Friday, 2 May 2014

Weight loss in Herbs points of view

By Kyle J. Norton

The prevalence of extreme overweight and obesity has caused concerns of scientific community in the South East Asian population, due unhealthy diet and life style change over 2 decades of economic prosperity. Overweight and obesity have reached epidemic proportions in many Asian countries, affecting even younger age than in Western populations with economic burden in the development of  obesity-related disorders such as diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases(1).  One of six Malaysian are either extreme overweight or obese, according to Datin Paduka Santha Kumari, chairman of the Selangor branch of the Malaysian Diabetes Association and  according to global health observatory, at least 2.8 million people die each year as a result of being overweight or obese, and an estimated 35.8 million (2.3%) of global DALYs are caused by overweight or obesity, worldwide(2).
Epidemiological studies, linking herbal medicine, foods and vitamins in preventing and treating these diseases have been inconclusive(a)
Some researchers suggested that intake of certain herbal medicine may enhance appetite suppression. According to the Georgetown University Medical Center, average daily food intake was decreased only with the herbal formulation, not the phenylpropanolamine (PPA) at the low and high doses, in comparison of the effectiveness among herbal formulation and a commonly available(3). Other researchers insisted that using herbs and supplements to induce weight loss should be taken with care, as a  considerable number of reports have been published on hepatotoxicity associated with herbal products attributed with weight-reducing properties(4)(5)(6)(7). The College of Medicine, The Ohio State University insisted that various dietary, lifestyle, and psychologic factors are involved in the etiology of Prameha, particularly in relation to disturbances in fat and carbohydrate metabolism(8), without effective management, obtaining a workable weight loss plan may be extremely difficult.
1. Ephera (Ma Huang)
Ma Huang is also known as ephedra. The acrid, slightly bitter and warm herb has been used in TCM to promote urination and sweating, and rid of cold,  sooth wheezing asthma, etc. as it calms dyspnea,  asthma, cough, etc., by enhancing the functions of lung and bladder channels(9)
Ephedra sinica, the Chinese herb may be effective in induced weigh loss. According to the Dongguk University, certain chemicals found in Ephera showed an association with changes of BW and BMI through alteration of gut microbiota varied by indigenous microbiota of each subject(10). The combined study of a low-calorie diet and Ephera, In 125 otherwise healthy obese women, showed  effectively in reducing BMI. RMR change not compensated for by the herbal medicines tried. Resting metabolic rate (RMR) change seemed to be affected by constitution and body composition rather than by medicine(11). The Dongeui University study of composition GGEx18( Laminaria japonica, Rheum palmatum, and Ephedra sinica) in high fat diet-induced obese mice suggested that GGEx18 improves obesity through skeletal muscle AMPK and AMPK-stimulated expression of PPARα and its target enzymes for fatty acid oxidation, through inhibited lipid accumulation, and similar activation of genes(12).
Please note that  due to its  adverse reactions of palpitations, stress, headache and insomnia and stroke, heart attacks, cardiac arrhythmias, seizures and psychotic,  the Dutch Inspectorate for Health Care and the Ministry of Health in Canada have recently requested a market recall of some ephedrine-containing herbal products in response to above adverse reactions. In the Netherlands, the status of Ephedra-containing products is currently reconsidered(13).

2. Ginseng
Ginseng is a slow-growing perennial plants with fleshy roots, the genus Panax, belonging to the family Araliaceae. Depending to the climate where it grows, ginseng can be classified mainly into Panax ginseng Asian ginseng (root), Red ginseng, wild ginseng, American ginseng (root)(14).
In 10 obese middle-aged Korean women who took Panax ginseng extracts for 8 wk, showed  effectively in influence on gut microbiota in promoting weigh loss but depending to the composition of gut microbiota prior to ginseng intake(15). In mice fed on a high-fat diet, ginseng saponin and ginsenosides not only exerted anti-obesity effects via the modulation of physiological lipid metabolism in vivo or intracellular signalling in cell culture systems, but also promoted anti-obesity effects, through abnormal physiology via HFD. Leptin, insulin, and adiponectin, which carry out critical functions in energy and lipid metabolism(16).

