Who among us doesn’t want to live a long, healthy life? We emphasize healthy because, after all, there’s not much point to being alive if you aren’t well enough to enjoy it.
Thus, increasingly more attention has been paid over the last couple decades to identifying nutritional supplements that increase healthspan – the period of time a person lives free of chronic disease.
Recently, the dominant conversation in this field has been about the impact of metabolic health on aging processes in general. More and more supplement consumers are gaining awareness that insulin resistance, high blood sugar, and visceral fat can devastate a person’s body as they age.
Fortunately for us, the upstart healthcare-focused brand Healthgevity came out with Ignite, a powerful weight loss support supplement that works by improving the metabolic health factors that underlie body composition.
A formula like this is designed to not only make you look good – it’s supposed to help you feel good as well.
Located at HealthGev.com, Healthgevity is a novel startup brand built to target the hallmarks of aging. They utilize the healthcare practitioner model, where doctors, nurse practitioners, and other healthcare professionals can sell the supplements from their offices (or online as affiliates) to support their medical practices.
The founders of Healthgevity noticed a serious gap in this space – healthcare practitioners targeted with this model haven’t exactly been offered the best dietary supplements for their clients. This specific niche has been full of underdosed, poorly-formulated supplements, and none of them use novel ingredients like GlucoVantage (dihydroberberine), which is a life-changing compound.
The Healthgevity supplement discussed today (Ignite) does – and far more.
For doctors, patients, and everyone in between who’s looking for more, Healthgevity has it. Let’s start with Ignite:
MitoBurn β-aminoisobutyric acid (L-BAIBA) – 500 mg
MitoBurn is a trademarked form of L-β-Aminoisobutyric Acid, abbreviated as L-BAIBA, developed and marketed by novel ingredient developer NNB Nutrition. Right out of the gates, you’ll see how Healthgevity is doing things differently, since this ingredient has never been offered in the healthcare practitioner space until now.
BAIBA is classified as a myokine. So what are myokines? You can almost think of them as hormones – they send signals to your cells, helping them function appropriately in the context of whole-body metabolism.
Myokines are sometimes referred to as “muscle messengers” because they give cells the information they need to grow or break down muscle tissue, as conditions demand.
When you begin exercise, that exertion triggers the conversion of valine, an essential amino acid, into L-BAIBA.
When your cells detect the presence of BAIBA, they initiate a series of metabolic adaptations that help your body withstand and recover from intense physical activity. For example, your body’s rate of fat burning increases during exercise in order to make more energy available to your cells. This process is triggered by BAIBA.
This is just one example of several – in fact, most of your body’s beneficial adaptations to exercise are triggered by BAIBA.
It’s no wonder, then, that when BAIBA was discovered, people began immediately asking whether supplementation could mimic the effects of exercise, without requiring you to actually work out.
Amazingly, the answer seems to be mostly yes.
There’s tons we can write about BAIBA, but since Healthgevity Ignite is primarily a metabolic enhancement supplement, let’s focus on how BAIBA can help you reach your body composition goals.
BAIBA helps convert white adipose tissue (WAT) to brown adipose tissue (BAT)
The number-one thing to note about BAIBA, in the context of fat burning and metabolic support, is that supplementing with it has been shown to trigger the conversion of white adipose tissue (WAT) to brown adipose tissue (BAT).
Together, WAT and BAT account for all the fat tissue in your body. But note that they’re very different from each other. WAT is long-term energy storage, and is metabolized for cellular energy during times of extreme food scarcity.
In other words, WAT is not metabolically active – it’s basically potential energy.
Boosting non-shivering thermogenesis (NST)
Conversely, BAT is metabolically active. BAT continuously burns energy during non-shivering thermogenesis (NST), a process in which your body burns glucose and fatty acids off as heat. In evolutionary terms, NST serves to help you maintain your internal body temperature in the face of cold temperatures.
The constant burning of fuel for heat can significantly increase your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) of calories. With another ingredient — grains of paradise (that also happens to also be in Ignite) — a higher TDEE translates into faster weight loss.[6,7] This assumes, of course, the amount of your food intake stays constant.
The interplay between WAT and BAT is a hot topic these days because increasing BAT is a great metabolic strategy for losing weight. Since people generally want to lose fat, it’s easy to get fixated on the fat-burning potential of BAT. But we want to emphasize that BAT doesn’t just burn fatty acids – it also burns glucose for NST!
