There are innumerable supplements advertised to reduce weight. Many of them contain stimulants and lack any scientific support. Alternatively, several products are being developed that shift metabolism such that the body utilizes fat rather than carbohydrate as fuel for energy production. These effects occur through a variety of mechanisms including increasing lipolysis the break down of triglycerides into fatty acids for utilization in mitochondrial energy production and reduction of perilipins proteins that cover the surface of lipid droplets and interfere with lipolysis. see Post 7 for a review of the research on Fucoxanthin for weight loss. Rhododendron caucasicum plus Rhodiola rosea A combination of Rhododendron caucasicum plus Rhodiola rosea has been shown to enhance weight loss. When taken at the beginning of a meal, R. caucasicum blocks the absorption of about 20% of fat in the food.
In addition, this herb contains antioxidants polyphenols, propanolanoids, and proanthocyanidins that support cellular repair and energy production. R. rosea accelerates fat burning two ways: by stimulating lipolysis and by reducing perilipins Adamchuk, 1969; Adamchuk & Salnik, 1971. In a double-blind placebo-controlled study of 273 obese men and women with body mass index of 29 to 34 kg/m2, half the subjects were given one tablet of Rhodalean-400 200 mg R. rosea 200 mg R. Three times a day for 20 weeks, while the other subjects were given placebo. Both groups were required to walk 20 minutes after lunch and dinner and to limit daily caloric intake to 1,800 calories/day. Of the 246 subjects who completed the study, those given Rodalean-400 had a mean weight loss of 9. Postprandial cortisol levels were 17% lower in the Rhodalean-400 group than in those taking placebo. In addition, those given Rhodalean-400 had lower levels of perilipins. There were no side effects Abidoff & Nelubov, 1997. A different formulation of Rhodalean-200 100 mg R. Rosea+100 mg R.
Accelerated weight loss in a double-blind placebo-controlled study of 45 women who had given birth within the previous year and who had stopped lactating. On average, the women were 42 pounds above their ideal weight. They were required to maintain a calorie intake of 1,750 to 1,850 cal/day by reducing consumption of carbohydrates and fat. Those given Rhodalean lost 5 to 6% of their body weight 8-10 pounds after six weeks compared to the placebo group who lost 0.4 to 0. There were no adverse effects Abidoff, 1997. While there have been no studies of R. rosea and R. caucasicum to counteract weight gain secondary to prescription medications, in clinical practice the authors have found some benefit, particularly by increasing the R. Rosea up to 600 mg/day. The weight loss usually takes six to eight weeks to take effect in patients on psychotropics and requires at least 20 minutes of walking once or twice every day.
It is important to inform the patient at the beginning not to expect the metabolic shift to become evident for six to eight weeks. Although these herbs are low in side effects, R. rosea can cause anxiety in patients sensitive to stimulants or manic symptoms in bipolar patients. GASTROINTESTINAL Dry Mouth Mild dry mouth caused by antidepressants, mood stabilizers, or antipsychotics can be alleviate with lemon flavored sugar free lozenges such as Cepacol. Patients should be warned not to use hard candies containing sugar and to give careful attention to dental hygiene because reduction in saliva is associated with an increase in dental caries. Dry mouth is usually an anticholinergic side effect. Other anticholinergic symptoms include blurred vision, constipation, and memory loss. These effects can be ameliorated with cholinergic agents see Post 4.