A remedy from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) could help obese and overweight people shed the pounds-and how. An extract from thunder god vine helped shift 45 per cent of body weight in one experiment.
An extract from the vine, celastrol, works by supporting the actions of the appetite-suppressing hormone, leptin, which sends signals to the brain when the body has eaten enough.
But it does one thing more. Scientists reckon that obesity could be the result of leptin insensitivity; in other words, overweight people keep on eating because they don't get the signals that the body is full. Celastrol also seems to make the brain sensitive to leptin signals if once it wasn't.
Right now, researchers from Harvard Medical School say that celastrol's weight-losing capabilities have been tested only on human cell line and laboratory mice. However, the results from the mice have been impressive; within one week, obese mice reduced their food intake by 80 per cent when given celastrol, and had lost 45 per cent of their body weight within three weeks.
The researchers sound a note of caution. Celastrol is found in the roots of the thunder god vine, but the plant's roots and flowers contain other compounds that could be toxic.
(Source: Cell, 2015; 161 (5): 999)