BAT’s glucose-burning activity means that even if you don’t lose body fat, having more BAT can improve your metabolic health by decreasing blood glucose levels, and, hence, insulin levels too.
How non-shivering thermogenesis (NST) works
The mechanism behind NST is increased mitochondrial activity. Specifically, BAT contains way more mitochondria than WAT.
In fact, this is where the name brown adipose tissue comes from – mitochondrial bodies are relatively opaque, so when BAT is viewed under a microscope, it appears dark brown compared to WAT, which is relatively devoid of mitochondria and thus allows more light to pass through.
When we mention converting WAT to BAT, what we’re talking about is creating new mitochondria within WAT. So that’s what BAIBA does: it triggers mitochondrial biogenesis in WAT.
There’s something special about the mitochondria in BAT though, and it has to do with a protein called uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1).
UCP1 basically short-circuits the electron transport chain that your cells use to produce energy. Much like a short-circuited electrical circuit radiates light and heat when it arcs, so too does the ETC in your cells when it gets shorted by UCP1.
The uncoupling part of UCP1’s name refers to the fact that the expression of UCP1 uncouples mitochondrial activity from your body’s metabolic demands. Under ordinary conditions, you have to exert yourself mentally or physically to burn additional calories – when UCP1 is expressed, you burn more calories without exertion.
Again, thanks to UCP1, BAT is able to burn excess cellular fuel like glucose and fatty acids, thus protecting against obesity and increasing insulin sensitivity. Protecting your metabolism from energy toxicity is the key to BAIBA’s long-term metabolic benefits.
The research on BAIBA
That’s a lot of really interesting BAIBA theory – but what about when the rubber meets the road? What do real-world studies on BAIBA supplementation show?
So far, they show that BAIBA can:
- Increase fat burning[1,3,11-13]
- Upregulate ketone production
- Turn WAT into BAT[3,12]
- Improve insulin sensitivity while lowering blood sugar[1,13,15]
- Reduce inflammation
- Improve cholesterol and triglycerides[1,13]
- Increase bone density
- Improve kidney function
So, compared to generic BAIBA, why do we like MitoBurn?
As it turns out, manufacturing a BAIBA supplement can get tricky. For example, only the L isomer of BAIBA – L-BAIBA – actually affects human metabolic function. D-BAIBA and R-BAIBA, the other BAIBA isomers, do not.[1,11]
NNB Nutrition developed and trademarked MitoBurn to give formulators and consumers a BAIBA supplement standardized for the L-BAIBA isomer.
We love BAIBA, and MitoBurn in particular, which is why we exhaustively researched and wrote an entire article about the ingredient. If you want to learn even more about BAIBA, go check it out at BAIBA: Weight Loss Ingredient Generates Exercise in a Pill?!
Factor21 bitter melon extract (Momordica charantia) – 500 mg
Bitter melon (Momordica charantia) is a vine that grows natively in Asia, India, the Caribbean, and Africa. Although its traditional uses are manifold, it has primarily been used to manage diabetes.
Bitter melon is naturally high in antioxidant phytochemicals like alkaloids, polyphenols, glycosides, resins, and saponins. Multiple studies have demonstrated that bitter melon supplementation can have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-obesity, liver protecting, and lipid lowering effects.
Bitter melon supplementation can even prevent beta cell damage, which is a big deal since it’s one of the key mechanisms behind diabetes progression. Beta cell damage can also help normalize hormonal responses and impair the growth of new fat cells.
It may even help reverse non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) progression.
Bitter melon seems to act via the AMPK, PPAR-α, and PPAR-γ pathways.
AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase) is one of your metabolism’s master energy switches. It regulates mitochondrial homeostasis by telling mitochondria how much energy to produce. The more AMPK you produce, the faster your metabolism is.
PPAR-γ drives mitochondrial biogenesis, while PPAR-α increases fat burning.[22,23]
Berberine HCl – 300 mg
This is the first portion of a two-part berberine blend — and even though it’s the larger-dosed one, it’s actually not the most powerful berberine ingredient inside! Let’s dig in:
Berberine is a glucose disposal agent, which means that it helps move glucose into your body’s cells. The obvious advantage of this is that once glucose is actually inside your cells, it’s no longer hanging out in your bloodstream, where it can potentially cause cytotoxicity or hyperinsulinemia if it builds up to excessively high concentrations.
