Fat Burning Via Arginine

Fat Burning Via Arginine
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The arginine content of nuts may explain their metabolism-boosting effects—though, in a list of the top food sources of arginine, nuts don’t even make the top ten.

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How do nuts boost fat burning within the body? A paper out of Texas A&M last year suggests that it may be the arginine content of nuts. How does arginine get the job done? They’re not sure: “The underlying mechanisms are likely complex at molecular, cellular, and whole-body levels.” In other words, they have no clue.

But, they do review the evidence that it may involve the stimulation of mitochondrial biogenesis (more power plants per cell), and brown adipose tissue development, which is what our body uses to generate body heat—so we’d be converting more of our fat into heat. Either way, they suspect arginine to play an important role in fighting the current global obesity epidemic.

Well then, where in the diet can we find arginine? I’ll give you a hint. According to the CDC, 78 million Americans aren’t getting enough. So, you know the top few sources have got to be in healthy foods, because no one’s getting any.

And, indeed, here’s the list for the top 15 food sources of arginine you’d likely find in a typical store: (1) soy protein isolate (6.7g/100g), which is what they make veggie burgers, and meat-free hot dogs, and the like out of; (2) pumpkin and squash seeds (5.4g/100g); (4) watermelon seeds (4.9g/100g). Isn’t that crazy? Not as crazy as (5) fried pork rinds (4.8g/100g)—I’m not kidding. Maybe Americans should be getting more than I think! (6) barbecue-flavored pork rinds (4.5g/100g)—it must just concentrate in the skin; (7) sesame seeds (3.3g/100g); (8) peanuts (3.25g/100g); (9) soybeans (3.15g/100g); (10) peanut butter (2.7g/100g); (11) tahini (2.68g/100g); (12) almonds (2.5g/100g); (13) pine nuts (2.4g/100g); (14)  fava beans (2.4g/100g); and (15) sunflower seeds (2.4g/100g).

So, basically, soy, seeds, nuts, and beans for arginine. Although dried beluga whale meat evidently has a lot, the first non-pork rind animal food you could actually find in a typical store clocks in the USDA database at 95th down the list—bacon.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Kerry Skinner.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

How do nuts boost fat burning within the body? A paper out of Texas A&M last year suggests that it may be the arginine content of nuts. How does arginine get the job done? They’re not sure: “The underlying mechanisms are likely complex at molecular, cellular, and whole-body levels.” In other words, they have no clue.

But, they do review the evidence that it may involve the stimulation of mitochondrial biogenesis (more power plants per cell), and brown adipose tissue development, which is what our body uses to generate body heat—so we’d be converting more of our fat into heat. Either way, they suspect arginine to play an important role in fighting the current global obesity epidemic.

Well then, where in the diet can we find arginine? I’ll give you a hint. According to the CDC, 78 million Americans aren’t getting enough. So, you know the top few sources have got to be in healthy foods, because no one’s getting any.

And, indeed, here’s the list for the top 15 food sources of arginine you’d likely find in a typical store: (1) soy protein isolate (6.7g/100g), which is what they make veggie burgers, and meat-free hot dogs, and the like out of; (2) pumpkin and squash seeds (5.4g/100g); (4) watermelon seeds (4.9g/100g). Isn’t that crazy? Not as crazy as (5) fried pork rinds (4.8g/100g)—I’m not kidding. Maybe Americans should be getting more than I think! (6) barbecue-flavored pork rinds (4.5g/100g)—it must just concentrate in the skin; (7) sesame seeds (3.3g/100g); (8) peanuts (3.25g/100g); (9) soybeans (3.15g/100g); (10) peanut butter (2.7g/100g); (11) tahini (2.68g/100g); (12) almonds (2.5g/100g); (13) pine nuts (2.4g/100g); (14)  fava beans (2.4g/100g); and (15) sunflower seeds (2.4g/100g).

So, basically, soy, seeds, nuts, and beans for arginine. Although dried beluga whale meat evidently has a lot, the first non-pork rind animal food you could actually find in a typical store clocks in the USDA database at 95th down the list—bacon.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Kerry Skinner.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to David Kent, Glane23, Evan-Amos, Sanjay ach, PiccoloNamek, and Yuriy75 via Wikimedia Commons; Cat Sidh, Paul Goyette, and toconnor1 via Flickr; and Tuinboon_zaden_in_peul, IvanNedialkov Paparaka, Jack Dykinga, USDA ARS, gran, and Sanjay Acharya via flickr

Nota del Doctor

This is the sixth video in my seven-part series on this fascinating phenomenon. I reviewed the balance of evidence as to why nuts don’t tend to contribute to weight gain in Nuts and Obesity: The Weight of Evidence. Next, I introduced two theories on Solving the Mystery of the Missing Calories, both of which were put to the test in a study on peanut butter (see Testing the Pistachio Principle). Then came an elegant study using walnut smoothies in Testing the Dietary Compensation Theory, followed by the big reveal in Testing the Fat-Burning Theory. Arginine may, indeed, explain the thermogenic effect of nuts, but it also might be the flavonoid phytonutrients, which I explore next in Fat Burning via Flavonoids. Should one avoid soy protein isolate, even though it’s such a concentrated source of arginine? Stay tuned—I’m going to address that when I cover IGF-1 and the cancer growth reversal studies. I offer a sneak peak in my full-length 2012 presentation, Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death

For further context, check out my associated blog posts: Nuts Don’t Cause Expected Weight GainBurning Fat With FlavonoidsWhat Is the Healthiest Meat?; and The Best Nutrition Bar.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

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