorption levels increased by 62%. AstraGin™ is clinically studied to help arginine absorption by 62%, glucosamine absorption by 42% and vitamin absorption such as folate by 48%. Arginine is important in cellular repair and controlling blood pressure.120 Studies indicate that AstraGin™ significantly improves the absorption of L-Tryptophan. L-Tryptophan is recognized as a key component of mood, sleep quality and stress levels.

Chromium Polynicotinate

• Chromium modulates insulin and may be effective in the management of insulin spiking.110 • Studies indicate it can reduce body fat.111 • Has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression.112 • May reduce cravings for food that contains high levels of fat.113 • May reduce cravings for food that contains high levels of fat.113 • Chromium also exhibits insulin‐like effects independent of insulin activity.114
Chromium is a mineral the body needs in very small amounts, but it plays a significant role in human nutrition. Chromiumʹs most important function in the body is to help regulate the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood. MedActiv™ utilizes chromium polynicotinate as a component of its formulation. Chromium polynicotinate is bound to a form of the B vitamin, niacin. Chromium picolinate is more recognized and has been a component of more studies. However, chromium polynicotinate is more easily absorbed by the body. An animal study found that chromium polynicotinate is better absorbed and retained up to 311% better than chromium picolinate.

Clinical Studies

Weight Management

According to a study from the American Diabetes Association and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, chromium can help to manage blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. The mineral is also effective in curbing carbohydrate cravings. It was found to turn on a switch inside muscle cells, the primary site for glucose action, thereby stimulating their uptake of glucose. Numerous studies have examined the role of various forms of chromium for the management of obesity and diabetes.

Weight Management

Results of one double‐blind, placebo controlled clinical study, indicates that chromium picolinate aids in the loss of body fat without causing a loss in lean body mass. In this study, the 122 moderately overweight individuals who took chromium picolinate lost an average of 6.2 pounds of body fat as opposed to only 3.4 pounds in those individuals that were in the placebo group.113
Another unique study administered niacin‐bound chromium polynicotinate to modestly dieting‐exercising African‐American women and resulted in a significant loss of fat, while sparing of the loss of lean muscle mass, when compared to placebo.116 Additionally, a meta‐analysis of 11 separate studies showed a statistically significant difference in weight loss favoring chromium over placebo with a 95% confidence interval. The evidence from available trials indicates that chromium supplementation generates statistically significant reductions in body weight.117

Depression (and associated carbohydrate craving)

In a one 8‐week trial, 113 adult outpatients with atypical depression demonstrated significant positive therapeutic response to chromium picolinate. This finding is of interest because of the demonstrated link between depression, decreased insulin sensitivity, and subsequent diabetes and chromium picolinateʹs insulin enhancing effect. The outpatients had atypical depression and most were overweight or obese. Chromium supplementation produced improvement for symptoms known to be associated with the onset of depression, including appetite increase, increased food intake and carbohydrate cravings. Among a subsequent examination of a subpopulation of the patients in the study that exhibited high carbohydrate cravings, overall Hamilton Depression Scores improved significantly in patients treated with chromium compared with placebo.118

Phenylethylamine

• Phenylethylamine stimulates the release of dopamine.124 • Phenylethylamine has been used to mitigate addictive behaviors.125 • Has been utilized to help manage the symptoms of depression.<126/sup> • May aid lipolysis, which can help control cholesterol levels.
Phenylethylamine has been referred to as “nature’s amphetamine” as it can have an effect similar to amphetamines, but without the side effects or attenuation common to those substances.

Clinical Studies

Depression

Exercise increases phenylethylamine levels rise by 77% and is thought to be a key component of the anti‐depressive effect of exercise.126

Black Pepper

• Black pepper can act as a thermogenic agent and may increase metabolic rate.121 • May improve lipid profile.122 • A chemical in black pepper, piperine, may suppress new fat cell growth.123

Caffeine

• Caffeine may aid in thermogenesis (fat burning).129 • Caffeine can increase capacity for exercise.130 • Studies demonstrate weight loss in women due to thermogenesis and fat oxidation 131

Vitamins B6 and B12

The effectiveness of vitamins B12 and B6 as part of a weight‐loss strategy is primarily linked to its role in meeting nutritional needs and promoting overall health. Studies have indicated that low levels of B12 can contribute to unhealthy weight gain.132

 

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