In other words, glucose disposal agents help lower your blood glucose. This means that while taking a glucose disposal agent like berberine, you can expect lower-than-usual peak blood glucose level following a meal.[24-27]
Berberine disposes of glucose by activating adenosine monophosphate kinase (AMPK), an enzyme and metabolic master switch that we discussed earlier in the BAIBA section. You’ll recall that AMPK tells your body’s cells to burn more energy substrates (glucose and fatty acids) for fuel. This is the secret behind berberine’s ability to burn glucose.
Again, note that AMPK controls your cells’ metabolic rate – although berberine has long been billed as a glucose disposal agent since blood glucose levels are the primary concern when it comes to metabolic health, AMPK’s ability to increase your body’s rate of fat burning means it can also have positive effects on blood lipid numbers.
That’s exactly what we see with berberine supplementation – significantly improved blood cholesterol and triglycerides.
Berberine’s ability to improve one’s lipid profile is arguably just as beneficial for health as its ability to help control blood sugar.
Research on berberine indicates that it can:[24-28,30]
- Inhibit gluconeogenesis
- Decrease glucose absorption
- Improve gut flora composition
- Improve blood lipid profile
- Fight oxidative stress
- Reduce inflammation
Due to these benefits, berberine is the de-facto metabolic enhancement ingredient on the market.
However, it can get even better. We’ll get back to this in a bit, because Healthgevity also included a form of “super berberine” known as dihydroberberine (sold as GlucoVantage) that’s lower in the label, so keep reading.
InnoSlim (Astragalus membranaceus and Panax notoginseng) Root Extracts – 250 mg
InnoSlim is a blend of extracts, from Panax notoginseng root and Astragalus membranaceus root, developed and patented by NuLiv Science.
Ginseng and astragalus have tons of potential benefits, and, in fact, you can get quite different effects from their extracts depending on how you standardize them. Primarily, InnoSlim was designed to be a fat-burning and metabolic health supplement, whereas AstraGin, (also from NuLiv and sourced from the same two plants), has quite different effects.
Sodium-glucose cotransporter 1 (SGLT1)
InnoSlim decreases the expression of sodium-glucose cotransporter 1 (SGLT1), a protein that’s responsible for transporting glucose through your intestinal wall. Downregulating SGLT1 naturally decreases the amount of glucose your body absorbs from the food you eat – by as much as 41%.
Obviously, the less glucose you absorb, the less of an impact the food you eat will have on your blood glucose level, which can theoretically decrease de novo lipogenesis and improve insulin signaling in the long run.
Glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4)
InnoSlim also increases the expression of another transporter protein called glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4), which moves glucose from your blood into muscle cells. This has the same effect on blood glucose as downregulating SGLT1, just from the other side of the equation: instead of decreasing the amount of glucose that enters your blood, GLUT4 increases the rate at which your body clears glucose from your blood, which naturally leads to lower blood sugar peaks and a faster return to glucose baseline.
Metabolic rate increase
Finally, InnoSlim activates certain metabolic switches that actually increase your metabolic rate. These include adenosine monophosphate activated protein kinase (AMPK), which we’ve already discussed, plus adiponectin, an anti-diabetic hormone that’s responsible for activating AMPK. InnoSlim also upregulates acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), an enzyme that controls your body’s rate of fat burning, and hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF1), which has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity and attenuate the effects of eating a fattening diet.
Adiponectin is especially good as it actually inhibits liver glucose storage. Since glucose stored in the liver can eventually get converted into fatty acids and cause liver steatosis, this means that adiponectin can help prevent the onset of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a devastating condition that’s associated with metabolic syndrome and diabetes.
Actiponin gynostemma pentaphyllum extract (leaf) – 225 mg
Southern ginseng, whose official name is Gynostemma pentaphyllum, is an herb with a long history in traditional Chinese medicine. Historically, southern ginseng was employed to treat ailments like edema, hematuria (bloody urine) and even tumors.
Now, though, modern research has identified certain phytochemicals in the Gynostemma plant to increase fat burning. Actiponin is a patented extract of southern ginseng that’s standardized for the plant’s fat burning constituents.