3. Zingiber Officinale(Ginger
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) or ginger root is the genus Zingiber, belonging to the family Zingiberaceae, native to Tamil. It has been used in traditional and Chinese medicine to treat dyspepsia, gastroparesis, constipation, edema, difficult urination, colic, etc.(17).
According to the Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Slimax (extract of several plants including Zingiber officinale and Bofutsushosan) showed a significant decrease in body weight or inhibition of weight gain(18). The composition of multi-ingredient supplement containing primarily raspberry ketone, caffeine, capsaicin, garlic, ginger and Citrus aurantium, also found the improvements in body composition, waist and hip girth, in an eight-week diet and exercise weight loss program(19). In a comparison of the weight loss effect of Orlistat, a pharmacological agent promoting weight loss and ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe, Zingiberacae) in male albino rats, researchers at the Ain Shams University Cairo, found that ginger has a great ability to reduce body weight without inhibiting pancreatic lipase level, or affecting bilirubin concentration, with positive effect on increasing peroxisomal catalase level and HDL-cholesterol(20).

4. Cissus quadrangularis (CQ)
Cissus quadrangularis is an ancient herb used to treat a variety of indications, belonging to the grape family, probably native to India or Sri Lanka. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled design involving 123 overweight and obese persons (47.2% male; 52.8% female; ages 19-50). conducted by University of Yaoundé I, Cissus quadrangularis showed a statistically significant net reductions in weight and central obesity, as well as causes of metabolic syndrome(21). In comparison of the effectiveness of Cissus quadrangularis-only and a Cissus quadrangularis/Irvingia gabonensis combination, on weight loss in overweight and obese human subjects, Cissus quadrangularis-only group showed significant reductions on all variables compared to the placebo group, the Cissus quadrangularis/Irvingia gabonensis combination resulted in even larger reductions(22). CQR-300, a proprietary extract of Cissus quadrangularis, also showed a significant reductions in weight and blood glucose levels, while decreasing serum lipids thus improving cardiovascular risk factors, according to the University of Yaoundé I,(23).

5. Sambucus nigra
Elder also known as Common Elder, is a shrub or small tree of the genus Sambucus of 30 specie, belonging to the family Adoxaceae, native to the temperate-to-subtropical regions of both the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere. The herb has been used in traditional and herbal medicine to treat constipation, colic, diarrhea, colds, flu, bronchial and upper-respiratory, irritation of the skin, rheumatism, etc.
The composition of supplement with Sambucus nigra and Asparagus officinalis study, showed an effectiveness in reduced weight, blood pressure, enhanced physical and emotional well-being and the quality of life had significantly improved (ITT analysis)(24). The Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Sambucus nigra study, showed a significant decrease in body weight in numbers of animal studies(25).

6. Asparagus officinalis
Asparagus is a flowering plant belong to species the genus Asparagus, native to the western coasts of northern Spain, north to Ireland, Great Britain, and northwest Germany, northern Africa and western Asia. Asparagus has been used from early times as a vegetable and medicine, because of its delicate flavour and diuretic properties(26). Asparagus officinalis L. powder tablets provided 19 mg saponins per day study showed an effectiveness of the tablets in reduced mean weight, blood pressure, and enhanced physical and emotional well-being and the quality of life with the rate of very good or good by most of the completers(27). In 12 weeks supplementation of a botanical extract-based weight loss formula, including Asparagus, researchers at the Poznan University of Medical Science, indicated a significantly change of the Body Composition Improvement Index (BCI), induce greater weight loss than placebo, probably through a concurrently performed exercise program recommended strategy for life style modification(28).

7. Slimax
Slimax (extract of several plants including Zingiber officinale and Bofutsushosan), in the reviews of the data base of studies published, showed a significant decrease in body weight. In 41 animal studies, the formula was found to be effective in significant induced weight loss or inhibited of weight gain(29).

Taken altogether, the above herbs may be effectiveness in enhanced weight loss through suppression of appetite and improvement of symptoms induced by over weight and obesity. As always, all articles written by Kyle J. Norton are for information & education only, please consult your Doctor & Related field specialist before applying

