Grains of Paradise, what a cool name right? It sounds like some mythical ingredient that is going to make you feel incredible. Well, not quite.
Grains of Paradise is the common name for Aframomum melegueta seed extract. Aframomum melegueta is a West African spice that is in the same botanical family as ginger. Vast use of Grains Of Paradise began at the start of 14th century, utilised as a food additive and a wine flavour and scent enhancer.
The actives of Grains of Paradise include 6-gingerol, 6- shogaol and 6-gingerdione, but the main one people want is 6-paradol. The active flavor 6-paradol has shown to support neural cell endurance and reduce neuro-inflammation, which supports brain protection from unwanted damage. However the big selling point for 6-paradol and its use in most supplements is its fat burning properties, triggering thermogenesis of brown adipose tissue (known as BAT activation). This process helps convert stubborn storage fat called white fat into brown fat, which is easier to be burned off as energy and heat production via non-shivering thermogenesis.
Sounds technical right? Basically think of it this way, if you look at both fat types under a microscope, you'll notice brown fat is broken up into smaller pieces (known as droplets), giving it greater surface area contact with mitochondria where it is absorbed and oxidised for energy.
In one study 6-paradol had greater decreases in abdominal subcutaneous fat, as well as visceral fat in the same area when compared to the placebo group. This happened without any adjustments in diet or exercise regime. Now standardisation percentage of these actives such as 6-paradol can very depending on what source you use, from plant source (since 6-paradol can be extracted from plants other than Aframomum melegueta), to generic and branded sources. Let's look at two trademarked sources of 6-paradol:
Paradoxine® is a Grains of Paradise Aframomum melegueta extract by Win Health International Co., Ltd. that contains a proprietary matrix of actives it calls Aframols. Paradoxine® is standardised to contain a minimum of 15% Aframols and, in particular, 12.5% 6-paradol. This is by far the most popular source of 6-paradol in the industry.
Next up is my favourite of the two and is made by PricePlow favourites SYNMR BioTechnology. Cardamoxine™ is pure cardamom, an extract of a different plant source, Elettaria cardamomum, that begins from the beach front zone of India, the fundamental exporter of dried cardamom. Cardamom is known as the "Ruler of Spices".
Lastly is another Grains of Paradise Aframomum melegueta extract called AfraLean™, which is by Ayurveda Naturals. and sourced from the southern states of India. It contains all the beneficial phenols and glycosides such as 6-gingerol, 6-shogao, and 6-gingeredione, and of course the highest percentage of 6-paradol I've seen yielding, 15-16% of the active.
WHERE CAN I GET IT?
For now, only Paradoxine® Grains of Paradise is readily available in most places to obtain in supplement form, but that will change in the future as Cardamoxine™ and AfraLean™ becomes more known. As for generic, the effects will be the same as the above two trademarked Grains of Paradise ingredients, provided they are standardised to at least 12.5% 6-paradol.
Want to give 6-paradol a try? I highly recommend Dedicated Relentless, GHOST Burn, or Inspired LGND. Make sure you ingest at least 30mg of 12.5% paradol daily for the effects you want.