Natural products in anti-obesity therapy
Covering: up to 2011
Obesity is a major health concern of modern times and should be considered a global epidemic. Conventional or allopathic medicines used to treat obesity have high abuse potential and frequently exhibit side effects. Few botanicals included in natural weight loss products have been thoroughly researched on a basic and clinical level and it is imperative that this be done to validate their widespread consumption for weight management. Many natural weight loss products are sold and used globally with no (or very little) proof of efficacy or quality, and concerns regarding safety have surfaced with good reason. The continued search for new therapies has revealed multiple targets to combat obesity and highly complex plant extracts are ideally suited to fulfil a multi-targeted approach. This review explores targets for anti-obesity treatment and contains a comprehensive, yet succinct, overview of the phytochemistry and scientific evidence collated for 50 commercially important plants that have been investigated in vivo and/or clinically for their anti-obesity effects.