DAVIS, Calif.—Two new studies show a mix of Sphaeranthus indicus and mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) aids weight loss when supplemented with controlled food intake and regular exercise.
The two clinical trials were conducted by researchers at the University of California, Davis, and at Alluri Sitarama Raju Academy of Medical Sciences in India. Study participants included a total of 95 subjects, many of whom were considered obese according to their body mass index (BMI).
During each trial, participants in the test group received a 400 mg capsule containing the herbal mix twice daily. Both plants used in the supplement have been valued as having medicinal properties in Ayurvedic medicine—an ancient system of medicine that originated in India.
Participants in the control group for the two trials received placebo capsules rather than the herbal supplement, and all participants in the study also were provided with three meals totaling 2,000 kcal/day. Each of the participants walked for 30 minutes five days per week.
At the end of each eight-week trial, the researchers found participants who had taken the herbal supplement lost significantly more weight than the control group.
"The results from our study are promising, and we did not see significant side effects with this supplement extract," said Judith Stern, professor of nutrition and internal medicine at UC Davis, who analyzed the study's data.
Stern also said the study results indicate the herbal supplement may cause these positive effects by interfering with the formation and storage of fatty compounds in the body.
In the combined clinical outcomes reported in the Journal of Medicinal Food ( June 2013. doi:10.1089/jmf.2012.0178), the test-group participants lost an average of 5.2 kg (11 lbs. 7 oz.) by the end of eight weeks, while the control group participants averaged a 1.5 kg (3 lbs. 5 oz.) loss. The supplemented group also decreased their average waist circumference by 11.9 cm (about 4.75 inches) compared to the control group's average decrease of 6 cm (about 2.5 inches).
In the clinical trial published in the journal Obesity (June 2013. doi: 10.1002/oby.20211), participants taking the supplement lost an average of 5.1 kg (11 lbs. 3 oz.), compared to the control group’s loss of 1.3 kg (2 lbs. 15 oz.). The supplemented group reduced average waist circumference by 11.8 cm (4.5 inches) compared to the control group’s average decrease of 6.4 cm (about 2.5 inches).
The researchers also noted that in both clinical trials, the study participants receiving the herbal supplement experienced significant reduction in their blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.
Funding for the studies was provided by two grants from InterHealth Nutraceuticals Inc.
For more information on these and other weight loss ingredients, view the INSIDER slide show "7 Eat-Less Ingredients."