Validated, Natural Weight Management Tools

September 25, 2014

By Dr. Paul Clayton, Chief Scientific Advisor, Gencor

As people everywhere get heavier, so too does the burden of weight-related health problems. Pharmaceuticals can be addictive, too toxic for long-term use and/or ineffective. Some natural products, however, are emerging as validated tools for healthy weight management.

The food plant Caralluma fimbriata, which is still used as a natural appetite suppressant in parts of India, contains compounds that are safe and effective appetite suppressants (1). These compounds have been intensively researched by Gencor, which has developed a standardized and patented extract of C. fimbriata containing tightly controlled levels of pregnane glycosides and branded as Slimaluma.

Safety is critical in products designed for long-term use. Unsurprisingly, as it is derived from a food plant, Slimaluma has no reports of adverse effects (2); an acute oral toxicity study on rats showed no toxicity at doses up to 5g/kg (3), i.e. 5000 times the clinically effective dose.  Slimaluma recently received notification from the ­Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of no objection to it being considered GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) for use in meal replacement products.

The appetite suppressing effects of Slimaluma are well documented (4). Two further reports of double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trials substantiate its weight management properties (5), and more recently, an animal study (6) showed its ability to prevent in rats the adiposity and atherogenesis otherwise induced by a cafeteria diet. In addition to reducing appetite, Slimaluma reduces the growth of adipose tissue by inhibiting the maturation and growth of adipocytes (7) – a target of great interest to clinical scientists (8).

The effectiveness of Slimaluma, in conjunction with its excellent safety profile, makes it an excellent product to be used for long-term weight management.

Slimaluma can be used alone, or in conjunction with ActivAMP, another unique ingredient offered by Gencor. A standardized extract of the traditional herb Jiaogulan, ActivAMP has been shown to activate the master metabolic switch AMP-kinase (9). AMP-kinase activation, usually achieved by exercise, supports healthy fat “burning” (10), and promotes healthy blood glucose and lipid profiles (11, 12), muscular fitness (11) and loss of abdominal adipose tissue (12).

ActivAMP does not pass the blood-brain barrier and so does not cause hunger. Nevertheless, logic dictates that when combined with an appetite suppressant, greater benefit for weight management will be realized.

 

REFERENCES

  1. Kunert O, Rao VG, Babu GS et al., “Pregnane glycosides from Caralluma adscendens var. fimbriata,” Chemistry and Biodiversity, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 239–250, 2008.
  2. Preuss, H. (2004) Report on the safety of Caralluma Fimbriata and its extract, Hong Kong.
  3. Kurpad AV et al; unpublished
  4. Kuriyan R, Raj T, Srinivas SK, Vaz M, Rajendran R, Kurpad AV, “Effect of Caralluma Fimbriata extract on appetite, food intake and anthropometry in adult Indian men and women,” Appetite, vol. 48, no. 3, pp. 338–344, 2007.
  5. Lawrence RM, Choudhary S, Caralluma Fimbriata in the treatment of obesity,” in Proceedings of the 12th Annual World Congress of Anti-Aging Medicine, Las Vegas, Nev, USA, 2004.
  6. Kamalakannan S, Rajendran R, Venkatesh R, Clayton P, Akbarsha AK. ‘Anti-Obesegenic and Anti-Atherosclerotic Properties of Caralluma fimbriata Extract’. J Nut Metabolism (2011a), Article ID 285301, 6 pages
  7. Kamalakkanan S, Rajendran R, Venkatesh V, Clayton P, Akbarsha AK, ‘Effects of Caralluma fimbriata Extract on 3T3-L1 pre-adipocyte cell division.’ 2011b, Food & Nutrition Sciences 2:329-336
  8. Dutt HC, Singh S, Avula B, Khan IA, Bedi YS. Pharmacological review of Caralluma R.Br. with special reference to appetite suppression and anti-obesity. J Med Food. 2012 Feb;15(2):108-19
  9. Nguyen PH, Gauhar R, Hwang SL et al (2011) New dammarane-type glucosides as potential activators of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) from Gynostemma pentaphyllum. Bioorg Med Chem 19:6254–6260
  10. Baar K (2006). Training for endurance and strength: lessons from cell signalling. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 38(11):1939–1944
  11. Calabrese V, Cornelius C, Cuzzocrea S et al (2011.) Hormesis, cellular stress response and vitagenes as critical determinants in aging and longevity. Mol Aspects Med. 32:279–304.
  12. Park SH, Huh TL, Kim SY, Oh MR et al (2014). Antiobesity effect of Gynostemma pentaphyllum extract (actiponin): A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Obesity (Silver Spring). (1):63-71