Grains of Paradise Produces Weight Loss and Brown Fat Loss
A traditional West African herbal remedy called Grains of Paradise has been found to increase thermogenesis and stimulate brown adipose tissue loss. This means that Grains of Paradise (Aframomum melegueta) produces the best kind of weight loss. The loss of an inflammatory type of fat.
Grains of Paradise found to help weight loss
The research comes from Japan’s Tenshi College School of Nursing and Nutrition. After significant laboratory testing Grains of Paradise, inclusive of breaking down its primary active constituents, the researchers tested the herb on 19 healthy young men.
The researchers tested the 19 men for body fat content, energy expenditure and thermogenesis using PET scans. The thermogenesis testing included submitting the subjects to a cold environment for two hours while testing their energy output.
After gaining baseline levels, the researchers gave an extract of Grains of Paradise seed or a placebo to the 19 men for four weeks, and then crossed the group over to test the placebo group with the herbal extract.
The researchers found that the extract resulted in a significant increase in energy expenditure and loss of brown adipose tissue – fatty tissue known to be difficult to reduce. They also found that energy expenditure increased within two hours of the subject receiving the extract, while the placebo group showed no such increase.
The research, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, means that Grains of Paradise may be a significant weight loss aid. Brown adipose tissue can be difficult to reduce for those wanting to lose weight because it receives significant circulation. Some refer to brown fatty tissue as “baby fat.”
What is Grains of Paradise?
Aframomum melegueta is a perennial plant indigenous to West Africa, but is also cultivated in the Caribbean and Northern Africa. The plant’s peppery-flavored seeds are a popular spice for many African dishes. For this reason, some have named the seeds African Pepper, and even Alligator Pepper in the tropics, but in more recent times it has been called Grains of Paradise. Besides as a food spice, the herb is known for its warming, digestive properties, and has been used in traditional medicines to relieve heartburn, aid indigestion, and repel intestinal infections and parasites.
Other research has found that Grains of Paradise is a strong antioxidant and may reduce high blood pressure. It may also help protect the liver.
The plant contains numerous flavonoids, tannins, alkaloids, glycosides, sterols, triterpenes, and volatile oils. Its flavor and principle is thought to be derived from its aromatic ketones, which include 6-paradol, 6-gingerol and 6-shogaol. Many of these constituents are also found in Pippali or Piper longum – the Ayurvedic long pepper – and Ginger.
Sugita J, Yoneshiro T, Hatano T, Aita S, Ikemoto T, Uchiwa H, Iwanaga T, Kameya T, Kawai Y, Saito M. Grains of paradise (Aframomum melegueta) extract activates brown adipose tissue and increases whole-body energy expenditure in men. Br J Nutr. 2013 Jan 11:1-6.
Nwozo SO, Oyinloye BE. Hepatoprotective effect of aqueous extract of Aframomum melegueta on ethanol-induced toxicity in rats. Acta Biochim Pol. 2011;58(3):355-8.
Adefegha SA, Oboh G. Inhibition of key enzymes linked to type 2 diabetes and sodium nitroprusside-induced lipid peroxidation in rat pancreas by water extractable phytochemicals from some tropical spices. Pharm Biol. 2012 Jul;50(7):857-65.
Gbolade A. Ethnobotanical study of plants used in treating hypertension in Edo State of Nigeria. J Ethnopharmacol. 2012 Oct 31;144(1):1-10.
Adefegha SA, Oboh G. Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitory activity, antioxidant properties and phenolic composition of two Aframomum species. J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol. 2012 Sep 26;0(0):1-9.
Case Adams is a California Naturopath with a PhD in Natural Health Sciences, and a Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner. He has authored 26 books on natural healing strategies. “My journey into writing about alternative medicine began about 9:30 one evening after I finished with a patient at the clinic I practiced at over a decade ago. I had just spent the last two hours explaining how diet, sleep and other lifestyle choices create health problems and how changes in these, along with certain herbal medicines and other natural strategies can radically yet safely turn our health around. As I drove home that night, I realized this knowledge should be available to more people. So I began writing about health with a mission to reach those who desperately need this information. The strategies in my books and articles are backed by scientific evidence along with wisdom handed down through traditional medicines for thousands of years.”