Sesamin is a naturally occurring lignan present in sesame oil. Sesamin, as sold commercially and as used in the great majority of the literature, is actually a 50-50 mixture of sesamin and its isomer epi-sesamin. It possesses great potential for decreasing fat mass and in fighting obesity and metabolic syndrome, via its potent positive effects on fatty acid oxidation and adipogenic gene expression. And, with research showing very strong correlations between inflammation, oxidative stress, obesity, and Metabolic Syndrome X, sesamin’s anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties could be just as important, if not more so.
It also has the potential to stack very well with other supplements that modulate these systems, such as LeptiGen, stimulants, androgens, and Ab-Solved.
The first study that struck me with sesamin was one showing it to be about 10-fold more potent than fish oil, in positively modulating expression of a battery of genes involved in storage and metabolism of triglycerides.
The obvious target for mediation is PPAR-alpha, as it is known to affect most of these. Another known mechanism of fish oil is via alteration of phospholipid membrane structure and properties – specifically, it promotes an increase in the unsaturation index of fatty acids, which is associated with increased lipolysis, increased leanness, and better insulin sensitivity.
A less obvious target, 3 years ago, was via mediation of inflammation/redox.
But, Sesamin also had some positive effects on gene expression not shared by fish-oils. A possible target for this is PPAR-gamma antagonism, though it increases gamma-tocephorol levels, and that is a PPAR-gamma AGONIST. Spook has also mentioned sesamin as an agonist, but I have never seen this, and it is in contrast to the way it mediates gene expression.
Alternatively, being both a more potent PPAR-alpha agonist, as well as being a potent anti-oxidant, it could be a matter of its superior mediation of inflammation and cellular REDOX state.
Let’s look at all of this in more detail. Make note of all of the overlap and tie ins between PPAR, Lipogenic genes, fatty acid levels, obesity, insulin resistance, VAT, stress, inflammation, and REDOX. You may also notice how much it all ties in with previous writings by myself and Spook on leptin and cortisol.
Well, I did not get this done in time for the magazine release, so this teaser will have to do for a few days. And, to make up for it, I have also thrown in some bonus material for your reading pleasure.
A great many of you who are interested in sesamin learned about it and become intrigued by it, as a result of the following post, by Spook, about a year and a half ago. We’ve learned a lot since then, especially in regard to inflammation, the RAS-HPA system, REDOX, and their association with obesity and Metabolic Syndrome X, but it remains a damn good post.
What does it do?
Sesamin has a host of benefits. First it boosts hepatic (liver) and muscular mitochondria oxidation of fatty acids as well as boosting peroxisome fatty acid oxidation. Particularly episesamin is extremely potent boosting these two actions buy 2.1 hold and 5.1 hold in rats. When coupled with a diet rich in omega-3 fats (they seem to work synergistically) episesamin boosted them by 12.2 and 20.1 respectively. Now that’s freaking impressive. It does this buy causing the DNA transcription of CPT (carnitine palmitoyl transferase) which is the rate limiting quantity in beta oxidation of fats in skeletal muscle and liver cells. So the gist is you burn more fat plain and simple.
It also protects the liver and kidneys. It prevents fatty liver from chronic ethanol ingestion.. Finally it keeps vitamin E levels high either by recycling it or buy preventing its oxidation entirely (no one knows which for sure).
One last great affect of ingestion of these compounds is along with a boost in lipid metabolism it simultaneously lowers lipogenic enzymes in the liver, reducing the amount of fats that are esterfied for storage in adipose tissue. Rats fed a diet consisting of 0.4% sesmamin had four times less lipogenic enzymes in there liver cells.
Oh and it has very potent effects on blood cholesterol—along the lines of lipotor.
Why am I so excited about this stuff?
First and foremost a doubling of mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation it and of itself is fantastic. But a 20- fold increase in peroxisomal beta oxidation is even more impressive as it does not have the same self-regulating mechanisms that mitochondrial oxidation does. You burn too much fat and citrate buildup will shut down further fat oxidation. But not so with peroxisomal oxidation. So the bottom line is if there are lipids in your blood stream it will oxidize them. This is where the bulk of the research on this stuff is done. It was used in investigations on hyperlipidemia (lots of fat in your blood) which is common in diabetics. So coupled with the standard fat loss stuff that causes adipose to release its payload. Sesamin will cause more fat to be burned and less of it to get reintegrated into adipose tissue at the next meal.
Just as important, and what makes this so amazing, is that it exerts these effects in a Fed State. That’s right you read that correctly: in a Fed State. Can someone say nutrient partitioning agent? Imagine bulking but your muscle is burning 20 times more fat when at rest. Imagine how many damn calories you could consume and still stay lean. In fact all of these studies where I am pulling numbers from are FED ANIMALS and FED TYPE I and II DIABETICS !!!! Imagine what Sesamin will do in a fasted state. We all know insulin is talked about a lot when it comes to nutrient partitioning, but I think this handles the other side of the equation. So basically sesamin can be used during maintenance or bulking to stay lean and make sure you burn more fat at rest. And, Sesamin can also be used during a diet burn a lot more fat.
So to summarize the benefits:
- Huge increase in fat burning.
- Burn more fat when dieting and when FED.
- Protects the liver from necrosis.
- Protects the kidneys from renal failure.
- Improves cholesterol profile dramatically.
- Has anti-cancer properties.
- Protects or elevates vitamin E in the blood stream.