I've been seeing some products lately (particular from Sportpharma) containing oligopeptides that purportedly have fat-fighting properties.
Is there any empirical evidence (or even theoretical basis) for believing this stuff might be effective?
Will Brink mentioned oligopeptides on his site. *Here's his summary of the (non-peer reviewed) research.
Study #1: "Oligopeptides suppress fat deposition and influence on the cellularity of adipose tissue." (Kagawa, et al) This research did not come from a journal but was given to me by a researcher friend who wanted my opinion on the stuff. This is "in house" research done by a Japanese pharmaceutical company. The product is called Peptide FM and it appears to have some very interesting properties. Peptide FM is made from various proteins with specific amino acid sequences. The proteins are fractioned to get specific peptides with certain amino acid sequences of a certain length. Peptide FM appears to be able to reduce fat deposition from both the intake of fat and carbohydrates in the diet. It has effects at both the digestive and cellular level and has been shown to inhibit lipogenesis (fat storage) in both liver and adipose tissue. Peptide FM was shown to inhibit certain enzy mes involved with the production and subsequent storage of fat in fat cells and increases beta-oxidation (fat burning) in several animal models. Peptide FM was also shown to reduce triglycerides in this research. Just as important as its effects, it was found to do all this at very small doses.
Now for the bad news. So far, very little of this research has been published in peer reviewed journals and all of the research has been done by the same group. It is hard to tell just how good this stuff is until it goes through some confirmation by other researchers. Companies involved in making these types of products are sort of stuck between a rock and a hard place. If they publish their material right away someone might steal the idea from them and if they sit on it "in house" it looks as if they are trying to hide something. So will this be the best thing for bodybuilders since the squat rack? It's to early to tell but I would expect to see this stuff pop up in various products in the coming months.
(I got this here: http://www.brinkzone.com/scinutrition.html)