Lactium: Your Secret weight-loss willpower weapon!
I am the President of The Lactium® Fan Club
Oh Lactium®... How do I love thee..? Let me count the ways..... Haha! Seriously though, if Lactium® was a person I would be writing him poetry because I. Love. Him.
Lactium® is one of my not-so-secret, secret weight-loss weapons (carnitine is the other!) and I am delighted to share with you exactly why I’m so enamoured with it.
Lactium® has been included in Whey Less for it’s relaxing properties - and given the day and age we live in (juggling family, work, social, and personal commitments) we need all the relaxing we can get it!
So what does feeling cool, calm and zen have to do with weight loss you say...? I’m glad you asked. The answer is everything!
Feeling strung out, stressed, wound up, pressured or any other kind of unrelaxed results in physiological changes in the body that switches off fat-burning, switches fat storage on and fiddles with our appetite and sense of wellbeing.
So what happens when we’re stressed?!
When we experience anything that is perceived as stressful, our bodies try and help us cope by producing all kinds of hormones including adrenalin and cortisol - so we can deal with the problem as best as possible.
Adrenalin redirects our circulation to primarily nourish our brain (and eyes) heart, lungs and skeletal muscle. It causes a rise in blood pressure, heart and breathing rate, and causes sugar to be dumped into our blood stream. Back in the ‘caveman days’ this gave us heightened alertness, increased energy and the best chance for running away from or fighting off an impending threat (you know.. things like tigers, woolly mammoths and invading tribes..). These days, threats can come from an argument with someone, or rising financial/familial/professional pressures (and are not things you can fight off or run away from..).
Of course stress is inescapable and, in some cases, may have positive, action-motivating impact. Our bodies stress response, in and of itself is not an issue but the rush of adrenalin we produce is supposed to be for a finite period - not ongoing as it often is these days.
Unfortunately, when stress becomes chronic and prolonged, an area of your brain (called the hypothalamus) is activated and triggers the adrenal glands to release a hormone called cortisol to help temper the impact of ongoing adrenalin production.
Cortisol is normally released in a specific rhythm throughout the day. It is supposed to be high in the mornings when you wake up (this is what helps you get out of bed and start your day), and gradually taper off throughout the day (so you feel tired at bedtime and can fall asleep).
Recent research shows that chronic stress can not only increase absolute cortisol levels, but more importantly it disrupts the natural cortisol rhythm. And it’s this broken cortisol rhythm that wreaks so much havoc on your body. Among other effects, it:
- raises your blood sugar
- makes it harder for glucose to get into your cells
- makes you hungry and crave sugar (and make you more likely to emotionally eat!)
- reduces your ability to burn fat
- causes hormonal imbalances by suppressing your HPA-axis (this can reduce your DHEA, testosterone, growth hormone and TSH levels)
- makes your cells less sensitive to insulin (insulin resistant)
- increases your belly fat and makes your liver fatty
- increases the rate at which you store fat
- raises the level of fatty acids and triglycerides in your blood (cholesterol problems anyone?!)
Each one of these consequences alone could make you overweight and/or diabetic, but when added together they’re a perfect recipe for disaster (and diabesity).
So what is Lactium® and how can it help?
Lactium® is a ‘bioactive decapeptide’ - which is just a fancy name for a 10 amino acid protein that does something in our bodies! It’s actually a tiny protein fraction (tryptic hydrosolate) that naturally occurs in dairy - the same component in mothers milk isolated by researchers for its calming and relaxing properties on the baby. It has been included in Whey Less because of these anti-stress attributes.
Lactium® has a benzodiazepine-like profile (meaning it has an affinity for GabaA receptors in our brain) which results in the inhibition of anxiety and the stress response in the brain. This in turn reduces anxiety, moderates cortisol production and thus may reduce stress related eating/weight gain/inability to lose weight.
