Traditional Chinese herb may help treat obesity

Overweight and obesity have become a severe public health problem around the world.

Current anti-obesity strategies are mainly aimed at restricting calorie intake and absorption.

In a recent study from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, researchers found that an extract from ginseng, a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) herb, could help activate brown fat to burn fat.

This study suggests that burning energy by activation of brown fat might be an alternative way of combating obesity.

The study is published in Gut. The lead author is Jin Wanzhu, a scientist at the Institute of Zoology of the Chinese Academy of sciences.

The researchers found that the herb could induce E. faecalis, which can produce an unsaturated long-chain fatty acid—myristoleic acid.

As a novel anti-obesity probiotic, E. faecalis and myristoleic acid can reduce adiposity via brown fat activation and beige fat formation.

Previous studies have shown that brown fat facilitates weight control and generates a potent anti-obesity effect.

Therefore, an increasing brown fat activity could be a novel and effective therapeutic approach for obesity and its related diseases.

This is the first study showing that E. faecalis can reduce obesity by increasing brown fat activity and beige fat formation.

The team hopes their findings could help develop new treatments to beat obesity and related metabolic syndrome.

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