When one diets to lose fat, it is relatively easy to lose those first 5-10 pounds of fat. After that initial stage of fat loss, the body begins to make it harder to lose more fat and easier to regain fat by reducing the concentrations of “fat-burning” enzymes and up-regulating the “fat storage” enzymes.

These changes in enzyme activity play a big role in the cessation of fat loss and lack of progress experienced by dieters. The body wants to function in a specific range of body fat referred to as the body’s “set point.” The body functions optimally at its set point level of body fat and therefore attempts to keep its fat storages at this set point.

In an attempt to override the bodies desire to keep its fat storage near its set point, dieters often take weight loss supplements, such as thermogenics. The problem with most weight loss supplements is they do nothing to override the body’s desire to stop fat loss and merely provide a means to boost one’s metabolism for a short while.

While such a supplement may help one lose a little more fat, they are only a short-term solution for dieters. Thermogenics, such as ephedrine, aid in fat loss by causing fat cells to release fatty acids. The body has a fixed capacity for fat loss and if enzyme activity has been shifted to promote fat storage over fat oxidation, releasing fatty acids from fat cells will be of little use if they cannot be oxidized.

In order to successfully lose fat, one must create a stimulus that tells the body to burn more fat and to stop storing/trying to store fat. Sesamin, a lignan found in sesame seeds, has been shown to do just that – make the body oxidize more fat and increase its capacity to do so while decreasing the storage of fat.

Sesamin & The Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors (PPAR)

Sesamin is a lignan isolated from sesame seeds. A lignan is a molecule that combines with another entity acting as an “activator.” In the case of sesamin, it binds to and activates a receptor called Peroxisome Proliferator-Activator Receptor Alpha (PPARalpha).

The PPAR receptor family is divided into three subgroups:

  1. Alpha
  2. Delta
  3. Gamma