An extract from the thunder god vine, used in traditional Chinese medicine, has been found to help obese mice.
Researchers say the compound, Celastrol, quickly reduces food intake by 80% and causes up to a 45% decrease in body weight.
The extract could potentially be used to improve the health of many suffering from obesity and associated complications such as heart disease, fatty liver and type 2 diabetes.
“If Celastrol works in humans as it does in mice, it could be a powerful way to treat obesity and improve the health of many patients,” says senior study author Umut Ozcan, an endocrinologist at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
Within one week of Celastrol treatment, obese mice cut food intake by about 80% compared. By the end of the third week, treated mice lost 45% of their initial body weight almost entirely by burning fat stores.
This weight loss is greater than that from bariatric surgery, an operation on the stomach which helps patients with extreme obesity to lose weight.
Celastrol also decreased cholesterol levels and improved liver function and glucose metabolism which collectively may translate into a lower risk of heart disease, fatty liver, and type 2 diabetes
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.