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New herbal supplement helps slim and trim without side effects, studies show

Supplement made from extracts of a wild herb and a tropical fruit rind.

Judith Stern, UC Davis

Judith Stern, UC Davis

Study participants who took a new herbal supplement, while also exercising and controlling their food intake, had greater success in losing weight and slimming down than did those who didn’t take the supplement, report researchers at UC Davis and in India.

The researchers suggest that the supplement — made from extracts of a wild herb and a tropical fruit rind — may be a safe and effective aid for dealing with excess body weight and obesity, which affect more than 60 percent of adults in the United States.

Two clinical trials involving the supplement were conducted at Alluri Sitarama Raju Academy of Medical Sciences in India. Results from both trials combined are reported in the June issue of the Journal of Medicinal Food, while results from just the second of the two trials appears in the May issue of the journal Obesity.

Data analysis and study communication was led by Judith Stern, distinguished professor of nutrition and internal medicine at UC Davis.

“The results from our study are promising, and we did not see significant side effects with this supplement extract,” Stern said. “This was a short-term study, and we don’t know what happens in the long run; along with a diet and exercise program, the results may be even greater,” she said.

Stern noted that study results indicate that the herbal supplement may cause these positive effects by interfering with the formation and storage of fatty compounds in the body.

Funding for the studies was provided by two grants from InterHealth Neutraceuticals Inc. of Benicia.

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