Obesity or Weight Gain is a leading health problem in the world and it is associated with many serious diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, fatty liver syndrome, osteoarthritis, diabetes, and many other metabolic disorders. Obesity leads to increased body mass index (BMI), which increases the risk of several cancers like breast, renal, gallbladder, leukemia and prostate cancer. Weight loss can delay or prevent some of these diseases.
The main cause of Obesity is due to consumption of too much of fat enriched foods and not having enough physical activity to burn off the excess calories consumed. Mental and Emotional Imbalance such as stress and anxiety, also sometimes leads to obesity. Hormonal imbalances, hypothyroidism and even some medicines like birth control pills or anti-depressants causes weight gain. By correcting these imbalances, by lifestyle changes like increasing physical activity and decreasing calorie intake we can prevent obesity. The most commonly used methods for weight loss includes surgeries (Bariatric surgery, liposuction or modern endoscopy) or the use of drugs (orlistat, sibutramine and Xenical), these methods reduce appetite and inhibit fat absorption. However, all of these treatments have serious side-effects like increased blood pressure, headache, constipation, insomnia and psychological problems. These results lead to the research on natural weight management ingredients, some of the well-studied natural agents are as follows
Ginseng: It is used in the preparation of teas, and the root is used in capsules and powders. Ginsenosides are active compounds that are found in saponins, in the roots of the plant. Saponins from this plant inhibit pancreatic lipase activity, inhibit the increase of plasma triacylglycerol, increases insulin secretion. It lowers sugar levels, decreases fasting blood glucose and HbA1c, improves glucose clearance and reduces body weight.
Hoodia: products are sold in various forms like capsules, tea, protein shakes, syrups and diet fruit bars. Steroid glycosides (H.g.-12 and H.g.-20) reduce food intake and body weight. H.g.-12 increases cholecystokinin release from the intestine, through the activation of TAS2R7 and TAS2R14 receptor in the and there by inhibiting the food intake.
Coltsfoot: Flower buds of Coltsfoot have suppressive activity on DGAT1, a key enzyme in triglyceride synthesis, a proposed drug target for treating type II diabetes and obesity.
European ash: European ash seed extract helps in weight reduction by reducing fasting blood glucose levels and plasma insulin levels. Demonstrate the anti-obesity effects by controlling glucose and insulin levels. It also protects against obesity linked fatty liver syndrome.
Elderberries: Elderberry juice enriched with flower extract is commonly recommended for weight reduction. The body weight, blood pressure, the quality of life had considerably improved. The efficiency and acceptability of the Elderberry treatment is very good.
Green Tea: The Polyphenols present in Green tea extract decrease lipid levels in the blood and increases lipid homeostasis by effecting fatty acid synthase expression. It decreases insulin, serum TG, leptin and cholesterol levels.
Gymnema: The leaf extract, mainly contains a peptide called ‘Gurmarin’, which has the ability to inhibit the sweet taste sensation. Gymnema extracts reduces sugar levels by mechanisms like decreasing absorption of glucose in the small intestine, by enhancing glycolysis, gluconeogenesis and glucogen synthesis and stimulation of insulin production from islets of Langerhans. It also helps in significant decrease of fat digestibility. It can be used to treat obesity and to reduce cholesterol levels.
Fenugreek: The ratio of fat reported energy intake to total energy expenditure is lowered fenugreek seed extract. It decreases insulin and glucose ratio. The repeated intake of a fenugreek seed extract reduces dietary fat consumption.
Bitter orange: Bitter orange extract has p-synephrine which is commonly used in weight management and weight loss. It lowers the blood glucose levels and increases the level of glutathione (GSH). Bitter orange sometimes increases blood pressure, heart rate or causes abnormal heart beat.
Garlic: It decreases body weight and reduces blood triglyceride and glucose levels. It helps in the management of obesity and associated metabolic syndromes via suppression of lipid levels. It reduces lipid accumulation in fatty livers by suppression of enzymes expression, which is involved in lipid metabolism.
Garcinia cambogia: Garcinia extract reduces the body weight gain, visceral fat buildup, blood and hepatic lipid levels, and plasma insulin and leptin levels. It can inhibit the high fat diet stimulated changes in the expression pattern of epididymal adipose tissue genes. It has positive effect high fat diet induced obesity.
White Bean: White bean extract is a starch blocker, it inhibits the breakdown of carbohydrates into sugar and helps in preventing the weight gain.
These natural supplements were found to be effective in the weight management. They control weight gain by lowering blood sugar levels, Low-density lipoproteins, total cholesterol, serum leptin, triglycerides levels and by increasing high-density lipoprotein levels and excretion of urinary fat metabolites. The natural products are effective, less expensive and safe for weight reduction. By using Natural products you are not exposed to the adverse side effects of weight loss pills and better than crash dieting, which is harmful to your body. How ever the scientific evidences are still incomplete for most of the plant products.