Re: Efficacy of a Cissus quadrangularis Formulation in the Treatment of Weight Loss and the Metabolic Syndrome
Oben J, Kuate D, Agbor G, Momo C, Talla X. The use of Cissus quadrongularis formulation in the management of weight loss and metabolic syndrome. Lipids in Health and Disease. 2006;5(24):1-7.
The metabolic syndrome, also commonly known as insulin resistance syndrome, is a disorder that has become common in the United States and worldwide as a result of the increased prevalence of obesity. As of 2003, more than 60% of the adult US population was overweight or obese, and 47 million people had the metabolic syndrome. Globally, this syndrome has become a major public health problem because obesity is associated with high serum triglycerides, low serum HDL cholesterol, and hyperglycemia all of which are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol are additional cardiovascular risk factors. Pharmacotherapeutic options have been used in the treatment of obesity. However, adverse effects have led to the withdrawal of some of these medications from the marketplace. Because of safety concerns and high costs, many populations are seeking natural therapies to aid with weight loss. The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a Cissus quadrangularis formulation (CylarisTM; Gateway Health Alliances, Inc., Fairfield, CA) in the management of weight loss and the metabolic syndrome. In addition to a C. quadrangularis extract standardized to contain a minimum of 2.5% phytosterols and of 15% soluble plant fiber, the formulation contained soy (Glycine max) albumin extract, a green tea (Camellia sinensis) extract standardized to 22% epigallocatechin gallate and 40% caffeine, niacin-bound chromium, selenium standardized to 0.5% l-selinomethionin, vitamin B6 (as pyridoxine hydrochloride), vitamin B12 (as cynaocobalamin), and folic acid.
This prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted at the Laboratory for Nutrition and Nutritional Biochemistry at the University of Yaoundé I, Cameroon, Africa. Obese men and women (n = 92) aged 19–50 years were randomly assigned to 3 groups: placebo, C. quadrangularis formulation plus no dietary intervention (usual diet), or C. quadrangularis formulation plus dietary intervention (a calorie-controlled diet providing 2100–2200 calories/day) for 8 weeks. Overweight men and women (n = 31) comprised a fourth group, which received C. quadrangularis formulation plus no dietary intervention. The C. quadrangularis formulation was provided as 2 daily doses of 514 mg each, taken with water before breakfast and dinner. Body weight, percentage body fat, waist circumference, and cholesterol, C-reactive protein, glucose, and triglyceride concentrations were measured at baseline and at week 8. A P value <0.05 indicated significance.
Waist circumference decreased significantly by week 8 in all treatment groups. Body weight and body mass index decreased significantly in the 2 obese groups. Over 8 weeks, the placebo group lost 2.3.kg, the overweight group lost 3.7 kg, and the 2 obese groups lost 6.6 and 8.1 kg of body weight. Plasma total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol decreased significantly in the 3 treatment groups, and HDL cholesterol increased significantly in the 2 obese groups. Triglyceride, C-reactive protein, and glucose concentrations also decreased significantly in the 3 treatment groups. Some adverse effects were reported; however, the incidence of all reported side effects was higher in the placebo than in the treatment groups; thus, the authors concluded that the side effects were not associated with C. quadrangularis treatment.
The results help support the authors' hypothesis that the use of a C. quadrangularis formulation is efficacious in the management of weight loss, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and the metabolic syndrome. Treatment with C. quadrangularis for 8 weeks resulted in weight reduction, total cholesterol reduction, LDL cholesterol reduction, and improvements in the symptoms of the metabolic syndrome. The drastic reduction in waist circumference after 8 week of C. quadrangularis use in both the dietary intervention and nondietary intervention groups was a particularly important finding because waist circumference is the major criterion used to diagnose obesity and the metabolic syndrome. The authors suggest that C. quadrangularis "may also have applications in other metabolic diseases, such as diabetes mellitus."