Home > Meet Sara > Meet Sara…Supplements for Lean Legs

Meet Sara…Supplements for Lean Legs

Last week I introduced you to my client Sara, where I shared the nutrition lifestyle progression that helped her achieve her goal of being lean and healthy.  This week I will share the supplement plan that played a huge role in helping Sara get her lean legs.

Definition Time

Let’s begin with the definition of the word “supplement.”  Supplement: Something added to complete a thing, make up for a deficiency, or extend or strengthen the whole.

When working with clients, I rarely talk supplements until they cover their nutritional bases with real food.  There are exceptions however, but when it comes to supplements that assist with body composition changes, I only add them after the client adopts positive nutritional habits.  Remember, the definition of “supplement,” means in addition…in this case, it means in addition to real, wholesome foods.  Once Sara demonstrated to me that she was committed to her nutrition plan, it was time to add supplements that would focus on her problem areas: hips and thighs.

For years, the media and certain media personalities had you believe that spot reduction was only possible through plastic surgery, or liposuction.  However well-intentioned these “experts” may be, they’re ignorant of basic endocrinology.  The reason women store the majority of their body fat in their hips and thighs, is due to estrogen.

Estrogen

Most people think that estrogen is a single hormone, but it isn’t, estrogen is the name given to a group of hormones. There are 3 principle forms of estrogen, and to complicate things further, these 3 forms are broken down into 3 different metabolites.  Two of the metabolites, 16-alpha-hydroxyestrone and 4-hydroxyesterone have carcinogenic actions and are responsible for women storing their body fat predominately in the hip and thigh regions. The third, 2-hydroxyesterone, has protective effects against several types of cancer. As a woman, your body is going to produce high levels of estrogen, but due to environmental factors, you are also exposed to man-made chemicals which mimic the estrogen produced by your body.  These man-made chemicals, called xenoestrogens, act like the most potent and dangerous forms of estrogens.  If you think these xenoestrogens are rare, think again.

Xenoestrogens are found in:

  • plastic bottles
  • carpet fibers
  • Teflon coatings
  • pesticides and herbicides
  • commercial meats grown with hormones
  • birth control pills
  • hormone replacement therapy drugs

How Your Body Burns Fat

To burn fat, a natural hormonal process has to take place.  When the fat-burning process is activated, the adrenal hormones (adrenaline and noradrenaline) bind to special receptors in the fat tissues.  There are two major groups of receptors in the fat tissues, alpha and beta.  The beta-receptors are the more active ones, which respond to the adrenal hormones.  Fat burning occurs when the adrenal hormones activate the beta-receptors in the fat cells.  If these receptors are not activated, no fat will burn off.

Unfortunately for women, lower body fat stores, have a lower ratio of beta-receptors to alpha-receptors.  As a result, lower body fat is metabolized slowly and does not respond to the adrenal hormones.  To make matters worse, lower body fat has more estrogen receptors in the tissues.  Estrogen, once bound to the receptors, causes even more fat gain.

Lower body fat stores:

  • Doesn’t have a high enough ratio of beta-receptors to alpha-receptors, so it doesn’t respond to adrenal fat-burning stimulation.
  • It has more estrogen receptors, which accelerates fat gain
  • Doesn’t have a healthy blood circulation.  These slowly metabolized fat tissues have fewer blood vessels than a normal fat tissue, and consequently this fat is slower to metabolize, and therefore more stubborn or difficult to remove

Your Liver

The liver is the organ responsible for the detoxification of estrogens.  If your liver is overburdened by both natural estrogen production and xenoestrogens, it fails to remove the estrogens efficiently, leading to their accumulation.  As you have already learned, excessive estrogens are stored in your hips and legs.

The hyperestrogenism occurs as a result of failure of hepatic removal of estrogens from the circulation

Physiology, Little, Brown and Company, Boston p.755

In some instances, excessive estrogens over stimulate cell division and lead to abnormal growth such as fibroids, cysts or cancer in the uterus, breast, or ovaries.  To make matters worse, nutritional deficiencies can influence the ratio of “bad vs. good” estrogens.