A 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial conducted on 80 obese participants showed that Actiponin supplementation led to significantly reduced body fat percentage, abdominal fat, body weight, body fat mass, and BMI compared to the placebo group — with no significant changes in any safety parameters!
How Actiponin works
One way it works is by upregulating adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK),[38,39] the secondary messenger that tells your cells to burn more glucose and fatty acids for energy.
By the way, if you’re wondering why so many of the ingredients in Healthgevity Ignite target AMPK, it’s because, in part, below average AMPK activity is a common denominator among obese individuals.
Probably because they target AMPK, Gynostemma extracts are known to help lower blood sugar levels in those who take them.
There’s not much research on Gynostemma’s specific effect on WAT and BAT, but AMPK upregulation has been shown to drive mitochondrial biogenesis inside WAT from other related ingredients, making it yet another ingredient in Healthgevity’s Ignite formula to exploit this mechanism.
GlucoVantage (Dihydroberberine) – 200 mg
Next we have an improved form of berberine, GlucoVantage from NNB Nutrition.
The advantage that GlucoVantage has over generic berberine is its significantly increased bioavailability, which is achieved by hydrogenating berberine.
The reason why hydrogenated berberine (dihydroberberine, or DHB) is more bioavailable is that it’s actually a berberine metabolite. You see, whenever you ingest berberine, your gut microbiome converts it into DHB, which is able to pass through the intestinal wall. After its absorbed through your intestine, DHB is then converted back into berberine, so that the berberine can have biologically active effects in your bloodstream.
Berberine, on the other hand, cannot pass through the intestinal wall, which is why it’s converted to dihydroberberine as part of the natural digestion process.
Confused? Here’s what the entire process looks like:
Berberine (gut) → dihydroberberine (intestine) → berberine (bloodstream)
You can skip the first conversion — which is wasteful and can lead to gut issues at high doses — by supplementing dihydroberine itself, and that’s what Healthgevity is doing by adding NNB’s GlucoVantage to Ignite.
Dihydroberberine is even better for those with gut health issues
This makes even more sense for those who have poor gut health. One thing to note about the conversion of standard berberine into dihydroberberine is that it’s highly dependent on a person’s gut microbiome composition. This was shown in an extensive 2015 study that used pretty much every conceivable technique to test the microbiome-berberine-conversion link.
We wrote an article about this study, which you can read in our article titled 5x More Bioavailable: Why Dihydroberberine is “The Better Berberine”. Ultimately, the study showed that dihydroberberine is five times more bioavailable than standard berberine because it skips the back-and-forth that can be bottlenecked by an underperforming gut.
Dihydroberberine’s effects also last significantly longer than those of generic berberine.[44,45]
Long story short, people who benefit the most from a glucose-disposal and fat-burning ingredient like berberine are those with poor glycemic control and poor overall metabolic health. And the kicker here, unfortunately, is that this group is generally dealing with compromised gut microbiome function as well.
In summary, the people who need berberine the most benefit from it the least, because, on average, their gut microbiome can’t convert it into DHB as efficiently as a metabolically healthy person. Problem solved with dihydroberberine — and there’s even more to consider:
Avoid the huge doses of berberine needed for clinically significant improvements
Because of metabolic dysfunction’s impact on microbiome health, studies on generic berberine have found that you need huge doses of it to achieve clinical significance in people with type 2 diabetes. We’re talking doses like 1,500 milligrams, which is a huge amount of berberine and carries the risk of uncomfortable gastrointestinal side effects.[47,48]
Plus, since all of it doesn’t get converted to DHB and back to berberine again, you’re wasting a lot of material consuming a dose that big. 1500 milligrams requires three capsules, which would leave no room in a formula like this for other ingredients. Healthgevity bolsters its berberine with the stronger, lower-dosed GlucoVantage, saving room for everything else you see here in Ignite.
Both of these —its bioavailability and long-lasting effects — mean clinical efficacy can be achieved with a much smaller dose of DHB, compared to generic berberine.
Since it ultimately gets turned back into berberine in plasma, GlucoVantage provides the same benefits of generic berberine, just with a much smaller dose:
- Better glucose uptake, especially if you have diabetes[47,49]
- Improved insulin sensitivity
- Better glucose utilization by muscle cells[51,52]
- Improved body composition[47,53]
Why does Ignite have both GlucoVantage and generic berberine?
