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Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Herbal Drug Seen to be Effective in Reducing Obesity and Controlling Diabetes

Posted by Dr Prahallad Panda on 6:56 PM Comments

The Original article published in the BioMed Central can be accessed here.

Obesity is an important health problem in the developed and developing countries as well. It is a friend of several cancers including that of breast cancer; also can give rise to diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases.
Obesity is the result of increased size of individual fat cells due to lipid accumulation and from increased number of fat cells (adipocytes).
According to an estimate, conducted by the International Association for the Study of Obesity (IASO), and the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) in 2010, approximately 1.0 billion adults are currently overweight (BMI 25–29.9 Kg/m2), and a further 475 million are obese.

English: Front-On View of an Obese Man. Weight...
English: Front-On View of an Obese Man. Weight: 270lb/122.5kg Height: 5ft 11in/178cm. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Worldwide, up to 200 million school aged children are either overweight or obese. In the European Union, approximately 60% of adults and over 20% of school-age children are overweight or obese.
Treatment of obesity includes lifestyle-based interventions such as diet, exercise, and behavior therapy; and medical or surgical intervention (pharmacotherapy or bariatric surgery).
Till now, medical therapy largely remains controversial having significant adverse effects and being ineffective in long term; surgical therapy has not gained popularity and also elusive to large number of patients.
Therefore, the combination of safety concerns and high costs associated with weight-loss treatment, it is pertinent to go in search for relatively harmless and affordable medications.
Ayurveda, a part of Atharvaveda, which is one of four Vedas (Encyclopedia of Knowledge) in India , has long been known as the richest database of medicinal plants indicated for their uses in various disorders such as inflammation, pain, diabetes, obesity, hepato-toxicity, allergy, amnesia, etc.
Inspired by this researchers tried to develop a novel, safe and cost-effective herbal composition for the management of obesity from the plant extracts of over two hundred Indian medicinal plants known for their anti-obese properties.
Moringa olifera (Drum Stick, Sajana in Odia)

They assessed the inhibition of adipogenesis and ability to enhance lipid breakdown i.e. lipolysis. From the screening assays, they selected several plant extracts including Moringa olifera, Murraya koeingii, Curcuma longa for their anti-adipogenesis activities.
They tried combinations of extracts in different ratio, and found that the composition (LI85008F) containing extracts of M. olifera, M. koeingii, C. longa at 6:3:1 ratio exhibited synergistic inhibition of adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 adipocytes.

It works by inhibiting the formation of fat cells and intra-cellular fat accumulation impairing differentiation of pre-adipocyets to mature adipocytes, and decreases the fatty mass of adipocytes by increasing break-down of the intracellular lipid depot.
Murraya koeingii (Curry Tree, Bhrusanga in Odia)

They found a reduction of body weight and BMI, by 166.6% and 169.1%, respectively following supplementation of LI85008F formulation for 8 weeks in obese humans.
Waist-hip ratio (WHR) an indicator of abdominal visceral fat showed reduction by 96% compared to placebo.
Adiponectin is exclusively secreted from adipose tissue into the blood stream. This protein hormone modulates a number of metabolic processes, including glucose regulation and fatty acid catabolism. Serum level of this hormone is inversely correlated with body fat percentage in human adults. Significant number of studies indicates that reduced level of circulatory adiponectin may play a role in pathogenesis of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
They observed that 8 weeks of LI85008F supplementation provided 21.26% (p = 0.0065) increase in serum adiponectin level in comparison with the placebo group.
Turmeric (Curcuma Longa)

There was improvement in serum glucose, LDL/HDL ratio, and triglycerides. The reduced level of circulating lipids i.e. triglycerides and LDL/HDL ratio reflects improved status of fat metabolism and reduced stored fat in the body.
There was up regulation of adiponectin and pref-1 protein, and concurrently, down-regulation of resistin and PAI-1 in LI85008F treated cells. Increase in adiponectin level in LI85008F treated cells indicates reduced cellular adiposity and improvement in insulin sensitivity.
Herbal products are natural and are generally considered as safe. Above all, the ingredients of this anti-obese formulation i.e. M. olifera, M. koeingii and C. longa have long been known to be safe for human consumption.
Although, some participants in the study reported some mild adverse effects, they were distributed evenly between the placebo and the treatment groups. The clinical evaluation of the biochemical safety parameters in blood and urine did not show any adverse results for the consumption of LI85008F.
Some of the major phytochemical markers present in LI85008F (Adipromin) are Quercetin-3-O-glucoside, mahanine and curcumin.
The scientists are of opinion that further large study may be required to recommend this formulation for human consumption.
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