Thursday, May 26, 2011

What is PGX & How Does it Work?

Dr. Oz recently featured a number of “Weight loss must haves” on one of his shows, PGX being one of them. It is a supplement that he and his family have found effective in achieving and maintaining weight loss and a healthier lifestyle. Fibre PGX is a fibre supplement, to put it very simply. Fibre has a number of benefits for our over all health and sadly, we rarely reach our daily goal when it comes to fibre intake. The average adult should be getting anywhere from 25-30 g of fibre , a mix of soluble and insoluble, a day. The average North American probably gets about half this amount. Due to the unique combination and types of fibre contained in PGX, it contains in only 5 grams the equivalent action of close to 20 grams of other fibre sources. Although it is still absolutely necessary to maintain a diet high in both soluble and insoluble fibre, using a supplement like PGX helps to significantly increase your fibre intake each day. What is PGX? PGX stands for PolyGlycopleX, a unique blend of 3 different polysaccharides, the most abundant of which is Konjac Root or Glucomannan. Sodium alginate and xanthum gum are the other polysaccharides that make up the PGX combination. The ingredients all have one very important action in common with each other, they absorb water as they travel through the intestinal tract. In doing so these fibres expand, not only does this make us feel full sooner, but for a longer period of time, as well (increasing satiety). For this reason PGX is considered an appetite suppressant, reducing overall caloric intake without leaving you feeling deprived. This is not the only way in which these supplements help to reduce weight, however. How does regulating blood sugar mean further weight loss? Fibre, like that contained in PGX helps to regulate blood sugar by slowing down how quickly the sugars in our diet are broken down and absorbed. Similarly, when taken with or before a meal, PGX can lower the glycemic index of a food altering how quickly its digested and therefore how quickly it gets to the blood stream. A diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugars (and low in dietary fibre) causes constant and quick blood sugar spikes followed by a quick and large release of insulin causing a 'crash' or low in blood sugar. This low is a signal to our body that we need more sugar for energy and often causes cravings for high sugar snacks or baked goods, perpetuating the cycle all over again. Blood sugar regulation may be especially indicated for individuals who are already diabetic or have been told they are pre-diabetic, meaning that is something doesn't change, a diagnosis of diabetes is soon to follow. That being said, we can all benefit from better blood sugar regulation, both for the prevention of diabetes, as well as for overall weight loss and health maintenance. High or fluctuating blood sugar levels can suppress the immune system, for several hours, impairing our ability to fight infection and leaving us more susceptible to what should be easy to kill bacteria and viruses. Once insulin is released into the blood stream causing a rapid decrease in blood sugar, the body releases adrenaline and cortisol, which can decrease cognitive function and if chronically high can lead to a number of other health concerns, including unhealthy weight gain. High or constantly fluctuation blood sugar levels can cause damage to kidney cells, impairing their ability to filter waste products from the blood. Long-term this can lead to kidney failure and the need for dialysis. Lastly, there is a strong correlation between high or constantly fluctuating blood sugar and high blood pressure. High blood pressure is extremely common in the diabetic community and can significantly increase the risk of a number of other cardiovascular problems. Fluctuating blood sugar levels can also wreak havoc on mood and energy levels. Simply put the body functions most optimally when there is balance. A diet high in both soluble and insoluble fibre is one very important step in ensuring a healthy and even blood sugar balance. How do I take it? PGX can be purchased in capsule or powder form. The powder can be sprinkled on food or combined with liquid/water. Natural factors recommends that individuals increase their water intake by 8 oz. for every gram of PGX consumed. It is also recommended that individuals do not take PGX within 2-3 hours of bed.

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