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Outcomes of human studies with TTA are disappointing

Outcomes of human studies with TTA are disappointing
Yesterday we wrote about tetradecylthioacetic acid [usually abbreviated TTA], a substance in fat loss supplements which in animal studies turns the liver into a fatty acids incinerator. Good stuff to lose excess body fat, you might think. But in the few studies in which real people used TTA, we read something else.

In 2004, researchers at the Rikshospitalet in Oslo gave 10 HIV patients 1 gram of TTA every day for 4 weeks. [Eur J Clin Invest. 2004 Oct;34(10):709-15.] The supplementation had no effect on the T-cells, but reduced the concentration of TNF-alpha, the 'bad cholesterol' LDL and the triglycerides in their blood. But losing weight? Didn't happen.

Outcomes of human studies with TTA are disappointing

Norwegian researchers, affliated with the University of Bergen, gave 18 volunteers 200, 600 or 1000 milligrams of TTA per day during a phase-1 trial for 7 days. Noteworthy side effects did not come to light. [Diabetes Obes Metab. 2009 Apr;11(4):304-14.] TTA is safe. As far as you can deduce from a 7-day trial.

In 2009, Norwegian researchers from the University of Bergen published a small human study in which they gave 16 men with type-2 diabetes 1 gram of TTA every day for 4 weeks. The men followed a diet or used diabetes medications to get their illness under control. A number of them was on statins as well.

The men's cholesterol and triglyceride levels improved, but they lost no weight.

Outcomes of human studies with TTA are disappointing

In the same publication, the researchers also talk about experiments with human muscle cells. In concentrations of several tens of micromoles, TTA increased the oxidation of fatty acids, the Norwegians discovered.

Outcomes of human studies with TTA are disappointing

In the muscle cells TTA increased the production of carnitine palmitoyltransferase-I, an enzyme involved in the burning of fatty acids, and CD36 [or fatty acid translocase], a protein that is involved in the cellular absorption of fatty acids.

Nevertheless, these effects are apparently not strong enough to cause weight loss. Perhaps they are canceled out by an increase in appetite, which has been demonstrated in the animal studies we wrote about yesterday.

What do we know about TTA now?
TTA is synthetic fatty acid, which does not occur in nature. It has to consumed in gram quantities [a cap may capsule contain half a gram] and that is not burned by the body. Moreover, TTA is a substance with pharmacological activity. It's an experimental drug, whose safety has not yet been properly studied. And in human studies, it does not seem to work.

A substance that should not be sold as asupplement, if you ask us.

Diabetes Obes Metab. 2009 Apr;11(4):304-14.

Tetradecylthioacetic Acid, a weird fat burner 05.06.2018

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