How an herbal supplement may speed weight loss

DAVIS, CA - A veteran UC Davisnutritionist who admits to being skeptical about weight loss claims from the makers of dietary supplements is convinced at least one of those supplements actually works.

"People either got the placebo or the active ingredient and (those who took the active ingredient) lost weight," said Professor Judith Stern, who evaluated clinical research involving 95 overweight and obese people in India.

The active ingredient is a mixture of an herb called sphaeranthus indicus and a fruit called garcinia mangostana.

Stern said study results indicate the supplement may interfere with the formation and storage of fatty compounds in the body.

The test group was given a 400 mg capsule of thesupplement twice a day for eight weeks and the control group was given a placebo. Both groups were limited to 2,000 calories per day andeach exercised for a half hour five days a week.

On average, the test group lost 11 lbs7 oz over the course of the study, while the control group lost just 3 lbs 5 oz.

The test group also lost, on average, 4.75 inches around the waist compared to 2.5 inches for the control group.

"The bad fat is in the waist," Stern said.

The research was funded by InterHealth Nutraceuticals of Benicia, which markets the mixture under the brand name Meratrim.

The company also sells the mixture toresellers, who relabel the product as NV Clinical, Life Extension's Anti-Adipocyte Formula and Advanced Anti-Adipocyte Formula andZycor.

Stern said she did not receive any compensation from the company for her analysis of the Indian research.

By George Warren,


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