The Supplements

Here’s a list of five nutrients I use to target lower body fat, and repair the damage caused by excess estrogen:

Diindolylmethane (DIM)-is released with the assistance of enzymes upon crushing (chewing) of broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and brussels sprouts.  Research demonstrates that a low-level of 2-hydroxyestrone and a high level of 16 alpha-hydroxyesterone, is associated with an enhanced risk of breast cancer.  DIM increases 2-hydroxyesterone and therefore improves the 2/16 hydroxyesterone ratio, making it protective for women and men at high risk for this condition.

Green tea-acts to inhibit breast tumor growth, improves liver detoxification of estrogen, reduces aromatase and lowers levels of damaging estrogens, protects against estrogen-specific free radicals and carcinogens.

Curcumin-improves detoxification of estrogen by supporting safe, tissue protective estrogen metabolite, reduces oxidative damage, inhibition of the growth of breast cancer cells.

Lycopene-powerful antioxidant, inhibition of cancer cell proliferation, reduction of DNA damage from estrogen.

D-limonene-suppresses tumors, reduces tumor size, prevention of mammary, liver, lung, and other cancers, carcinogen removal, reduction in breast tumor growth, inhibition of mammary carcinomas, breast cancer regression in both early and late stage development.

The Supplement Plan

Congratulations on making it this far.  I know it hasn’t been the easiest thing you’ve read today, but that’s the price to pay if you want legs that will make other women jealous.  But having read this far, you now know something that 99.9% of personal trainers don’t…how to get lean legs.

Here’s the supplement plan that gave Sara her head-turning legs:

  • DIM 2 capsules, 3 times daily with meals
  • Calcium D-glucarate 2 capsules, 3 times daily with meals
  • Green tea 2 capsules, 3 times daily with meals

Conclusion

As I have demonstrated, spot reduction isn’t a myth, but when properly executed, is backed by research.  It does however, require knowledge of the endocrine system, environmental toxins, and the latest research on nutritional supplements.

Later this week, I will post the next installment of this series…another issue women have to endure in their quest for self-worth and a healthy lifestyle.

References:

Toxicol Sci.  2003 Dec;76(2):262-70.  Epub 2003 Nov 4 Epigallocatechin gallate modulates CYP450 isoforms in the female Swiss-Webster mouse.

Verma SP, Salamone E, Goldin B.  Biochem Biophys Res Commun.  1997 Apr 28;233(3):692-6

Breast Cancer Res Treat.  2007 Aug;104(2):221-30.  Epub 2006 Oct 19  Hirsch K,  Atzmon A, Danilenko M, Levy J, Sharoni Y.

Jpn J Vet Res.  2005 Feb;52(4):173-84.  Muzandu K, El Bohi K, Shaban Z, Ishizuka M, Kazusaka A, FujitA S.

Environ Health Perspect.  1997 June; 105(Suppl 4):977-979

http://www.phytochemicals.info/phytochemicals/limonene.php

Cancer Research 54, 3540-3543, July 1, 1994 Michael N. Gould, Cynthia J. Moore, Rong Zhang, Bingcheng Wang, Wendy S. Kennan and Jill D. Haag

Cancer Research 52, 4021-4026, July 15, 1992 Jill D. Haag, Mary J. Lindstrom and Michael N. Gould

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  1. July 27, 2010 at 09:22

    Hey! This was really interesting on reading!!! I have noticed that when I don´t eat birth control pills I lose fat, but when I do, I always got 2kg more and have more food graving . Now I changed the pills into this ring, which is placed into vagina and from there it gives the estrogen smoothly for 3 weeks. Can I still eat the those supplement you recommend or do they have some kind of effect to my birth control?

    • July 27, 2010 at 19:56

      I’m not versed in your individual case, so it would be irresponsible to comment on your situation. However, I have a few clients on the estro supplements who are also on birth control. It depends on which kind and the dosage. Your doctor should be able to help.
      Cheers,
      JB

  1. March 8, 2010 at 11:28

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