There are 3 different benzodiazepine (BDZ) receptors and because Lactium® has an affinity for BDZ2 receptors (which mediates anxiolysis and cognition) it does not result in drowsiness, muscular relaxation, memory loss, disinhibition, tolerance or addiction (unlike commonly used benzodiazepine medications like Valium).
Lactium® starts having an effect about one hour after intake begin to decrease about six hours after intake. Nevertheless, a real sensation of wellbeing appears after a few days of treatment.
- Lactium® during the day helps to buffer the effects of our usual stressors - Lactium® can obviously be particularly helpful when dealing with specific stressful situations, e.g. exam time or busy periods at work.
- It’s calming effect in the evening helps a person relax and get a better night's sleep, so they'll be better able to meet the demands of the day ahead. Given that lack of sleep, often provoked by stress from that day, only increases stress levels - Lactium® can help break the vicious cycle of poor sleep and stress too!
Well that sounds great, but where’s the proof..?
There have been a number of clinical trials conducted that demonstrate the anti-anxiety effect Lactium® has on stress. They include:
- reducing stress-induced hypertension or high blood pressure (reactivity – both systolic and diastolic ~30%)
- cortisol production (~20%)
- emotional eating (particular sugar)
- as well as sleep duration/quality, efficiency and as a result sleep latency, disturbances and daytime dysfunctions
At Necker Hospital in Paris researchers studied the effects of Lactium® on some physiological responses to stress in healthy human subjects.
- In a mental stress test (Stroop test), which naturally causes both systolic and diastolic blood pressure to rise, people taking Lactium® had a significantly smaller increase in blood pressure than those in the control (placebo) group.
- In a physical stress test (Cold Pressor test), which also naturally causes both systolic and diastolic blood pressure to rise, the same result was observed. In this test the heart rate of those taking the Lactium® remained stable while those in the control group experienced an elevation in their heart rate.
But I think the most interesting observation was the effect Lactium® had on cortisol! In spite of serious stress, cortisol levels decreased in those taking the Lactium® as opposed to the control group (who stayed the same).
The CRSSA study that was done in Grenoble tested for reactions to stress . The researchers measured heart rate, blood pressure, cortisol and measured anxiety using the Spielberger scale. They found that the reactivity by the blood pressure to the stress was blunted.
The PROCLAIM (Rennes) study was an interesting one because, over the course of a month, it looked at:
- physical and physiological areas (the digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular and locomotor systems, and other physical symptoms)
- psychological areas (intellectual and emotional functions), and
- social life (relationship stuff!)
They found statistically significant improvements on the impact of stress on the digestive, cardiovascular, intellectual, emotional and social parameters of those taking Lactium® as opposed to the placebo group. Lactium® appeared to help the most in people whose stress was highest. Improvements were measurable after just 2 weeks.
Is Lactium® Safe?
Thankfully, for all its potency, clinical studies have showed no side effects from Lactium®.
Lactium® simply regulates the perception of stress and helps people to optimise their abilities and be more responsive. Lactium® also does not prevent a person from evaluating the importance of a situation. This makes it an ideal daytime ‘chill pill’.
Even at high doses, Lactium® has no sedative effect. People who take Lactium® feel more relaxed and usually fall asleep easier at bedtime and/or sleep better.
Because it is from milk, those with issues such as lactose intolerance or problems with the protein components might be worried how it will affect them. Firstly, Lactium® is lactose-free (lactose < 0.5%). Whey Less itself is also very low in lactose (only 0.8g per serve). To put this into perspective, most lactose-intolerant individuals can tolerate 5-12g before experiencing any gastrointestinal upset - which means a serving of Whey Less (containing Lactium®) should be well tolerated.
The major allergenic compounds in milk are proteins, particularly the caseins. Whey Less itself is casein-free. Lactium® is a hydrolysate which means it is just a tiny fraction of the original protein. The hydrolysates are known to be less allergenic than entire proteins and it doesn’t appear that Lactium® creates any issues for those who normally have a problem with dairy proteins.