What is Sesamin?
Sesamin is a lignin compound derived from sesame seeds. Of sesame oil, about 1-2% is the non-fat fragment, and sesamin is one of the many compounds found in that fragment. In the seeds, there is approximately 225mg of sesamin per 100g, which is actually relatively high compared to other plants.
Where Does Sesamin Come From?
Originally found in Africa, sesame plants are now cultivated for the seeds. It is one of the earliest oil crops known to be grown agriculturally. It can be grown in areas that wouldn't support any other crop, which most likely contributed to its popularity.
Benefits of Sesamin
Sesamin is a potent antioxidant, sequestering free radicals, and as such may be best supplemented for these benefits. It also reduces the degradation of vitamin E in the body, keeping stores at a higher level for longer. Taking in conjunction with the vitamin can increase circulating levels by more than 50%. Other vitamins that it may have a similar effect on are vitamin K and vitamin C, as well as fish oil. It has some protective effect against dopamine and inflammation in the brain, making it the subject of research as a neuroprotectant.
Sesamin Benefits for Bodybuilding
Sesamin appears to have a suppressant effect on genes that up-regulate the creation of fat cells. Although a human study on the compound has yet to be completed, it does have promise as a fat burner, useful for cutting phases. It may also inhibit absorption of fats in the small intestine.
There is also some evidence that sesamin may be an estrogen inhibitor, working by suppressing estrogenic signaling. Estrogen can increase fat gain and reduce muscle gains in bodybuilders.
Side Effects, Safety and Negatives of Sesamin
There are no known side effects of supplementing with sesamin, however its efficacy had yet to be determined. More studies are needed on this compound.
Sesamin Recommended Doses and Ingredient Timing
Around 100 to 150mg appears to be ample to raise stores in the body high enough to preserve vitamin E. If using the seeds themselves, this would be equivalent to around 75g. It presumed that higher doses would be necessary to obtain a fat burning effect.
Sesamin can be bought as a concentrate, or it is found in sesame seeds at low concentrations. It may be impractical to eat enough of the seeds to gain a clinical effect.
Sesamin may be useful to stack with other fat burning products due to it's potential in this area, such as EHP labs Oxyshred, or with an anti-estrogen such as Elemental Nutrition's DIM. It would also be good taken with vitamin E or a multivitamin, since it works alongside these to increase retention in the body.