Relora, a natural ingredient produced by Next Pharmaceuticals, has been shown clinically to significantly alter the hormone levels associated with stress-induced obesity, the company claims.
Next said the new findings, the result of a trial completed in January 2002 at the Living Longer clinic in Cincinnati, supported its own studies demonstrating that the patent-pending plant extracts in Relora may provide significant relaxation and more restful sleep in stressed individuals.
The Living Longer clinic studied the effects of Relora on cortisol and DHEA, two hormones related to anxiety, and at least in the case of cortisol, also related to food cravings and over eating in stressed individuals. The natural plant extract in Relora was found to lower cortisol levels by 37 per cent and increase DHEA by 227 per cent.
"These findings are statistically significant and support the positive results we have obtained with this ingredient over the past year," said Dr James LaValle, Living Longer Wellness Director and principal investigator for the study. "More than 20 per cent of American adults have metabolic syndrome, a type of obesity often characterised by increased abdominal and facial fat that is also associated with increased risk for heart disease, hypertension, stroke, diabetes and cancer.
"This stress-related condition is associated with elevated cortisol levels. The new findings with Relora are very exciting because it is the first natural product for lowering cortisol, decreasing stress and its associated increase in cortisol that has been shown to cause the excess fat deposits seen in metabolic syndrome."
Relora contains two patent-pending proprietary plant extracts, one from Magnolia officinalis and the other from Phellodendron amurense. Next Pharmaceuticals developed Relora over a three-year period of screening fractions from plants around the world, conducting pharmacology and toxicology studies, and running human trials. In initial human trials, eight out of 10 stressed individuals felt more relaxed, seven out of 10 enjoyed more restful sleep, and nine out of 10 said it was gentle on the stomach, the company claims.
"Additional studies are planned this year to continue supporting the role of Relora as a valuable dietary supplement and beverage or bar ingredient for weight control," said Charles Kosmont, CEO of Next. "In addition, we have a major public relations campaign planned to build consumer and health professional awareness of this new and exciting ingredient."