Ancient Herb Switches Off Hunger
This is an example where something good, recognizing a herbal benefit, may well go bad.
Researchers have found that the thunder god vine (or Tripterygium wilfordii) contains a compound, celastrol, that can suppress appetite.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has used this plant for centuries to treat a variety of ailments. Our concern stems from an effort to decompose yet again a complex organic and use one specific compound. Humankind and Nature are more complicated than that.
Isolating, patenting, and putting into pill form yet another compound to fight a Lifestyle disease (i.e., obesity) seems like a repeat of previous bad ideas. Understanding the mechanism is wonderful; it’s what follows that can the mistake.
Obesity affects more than 1 in 3 people in the United States — that’s more than 93 million people.Worryingly, that figure looks set to continue rising.
Obesity has a complicated cocktail of causes, all of which need to be addressed before we can see any significant changes across society.
There are metabolic, psychological, social, and genetic factors to obesity, and these can all be present in individuals with obesity to differing degrees.That said, if there was a simple, cost-effective drug that reduces appetite safely over the longer-term, it could make a huge difference.
Researchers from Helmholtz Zentrum München in Germany believe that they might have found such a chemical.
According to study author Dr. Paul Pfluger, doctors often ask people with obesity to lose 5–10 percent of their body weight each year, but this is rarely achieved.
Dr. Pfluger claims that “breaking through this ‘magical barrier’ is so important, as it leads to an improvement in metabolism and accompanying metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes.”