Sesamin & Lipogenesis
In addition to increasing the oxidation of fat, Sesamin supplementation has also been shown to decrease lipogenesis (fat storage) by decreasing lipogenic enzymes in the liver.
Sesamin has been shown to decrease the lipogenic gene expression of sterol regulatory element binding protein-1 (SREBP-1), acetyl-CoA carboxylase, and fatty acid synthase, among other lipogenic enzymes10, which means less fat is esterifized in the liver and therefore less fat is stored in adipose tissue (fat cells).
So Sesamin works in two ways to make you lean (and keep you lean):
- Increasing fat oxidation
- Decreasing fat storage
Sesamin & Ketogenesis
Ketogenesis occurs when fatty acid oxidation is increased to a point where the liver cannot metabolize off the fatty acids for energy. Excess acetyl-CoA (which can be created from fat, glucose, or amino acid metabolism) is converted to ketones in the liver and released into the bloodstream to be used by other tissues (specifically the brain).
Ketogenesis is very important during low carb diets because the brain cannot use fatty acids for fuel, it can only use glucose. When glucose is low, the brain will turn to ketones for its energy.
Sesamin has been shown to increase ketone production11. Increasing ketone production should have protein-sparing effect as less amino acids will be needed to create ketones. This means your muscle mass will be spared while dieting.
Health Benefits Of Sesamin
In addition to increasing fat oxidation and decreasing lipogensis, Sesamin supplementation also has many health benefits. Sesamin has been shown to:
- Be antihypertensive3
- Be an antioxidant itself and increase the recycling of vitamin E4
- Provide liver protection against alcohol and improve liver function5
- Decrease cholesterol levels6, while increasing high density lipoprotein (HDL aka "good cholesterol") levels7
- Be an anti-inflammatory8.
These health benefits alone make Sesamin supplementation a wise decision.
Supplementing With Sesamin
The sesamin content of sesame seeds and sesame oil is very low, meaning you would have to eat a TON of seeds/oil before you get even close to obtaining enough sesamin to reap its benefits.
Luckily, concentrated sesamin is commercially available.
Sesamin "Point-Blank" Summary
Sesamin supplementation will prime your body to oxidize fat and not store it. Sesamin supplementation should also help spare muscle mass while dieting and has many positive health benefits.
- Increases thermogenesis
- Increases fat oxidation
- Up-regulates "fat-burning" enzymes
- Decreases fat storage
- Down-regulates "fat-storage" enzymes
- Increases insulin sensitivity
- Increases ketone formation
- A fuel used when dieting
- Spares glucose
- Potent antioxidant
- Cholesterol reducer
- Increases HDL levels
- Decreases LDL levels
- Decreases blood pressure (antihypertensive)
- Improves liver and kidney health
- No stimulant effect