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Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, "Effortless" Fat Loss, and Pantothenic Acid.

Ari Whitten's book Red Light Therapy contains the revelation that the well-researched, yet relatively little known, Red/Near Infrared (NIR) light therapy reduces oxidized ubiquinone (aka CoQ10) in the mitochondria to ubiquinol. The referenced experiments found that CoQ10 can only be regenerated by light at specific wavelengths in the presence of "chlorophyll" metabolites. (Now we know why Mom always told us to eat our greens.)

The Red/NIR light effect on CoQ10 may explain most of the myriad of reported health benefits from more than 3000 studies. The studied benefits include anti-aging, reduced chronic inflammation, increased strength and endurance, fat loss, and improved cognitive function. The therapy also helps overcome chronic fatigue. The research was spurred by NASA after it was discovered diabetic foot sores heal normally when exposed to RED/NIR light.

Keep in mind that for the CoQ10-effect, we not only need to eat greens and apply the light properly, but we also need ample supplies of ubiquinone--CoQ10. As we age, our own bodies make less, and drugs like the popular statin cholesterol-lowering drugs lower circulating CoQ10 levels.

Ari's book contains a fascinating discussion of the research showing that Red/NIR light causes fat cells to disgorge their contents! Ari explains why stubborn fat is so hard to lose, and why exercise is not the answer. He then explains how and why Red/NIR light can be used for "spot" fat reduction.

Our company Immortal Cell Sciences has become interested in efficient fat burning and weight loss. In 1996, Hong Kong doctor L.H. Leung developed a theory regarding coenzyme A and efficient lipid metabolism. Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) is a direct precursor to coenzyme A. Leung's theory is that very high dosages of B5, after it turns into coenzyme A, optimize fat burning, avoiding a secondary, less efficient evolutionary-backup method, which produces ketones.

Leung studied high doses of vitamin B5 for weight reduction and fat loss to test his hypothesis. For one year, 100 patients were able to achieve "effortless" and steady fat loss by taking 10,000 mg of vitamin B5 as pantothenic acid daily. Hunger was averted on a 1000 calorie diet and there was no weakness--or ketosis. Surprisingly, the only side effect reported at these "mega" doses of vitamin B5 was a feeling of well-being.

Leung reported that 10,000 mg vitamin B5 daily worked for most subjects, but a few cases required up to 20,000 mg of vitamin B5 to avoid ketosis on a 1000 calorie per day diet.

Another book by Whitten, Forever Fat Loss, promises "effortless" fat loss, without counting calories, or reducing carbs, etc. Reminded of Leung, we read Whitten, who explains why and how all diets fail, almost of necessity given our evolutionary biology which slows down our metabolisms when calories are scarce. Whitten also advises eating whole foods, thus avoiding all processed food which may contain additives affecting "pleasure areas" in the brain, creating food addictions.

The other major point in Whitten's book is to avoid our normal lack of movement. We sit too much. The advice is not exercising perse, but to strive to be constantly moving, at least once per hour. Not too long ago, our forefathers, just living their lives, generated on average about 2300 calories during the day. Today our sedentary jobs has lowered our thermogenesis to only 400 to 800 calories, leaving 1500 less calories to burn the food we now eat.

Whitten's ideas on movement stem from Mayo Clinic obesity researcher James Levine's work on non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). Levine wondered whether it was true that some people could seemingly "eat a horse" and not gain weight, while others seemed to gain weight eating a potato chip. It turns out that after meticulous experiments with people who didn't exercise regularly, this anecdotal observation was true. Different people eating the exact same number of calories gained between 3 to 30 pounds.

The difference between the people turned out to be their non-exercise activity or NEAT. Levine reports that as societies have adopted the automobile, eg, China, and thus decreased their NEAT, the rate of obesity closely matches the percentage of the population that drives cars.

As far as we know, neither Whitten nor Levine is aware of Leung's vitamin B5 findings. In our opinion, combining the Whitten/Levine blueprint with a Leung-size dose of vitamin B5 wouldn't be harmful, would likely lead to better health, and may very well be an infallible means to burn fat and lose weight.


Leung LH. Pantothenic Acid as a Weight-Reducing Agent:Fasting Without Hunger, Weakness and Ketosis. Medical Hypotheses. 1995;44: 403-405.

Leung LH. A Stone that Kills Two Birds: How Pantothenic Acid Unveils the Mysteries of Acne Vulgaris and Obesity. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine. 1997; 12(2): 99-114.

Levine J, Yeager S. Move a Little, Lose a Lot: New N.E.A.T. Science Reveals How to Be Thinner, Happier, and Smarter. Harmony: January 20, 2009; p304.

Qu J, et al. Dietary chlorophyll metabolites catalyze the photoreduction of plasma ubiquinone. Photochem Photobiol. 2013 Mar-Apr;89(2):310-3.

Whitten A. Forever Fat Loss: Escape the Low Calorie and Low Carb Diet Traps and Achieve Effortless and Permanent Fat Loss by Working with Your Biology Instead of Against It, Archangel Ink: September 7, 2015; p.191.

Whitten A. The Ultimate Guide to Red Light Therapy: How to Use Red and Near-Infrared Light Therapy for Anti-Aging, Fat Loss, Muscle Gain, Performance, and Brain Optimization. Amazon Digital Services LLC: July 9, 2018; p. 296.

Xu C, et al. Light-harvesting chlorophyll pigments enable mammalian mitochondria to capture photonic energy and produce ATP. J Cell Sci. 2014; 127: 388-399.

by Owen Fonorow[c]2019
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Author:Fonorow, Owen
Publication:Townsend Letter
Date:Apr 1, 2019
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