Chinese herb may help combat obesity: Study

Beijing: Researchers have found that burning energy through activation of brown adipose tissue (BAT) by the use of an extract from ginseng, a traditional Chinese medicinal herb, might be an alternative strategy for combating obesity.

According to the study, published in the journal Gut, a ginseng extract can induce enterococcus faecalis, which can produce myristoleic acid (MA), an unsaturated long-chain fatty acid (LCFA).

“As a novel anti-obesity probiotic, enterococcus faecalis and myristoleic acid can reduce adiposity via BAT activation and beige fat formation,” said JIN Wanzhu, lead author of study, from the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Overweight and obesity have become a severe public health issue around the world. Current anti-obesity strategies are mainly aimed at restricting calorie intake and absorption.

Previous studies have shown that brown adipose tissue facilitates weight control and generates a potent anti-obesity effect. Therefore, increasing BAT activity could be a novel and effective therapeutic approach for obesity and its related diseases, said JIN.

According to the study, it’s the first proof that the Enterococcus faecalis LCFA (specifically myristoleic acid) axis can reduce obesity by increasing BAT activity and beige fat formation.

“The study demonstrates the important role of myristoleic acid in reducing obesity and improving related metabolic syndrome as well as its tremendous application prospects,” said JIN.