London, 3 September (IANS) A herbal ingredient used in traditional Chinese medicines can help you reduce your body weight, a new study has found.
The scientists were able to demonstrate that the plant-active substance Celastrol – used in Chinese medicines – leads to significant weight loss and improvement of diabetes in obese mice, the Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday.
The findings showed that celastrial specifically activates satiety centers in the brain, which play a central role in the control of body weight.
"Normally, those affected lose their satiety because the corresponding hormone leptin no longer works, and the celastrole we have studied restores leptin sensitivity and hence saturation," said lead author Katrin Pfuhlmann of Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen – German Environmental Research Center.
The study, published in the journal Diabetes, observed a significantly changed eating behavior in overweight animals.
"The administration of celastrol resulted in significantly reduced food intake in the mouse model, so we were able to detect an average loss of about 10 percent body weight within a week," the researchers said.
To what extent the findings can also be confirmed in humans, according to the authors, is still unclear. But research leader Pfluger is confident: "The satiety hormone leptin in humans and mice is almost identical, so celastrole has great potential," according to the report.
The clinical trials are currently underway in the US.
"The satiety hormone leptin in humans and mice is almost identical, so celastrole has great potential," said the researcher.
Overweight and obesity can increase the risk of many health problems, including diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer.