These days, a lot of supplement manufacturers like to use botanical names for common herbs, or chemical nomenclature for basic compounds in order to impress—and confuse—you.
That’s what this section is all about… The Glossary takes the confusion out of supplement labels.
You might, for example, understand what L-glutamine is, but would you recognize it if it was written as “2-Aminoglutaramic acid”? How about “1,3,7-trimethylxanthine” (caffeine) or “Diandrone” (DHEA)? We’ve done the work already, so you can figure out what you’re taking.
Derived from the simple lichen, usnic acid is advertised as an “uncoupling agent.” Basically, what this means is that usnic acid ramps up and enables the “energy creation” processes in the cell, which manifests itself as heat and consequentially, an increase in the metabolic rate. While there is a small amount of preliminary animal-based data to support this, to date no human evidence exists.
Worse, anecdotal reports indicate usnic acid may well be highly toxic to the liver. Animal studies (J Ethnopharm 2004;90:381-7) already demonstrate usnic acid’s toxic effect.
One study (see Ann Intern Med. 2002 Apr 16;136(8):590-5) investigated the possible link between the usnic-acid-based fat burner called LipoKinetix and the hepatoxicity displayed by 7 of its users. It concluded…
“The use of LipoKinetix may be associated with hepatoxicity. Despite extensive evaluations, no other cause for hepatoxicity could be identified in the seven patients studied.”
Tetradecylthioacetic Acid (TTA)
A sulfur-substituted fatty acid analog with hypolipidemic, hypotensive, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. TTA is an activator of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors, and increases mitochondrial beta-oxidation (the process of oxidizing fatty acids for energy). Not coincidentally, TTA is used as an ingredient in various weight loss supplements, although its efficacy in humans has not been studied.
A “highly-branched cyclic dexrin” produced from amylopectin (a type of starch) by Ezaki Glico Co., Ltd. Cluster Dextrin is a highly soluble, high molecular weight carbohydrate marketed as a food additive and carb source for sports drinks/supps.
Also written (correctly) as 1,3-di-n-propyl-7-propargylxanthine. A synthetic caffeine analog that is reportedly 100 times more potent than caffeine at both A1 and A2 adensosine receptors. It has not, however, been tested in humans.
A citrus bioflavonoid closely related to hesperidin. Diosmin is used extensively in Europe to treat chronic venous insufficiency, hemorrhoids and varicose veins. Diosmin also has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and (experimental) antitumor activities.
Chemical name: 3′,5,7-trihydroxy-4′-methoxyflavone-7-rutinoside.