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Pomegranate Leaf Shows Potential for Treating Obesity

Recent studies from scientists at the Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Department of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, has shown that pomegranate-leaf extract might have potential uses in weight-management products. The results of this research were published online in the International Journal of Obesity (see http://www.nature.com/ijo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/0803502a.html).

Although pomegranate fruit has recently shown much potential to improve the healthful nature of different foods and beverages based on its antioxidant content, the Tsinghua University researchers turned their attention to the pomegranate leaf and its potential impact on obesity.

The researchers fed obese mice pomegranate leaf extract for a period of 5 weeks. Analysis shoed that mice fed the extract had a significant decrease in body weight and energy intake. The extract also helped moderate triglyceride levels and inhibited intestinal fat absorption. Supplementation also affected a decreased appetite in the obese mice fed a high-fat diet, but showed no effect in mice fed a normal diet.

These findings led the researchers to suggest that pomegranate leaf extract might help inhibit the development of obesity in high-fat diet induced obese mice. They note that the effects might be partially mediated through suppression of energy intake. Therefore, they conclude that the extract might prove a novel appetite suppressant that only affects obesity owing to a high-fat diet.

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