Protein for Weight Loss(?)
Fitness Expert Phil
Kaplan sheds some light on one of the newest weight loss offerings.
Topic: Collagen Protein
- "lose weight while you sleep?"
Offerings for weight
loss solutions involving Collagen Protein are springing up
everywhere, on radio, in retail stores, and in mail order
promotions. The products are
of course sold as amazing proprietary formulas. Collagen protein,
although it's a component of human connective tissue, skin,
and hair, is incomplete in the amino acids needed to build
muscle. It has actually been proven that ingestion of complete
proteins with a high PER (Protein Efficiency Rating) combined
with stimulation of muscle hypertrophy can increase collagen
fiber in connective tissue, but that doesn't translate into
oral ingestion of collagen protein affecting lean body mass.
Collagen gelatin is actually one of the primary ingredients
in Jell-O. In reality, with the "guidelines" these products
come with, they could just as easily sell Jell-O as a weight
The hook is "You simply
drink a tablespoon of the formula before bed, sleep well and
lose weight." When you receive the product the directions
tell you that you must drink that tablespoon on an empty stomach.
You shouldn't eat for three hours before you take it, and
not again until you wake up in the morning. Plain and simple,
it's calorie deprivation, just like any other ineffective
diet that might cause people to shed a few pounds in the short
term and slow metabolism in the long run.
The "safe and effective"
ingredients often include Aloe Vera. You might know it as
something to help minimize the pain and suffering of sunburn,
but it's also a laxative when ingested. So . . . don't eat
for three hours, then pump a laxative into your body. Hmm.
How about don't eat for three hours, have some Jell-O and
Ex Lax? I strongly believe the effect will be the same.
to help you shed the pounds" included in these products may
include Potassium sorbate and methyl paraben. These are preservatives
and have nothing to do with weight loss. You'll probably also
find glycerin and "Natural Flavors" for taste, ingredients
that likely affect blood sugar further reducing the long term
likelihood users will lose fat.
Often these products
are sold piggybacked with other products, in what the manufacturers
cleverly describe as "kits." Some of the other supplemental
formulas included in these kits contain diuretics and stimulants,
both tricks to make the body shed water so people believe
Collagen isn't new
and it was actually sold as a weight loss aid more than 25
years ago. In the 1970s, a book called The Last Chance Diet,
written by Robert Linn, DO, promoted and popularized the use
of liquid protein as a weight loss aid. The liquid protein
involved was hydrolyzed cow collagen. People died. To be fair,
they didn't die because of the collagen. They died because
"the plan" suggested the flawed collagen compound
as a substitute for food. I'm not suggesting the current collagen
offerings are life-threatening, but it is valuable to note
how "diets" touting supplements as "cures"
or "solutions" can lead people in the wrong direction.
Right now many of
the companies selling collagen protein are in a growth spurt.
They're making lots of money and fiercely reinvesting profit
into media time. A careful consumer will pay close attention
to the ingredients and the scientific validation (or lack
thereof) before believing an ad for easy weight loss.
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