PAGG Stack – What it is, what it does, and its importance

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Called the ‘4 Horseman of Fat Loss’ by Tim Ferris in his book, the Four Hour Body, the PAGG Stack is a ‘stack’ of 4 supplements purported to help aid weight loss by encouraging the burning and neutralization of fat.

They are:

P – Policosanol
A – Alpha Lipoic Acid
G – Green Tea Extract
G – Garlic Extract

Each ingredient has a particular purpose, and working together they do their jobs a little better than one on its own does.

 

P – Policosanol

Policosanol, the ‘P’ in the Four Hour Body’s PAGG weight loss supplement stack.

It is a waxy compound of fatty alcohols derived primarily from plants, mainly sugar cane or beeswax, and is fast gaining a reputation as a natural alternative to statin drugs for lowering cholesterol.

Lots of studies claim that Policosanol helps to:

Lower Total and LDL (bad) Cholesterol
Raise HDL (good) Cholesterol

In my research, I found 2 small problems however:

Most of the studies were sponsored by Cuba, who were heavily invested in the success of Policosanol
Studies of Policosanol outside of Cuba weren’t exactly conclusive. Using himself as a guinea pig however, Tim not only managed to replicate the cholesterol claims, he accidentally discovered that it had some fat burning properties as well.

There doesn’t seem be any real side effects, except for the accidental discovery that it helps burn fat. Tim recommends an optimal 23mg intake of Polisocanol once a day just prior to bed, with the last portion of PAG. With regards to fat loss, no improvements were observed when more than 23mg was taken, so there’s no need to go above the recommended amount.

 

A – Alpha Lipoic Acid

Alpha Lipoic Acid, or ALA, is a potent antioxidant and , radical scavenger and renegrates Vitamins C & E in the body. It also helps a to maintain heathy cellular activity by restoring glutathione, a very important antioxidant that’s made by our own body which affects everything from our immune system, to its ability to remove waste like lead and mercury and even basic functions like DNA repair and protein synthesis.

Scientists have also shown evidence that ALA helps burn calories, as seen in the following graph, taken from a study by the Korean University of Ulsan, College of Medicine.

 

Tim sums up his recommendation for ALA as part of his PAGG supplement stack:

ALA inhibits fat storage
ALA aids in cellular activity which helps increase metabolism which helps burn fat
ALA stores energy from consumed carbohydrates not in fat, but in your muscles and/or liver
ALA is safe for humans, even in high doses

 

G – Green Tea Extract

Green Tea Extract EGCG, the first ‘G’ in the Four Hour Body’s PAGG weight loss supplement stack.

What we want from this extract is the active ingredient Epigallocatechin Gallate, or simply, EGCG. Why is it only in green tea and not other teas? This is because in the creation of black / red tea, EGCG is oxidised, forming Thearubigins, the stuff that make such teas reddish when steeped. Another thing to note is that if the water is too hot, EGCG is converted into CGC. In both cases, you lose practically all of its benefits.

EGCG has been the given a lot of attention lately. This is because there’s increasing evidence that it’s capable of treating and protecting the body from various cancers, microbial infections and possibly parkinson’s disease.

Apart from EGCG being a powerful anti-oxidant, EGCG has also been tested to help burn fat in a few ways:

1. It prevents storage of excess carbohydrates as fats
2. It appears to promote the self destruction of stubborn mature fat cells (Fatty, Be Gone!)
3. It increases resting metabolic rate, burning more calories

Lots of health benefits.. and it aids in fat burning. Fantastic yes?

Why don’t we just steep? Why buy supplements?

Apart from accidentally converting EGCG is water that’s too hot, it’s mainly because you can’t control the amount of EGCG you consume. Not only that, to get the recommended 325mg, you’ll need quite a lot of tea bags and ingest quite a bit of caffeine as well. Supplements allow you to get a specified amount while allowing you the choice of having or not having caffeine with it.

 

G – Garlic Extract

Garlic Extract for the next ‘G’ in the PAGG Stack, or more specifically, the active ingredient ‘Allicin’.

Garlic extract and its constituent parts have been used for applications ranging from cholesterol
management to inhibiting lethal MRSA staph infections, while its ability to prevent fat regain came as a surprise to Tim.

Allicin, which is responsible for the fresh ‘garlic small’, is actually designed to protect the bulb from harm when damaged. It deteriorates quickly after its inception however. Its short life span, and the fact that chomping down on large amounts of garlic isn’t exactly ideal for the stomach, means that getting supplements with high Allicin potential would be preferred.

 

Dosage and Schedule

Policosanol: 20–25 mg
Alpha-lipoic acid: 100–300 mg (Take less if you get acid reflux, or use R-ALA instead)
Green tea extract: (decaffeinated with at least 325 mg EGCG): 325 mg
Garlic extract: 200 mg

Daily PAGG intake is timed before meals and bed, which produces a schedule like this:
Prior to breakfast: AGG
Prior to lunch: AGG
Prior to dinner: AGG
Prior to bed: PAG (without green tea extract)
AGG is simply PAGG minus policosanol.

This dosing schedule is followed six days a week. Critically, take one day off each week and one week off every two months.

 

Side Effects

Apart from needing to take the usual precautions, no. The PAGG was created with the lack of side-effects in mind.

The PAGG was actually created to replace the famed ECA weight loss stack. This is because even though the ECA stack worked, it came with some negative side effects, some of which was personally experienced by Tim (pg 115-116 of the book) . In the end, Tim created PAGG so that he could get similar results without hurting himself.

Long story short, apart from a little acid reflex, which will be addressed in the next question, the only PAGG Stack side effects are positive.

As always however, remember to seek proper medical advise when required.

Read more about the ECA stack here. More detailed FAQ about the PAGG Stack here.

 

Do I Need the PAGG Stack

Remember, these are called ‘Supplements’. They are meant the ‘supplement’ your efforts.

So, no, you do not ‘need’ the stack. It’s there to aid your efforts. Focus on getting what you eat and do right first before considering getting any supplements.

 

Alright, got it. I’d like to get the Stack

Okie dokie. Here are some ways for you to get started:

Should I buy each ingredient separately or as a packaged product?

I’d like to see which packaged product is the best

I’d like to see the most frequently asked questions about the PAGG Stack

 

Please. I don’t wish to read anymore, just point me to your recommended stack

I can sympathize, lol. Alright, here you go.

 

2 Comments
  1. Milton Rogério Bonassi says

    sell and deliver in Brazil ?

    1. Aaron says

      Both iHerb and Pareto nutrition ship to brazil. Do check for any restrictions and taxes on your end though.

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