traditional Chinese medicine; anti-obesity efficacy; Liuwei Dihuang
Overweight and obesity have been increasing rapidly over the last couple of decades. It is estimated that by the year 2015, approximately 2.3 billion adults will be classified as overweight (body mass index, BMI (in kg/m2) > 27), at least 700 million of whom will be considered as obese (BMI > 30 kg/m2). As a result, obesity has been referred to by many as a 21st century epidemic. For the treatment and management of overweight and obesity, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and the use of herbal formulations has become an increasingly attractive form of alternative/complementary medicine. This trend is also occurring in the face of a weight-loss product market largely typified by mediocre long-term efficacy and safety concerns, and an increasing global desire to seek out and develop both safe and efficacious products from natural sources. An in vivo study using obese-prone rats treated by twice-daily oral gavage with total daily dosages of 500, 1500 or 3500 mg/kg BW of Liuwei Dihuang (LWDH) showed the body weight-lowering efficacy of this herbal formulation. Subsequent in vivo investigations using collected tissues and in vitro studies using relevant cells lines and a 95% ethanol extract of the herbal formulation explored two potential body weight-lowering mechanisms of action, including appetite suppression and enhanced fatty acid oxidation. The results demonstrate the potential of LWDH as a natural agent for the prevention/ management of body weight and highlight its potential.
Canadian Journal of Diabetes37, Supplement 2 (April 2013): S268–.