There have been numerous studies, millions invested in diet plans all over the world throughout the past few decades. Once you start googling the word “diet” you will get more than 400 million websites offering solutions to weight gain problems.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 78.6 Americans are obese. This means one in three people suffer from this condition.
It might seem that obesity merely has to do with aesthetics but this could not be more wrong. Strokes, diabetes, heart disease and certain forms of cancer are just a few conditions that can derive from obesity, making it one of the most important causes of premature death.
While more than $ 100 billion is spent on medical cost of obesity every year, any new remedy is welcome and provides good news both for those trying to find a cure and for those who never lose hope of getting rid of that extra weight.
A new study shows that a plant used in traditional Chinese medicine, which promises to help people become slimmer has had some spectacular results.
An extract made from this plant, called thunder god vine has helped obese mice in a lab lose almost half (45 percent) of their weight.
Omut Ozcan, who is an endocrinologist at both Harvard Medical School and Bostoon Children’s Hospital, and also the lead author of the study, explained how the plant works. The substance enhances a hormone called leptin, which is made by adipose cells and helps inhibit hunger, because it regulates the energy balance in our bodies.
People who are obese sometimes lack sensitivity to leptin and are unable to feel satiety even if they have a good energy stores.
The plant extract is called Celastrol and had amazing results within a very short period of time. In no more than a week, the mice reduced the quantity of food they ate by 80 percent, which led to enormous amounts of weight loss within the following two weeks.
There has been a lot of research attempting to enhance leptin activity in order to provide an efficient treatment for obesity but not much has been achieved so far, according to Omut Ozcan.
Weight loss comes with many other health benefits, such as lower risks of developing heart disease, decreased cholesterol or better mobility.
However tempting the plant might sound though, people are cautioned not to jump at the first opportunity to put their hands on it, as this is the first research on the effects of this kind of extract. More analysis needs to be carried out on the other components of the plant before making it available for consumption.
The results of the study were published in the journal Cell, on the 21st of May 2015.
Image Source: Techtimes