The Science of Thermogenics
Everyone’s body has an innate metabolism that determines the rate of chemical reactions involved with converting compounds and molecules to energy. Someone who wants to lose weight will need to make changes to their diet to ensure that the body can metabolize fat cells effectively. This metabolic rate determines how quickly weight loss will occur. Weight-loss efforts generally involve eating fewer calories and engaging in physical activity to burn calories. Some people have chosen to use thermogenic drugs to increase their metabolic rate. Athletes who want to have a very low amount of body fat have used thermogenic drugs to enable fast fat loss. Thermogenic drug use can have an impact on both fat loss and muscle gains, which may help athletes improve their performance and endurance.
A person’s basal metabolic rate is the energy expenditure that occurs at rest. Calculating basal metabolic rate provides information about the number of calories a person would need to survive if they did not engage in any movement or activity throughout an entire day. This basic caloric requirement would just be sufficient for keeping the body functioning. Some people have higher basal metabolic rates than others. Someone with a high percentage of muscle mass will need more calories for basic function than someone with a higher percentage of fat because muscle needs more calories to maintain than fat does. Men usually have higher basal metabolic rates than women do because of their higher muscle mass.
The process of digestion converts food to energy. The calories eaten are used to enable the heart to beat, blood to circulate, the brain to receive and send signals, and lungs to breathe. Calories also become fuel for activities such as walking, running, jumping, and participating in sports. After eating food, the body begins digestion to break down large molecules into smaller ones. Gastric juices help with this breakdown. Small molecules then absorb into cells for energy. Most nutrient absorption happens in the small intestine. Inside cells, mitochondria serve as the main energy producers, with the responsibility for processing molecules and transforming them into energy. The material that moves on from the small intestine to the large intestine is destined for elimination because the body does not need it.
Some weight-loss drugs contain 2,4-dinitrophenol, also called simply “DNP.” This chemical often leads to rapid weight loss, but a number of negative side effects are also associated with DNP. People taking this weight-loss agent may experience tachycardia, hyperthermia, and other health issues. Some people have even died from these complications. Instead of potentially deadly DNP, there are other safer weight-loss medications. By seeing a physician for assistance with weight loss, you may find that you are a candidate for a prescription medication that will help with appetite suppression and with blocking the absorption of fat. Some of these medications include benzphetamine and diethylpropion. Some medications are approved only for short-term use, while others can be used for a longer period. It’s imperative to remain under a physician’s care when taking this type of medication to monitor for potential serious side effects.
How Digestion and Energy Work Together
- Physical and Chemical Changes in the Digestive System (PDF)
- Digestion, Absorption, and Metabolism: The Link Between Food and Energy (PDF)
- Body Mass Index: Its Relationship to Basal Metabolic Rates and Energy Requirements
- Basal Energy Expenditure: Harris-Benedict Equation
- Your Digestive System and How It Works (PDF)
- A Journey Through the Digestive System (PDF)
- What Would Happen if We Did Not Have a Digestive System?
- The Digestive System
- The Digestive System: An Overview
- The Way Food Works: Analyzing the Short- and Long-Term Effects of What We Eat
- Electron Transport in the Energy Cycle of the Cell
- Biological Oxidations, Electron Transport, and Oxidative Phosphorylation
- The Electron Transport Chain (PDF)
- Breaking Down Your Metabolism
- BMI (Body Mass Index) and BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate): Calorie Calculator
- Basal Metabolic Rate
What Are Thermogenic Drugs?
- Thermogenic Drugs for the Treatment of Obesity (PDF)
- Thermogenic and Metabolic Antiobesity Drugs: Rationale and Opportunities (PDF)
- Weight Management Medications
- Sports Supplements
- Drugs and Performance-Enhancing Substances
- Thermogenic Supplement Usage in College Students (PDF)
- Combinations of Drugs in the Treatment of Obesity (PDF)
- Healthy Competition (PDF)
Dangers of These Drugs
- 2,4-Dinitrophenol: Carcinogenic Potency Database
- Neuroprotective Actions of 2,4-Dinitrophenol (PDF)
- Selected Metabolic Poisons
- The Anti-Obesogenic Effects of Nitric Oxide (PDF)
- Sympathoadrenal Activity and Obesity: Physiological Rationale for the Use of Adrenergic Thermogenic Drugs
- Ephedrine and Its Effect on Weight Loss
- Modern Trends in Managing Obesity: Evolution of a New Drug: Sibutramine