So you’re probably wondering: why not just use GlucoVantage? Why have any generic berberine in Healthgevity Ignite at all?
The answer is basically consumer awareness: these days, the standard dose of generic berberine in supplements is 500 milligrams (it’s about as much as most people can tolerate). So Healthgevity added 300 milligrams of generic berberine on top of 200 milligrams of GlucoVantage as reassurance that the berberine isn’t underdosed.
But as awareness of GlucoVantage’s superiority grows, at some point we’ll probably see Healthgevity drop the generic berberine altogether.
Anecdotally speaking, when still training/exercising, we’ve found that it’s basically impossible to gain weight with 200 milligrams of GlucoVantage per day. Try as you will, this ingredient works wonders at this dose and basically mandates better insulin sensitivity to a clinically significant level for us and our followers.
CaloriBurn GP Grains of Paradise (Aframomum melegueta) seed extract – 40 mg
With room saved on berberine, Healthgevity can add another clinically-supported extract.
CaloriBurn GP is another novel ingredient from NNB Nutrition — it’s a trademarked extract of Aframomum melegueta, colloquially known as grains of paradise, a close relative of ginger that’s native to West Africa.
CaloriBurn is standardized to contain at least 12.5% 6-paradol by weight. The reason we want 6-paradol is that it powerfully drives the conversion of WAT to BAT!
To reiterate, mitochondrial biogenesis in WAT creates BAT, which can can increase energy expenditure and produce heat. Recall, it raises your metabolic rate through non-shivering thermogenesis (NST), a process that can improve metabolic health (even if it doesn’t lead to weight loss) by improving glycemic control and blood lipids.
Grains of paradise research – clinically supported doses used in Ignite
A study in healthy young men between the ages of 20 and 32 found that a 40-milligram daily dose of grains of paradise was enough to significantly increase subjects’ basal metabolic rate, thanks to increased BAT and NST upregulation.
Another study, this one conducted in healthy young women between the ages of 20 and 22, found that supplementing with 30 milligrams of grains of paradise daily led to reduced visceral fat. This is a big deal because visceral fat is a particularly harmful type of fat, closely linked to the onset of metabolic syndrome and diabetes.
To give you an idea of just how harmful visceral fat can be, a study conducted on rats found that surgically removing their visceral fat – while leaving other fat tissue untouched – was sufficient to prevent the rats’ metabolic health from declining as they aged.
CaloriBurn has all four important bioactive constituents in grains of paradise
One of the reasons we like CaloriBurn so much is that it contains much more than just 6-paradol. While 6-paradol is supported by the most research, the grains of paradise plant also has other bioactive constituents, namely 6-gingerol and 6-shogaol, and they’re all kept in CaloriBurn GP. All three of these compounds can upregulate TRPV1,[57,58] which has been identified as a possible mechanism for improving body composition by targeting visceral fat, in particular.
Per the bottle, take three capsules daily, or as advised by your doctor. There are a few strategies that can be employed, but if eating three meals a day, it’s preferred to take one capsule before each meal. However, if you forget to take all three doses, it could be a good idea to take two capsules in the morning and the third in the evening.
While we’re unafraid to take Ignite on a fasted stomach, it’s best to first use it with food while you get used to it. If you really want to perfect your timing and dosage, test it in different situations using a constant glucose monitor (CGM). It’s really crazy how GlucoVantage alone can keep blood sugar levels lower and/or allow for greater carbohydrate intake.
Healthgevity Ignite is one of the most impressive fat-burner supplements we’ve seen in a long, long time. Pretty much every ingredient in this formula drives significant AMPK upregulation, or WAT-to-BAT conversion, or both.
GlucoVantage, in particular, is an ingredient we’ve always been excited about, and we’re so glad that it’s finally getting exposed to doctors on the front line. We’ve used this ingredient for years in so many situations – both low-carb dieting and high-carb bulking – and it’s one of the most impressive compounds you’ll ever use.
There’s a ton of exciting new research showing that berberine can have anti-obesity and anti-diabetic effects by directly improving the user’s underlying metabolic health – but it works so much better in dihydroberberine form. And that’s just one ingredient in this incredibly powerful formula.
Run Ignite for a month and see how you feel and how your lab work changes. We’re confident you’ll be very pleased – especially alongside a solid doctor-supported diet and exercise regimen.