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(1) Rising Burden of Obesity in Asia by Ambady Ramachandran and Chamukuttan Snehalatha(Journey of Obesity)
(2) Obesity - Situation and trends(WHO)
(3) Influence of a combination of herbs on appetite suppression and weight loss in rats by Talpur NA1, Echard BW, Manohar V, Preuss HG.(PubMed)
(4) [Hepatotoxicity induced by herbs and medicines used to induce weight loss].[Article in Spanish]by Herrera S1, Bruguera M.(PubMed)
(5) A case report of adult lead toxicity following use of Ayurvedic herbal medication by Breeher L1, Gerr F, Fuortes L.(PubMed)
(6) [Chronic lead intoxication associated with Ayurvedic medication].[Article in Dutch] by Kanen BL1, Perenboom RM.(PubMed)
(7) Potential toxicity of caffeine when used as a dietary supplement for weight loss by Pendleton M1, Brown S, Thomas C, Odle B.(PubMed)
(8) Multinutrient supplement containing ephedra and caffeine causes weight loss and improves metabolic risk factors in obese women: a randomized controlled trial by Hackman RM1, Havel PJ, Schwartz HJ, Rutledge JC, Watnik MR, Noceti EM, Stohs SJ, Stern JS, Keen CL.(PubMed)
(9) Ma Huang(Popular Chinese herbs)
(10) Prameha in Ayurveda: correlation with obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes mellitus. Part 2--management of Prameha by Sharma H1, Chandola HM.(PubMed)
(11) Effect of herbal Ephedra sinica and Evodia rutaecarpa on body composition and resting metabolic rate: a randomized, double-blind clinical trial in Korean premenopausal women by Kim HJ1, Park JM, Kim JA, Ko BP(PubMed)
(12) The herbal composition GGEx18 from Laminaria japonica, Rheum palmatum, and Ephedra sinica reduces obesity via skeletal muscle AMPK and PPARα by Shin SS1, Park D, Lee HY, Hong Y, Choi J, Oh J, Lee H, Lee HR, Kim MR, Shen ZB, Cui HH, Yoon M.(PubMed)
(13) [Ephedrine and ephedra in weight loss products and other preparations].[Article in Dutch] by van der Hooft CS1, Stricker BH.(PubMed)
(14) Ginseng, Asian (Panax ginseng) and Ginseng, North America(Popular Chinese Herbs)
(15) Influence of Panax ginseng on obesity and gut microbiota in obese middle-aged Korean women by Song MY1, Kim BS2, Kim H(PubMed)
(16) Lipid metabolic effect of Korean red ginseng extract in mice fed on a high-fat diet by Song YB1, An YR, Kim SJ, Park HW, Jung JW, Kyung JS, Hwang SY, Kim YS.(PubMed)
(17) Popular #Herbs - #Ginger (Zingiber officinale)(Popular Chinese herbs)
(18) A systematic review of the efficacy and safety of herbal medicines used in the treatment of obesity by Hasani-Ranjbar S1, Nayebi N, Larijani B, Abdollahi M.(PubMed)
(19) Eight weeks of supplementation with a multi-ingredient weight loss product enhances body composition, reduces hip and waist girth, and increases energy levels in overweight men and women by Lopez HL1, Ziegenfuss TN, Hofheins JE, Habowski SM, Arent SM, Weir JP, Ferrando AA.(PubMed)
(20) Comparative evaluation of the efficacy of ginger and orlistat on obesity management, pancreatic lipase and liver peroxisomal catalase enzyme in male albino rats by Mahmoud RH1, Elnour WA.(PubMed)
(21) The use of a Cissus quadrangularis formulation in the management of weight loss and metabolic syndrome by Oben J1, Kuate D, Agbor G, Momo C, Talla X.(PubMed)
(22) The use of a Cissus quadrangularis/Irvingia gabonensis combination in the management of weight loss: a double-blind placebo-controlled study. by Oben JE1, Ngondi JL, Momo CN, Agbor GA, Sobgui CS.(PubMed)
(23) The effect of Cissus quadrangularis (CQR-300) and a Cissus formulation (CORE) on obesity and obesity-induced oxidative stress by Oben JE1, Enyegue DM, Fomekong GI, Soukontoua YB, Agbor GA.(PubMed)
(24) An observational study and quantification of the actives in a supplement with Sambucus nigra and Asparagus officinalis used for weight reduction by Chrubasik C1, Maier T, Dawid C, Torda T, Schieber A, Hofmann T, Chrubasik S.(PubMed)
(25) A systematic review of the efficacy and safety of herbal medicines used in the treatment of obesity by Hasani-Ranjbar S1, Nayebi N, Larijani B, Abdollahi M(PubMed)
(26) #Healthy #Foods - Vegetables - Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis)(health tips for better living and living health)
(27) An observational study and quantification of the actives in a supplement with Sambucus nigra and Asparagus officinalis used for weight reduction by Chrubasik C1, Maier T, Dawid C, Torda T, Schieber A, Hofmann T, Chrubasik S.(PubMed)
(28) Efficacy of 12 weeks supplementation of a botanical extract-based weight loss formula on body weight, body composition and blood chemistry in healthy, overweight subjects--a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial by Opala T1, Rzymski P, Pischel I, Wilczak M, Wozniak J.(PubMed)
(29) A systematic review of the efficacy and safety of herbal medicines used in the treatment of obesity by Hasani-Ranjbar S1, Nayebi N, Larijani B, Abdollahi M.(PubMed)

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