Sesamin has been claimed to do a lot of things from promoting fat loss to reducing cholesterol. Unfortunately, sesamin doesn’t have a lot of science behind it’s use as a fat loss aid, even though it does in fact do some great things for the body.
First it raises the good form of vitamin E, called gamma tocopherol, which can certainly be good for heart disease and overall body health.
(1) Second, it has a good track record as a liver protecting agent (2) which is certainly a good thing and has also been shown to help detoxify alcohol in the liver along with being a very good hepaprotective agent in general. It protects the liver by helping it process fats.
Third, it has heart protective effects by reducing cholesterol and reducing blood pressure, which again are great things especially coupled with its ability to increase the effectiveness of fish oil in reducing blood “stickiness”.
Finally, it has been shown to be a SHBG upregulation agent, which could be a very bad thing for men (although the study was done in women so there is no information on sesamin and SHBG in men). Unfortunately, throughout all of the literature, there is scare data on sesamin being a fat loss agent, so there is no real reason to believe that it does anything for fat loss. It does have some potential to effect fat storage through the glut-4 pathway, but that doesn’t seem to translate into real world results and there is very little data on this mechanism. Sesamin is a great overall health supplement that is good when mixed with fish oil and high gamma vitamin E, but as a fat loss agent or anabolic agent it really never panned out.
1. J Plant Physiol. 2005 Jul;162(7):834-43. Beyond vitamin E supplementation: an alternative strategy to improve vitamin E status. Frank J. Department of Food Science, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 7051, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden. firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Br J Nutr. 2007 Jan;97(1):85-95. Comparative analysis of sesame lignans (sesamin and sesamolin) in affecting hepatic fatty acid metabolism in rats. Lim JS, Adachi Y, Takahashi Y, Ide T. National Food Research Institute, Tsukuba, Japan.