The latest findings show hydrangea leaf extract also has a potent inhibitory effect on body weight and body fat in overweight or obese people, which suggests WHS can counteract both the main cause (high-energy intake relative to energy expenditure) and knock-on effects (including metabolic diseases) associated with obesity, the authors say.
“Results suggest that WHS could not only ameliorate body fat accumulation, but also prevent the progression of obesity-induced metabolic syndromes. We discovered promise in the development of WHS as a health supplement for ameliorating obesity”.
Efficacy of WHS
Various botanicals are known to have anti-obesity properties, including garcinia cambogia extract, green tea extract, and glucomannan, but they generally lack the facility to promote weight loss in humans - and those that do require high doses, the authors explain. However, WHS has comparable potential at a relatively low dosage (600 mg).
Study results are testament to the therapeutic benefits of WHS. Oral ingestion was found to significantly reduce visceral fat areas (VFA) and visceral-to-subcutaneous ratios (VSR) compared with the placebo group; a daily intake of 600 mg of WHS for 12 weeks significantly decreased body weight and fat mass, with a reduction in the BMI, body fat percentage, hip circumference, VFA, total abdominal fat area, and VSR.
The authors said: “The present study demonstrated the efficacy and safety of WHS in overweight or obese humans.”
Significant weight loss
Study participants included 120 healthy males and females, aged 19-65 years with a body mass index (BMI) from 25 to less than 32 kg/m2. They were randomly assigned to control (placebo) and test (WHS) groups (60 in each) and instructed to consume a 600 mg WHS or placebo tablet with water once daily for 12 weeks.
Body fat mass was analysed using dual-every x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). Changes in body weight, waist and hip circumference, waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), BMI, body fat percentage, visceral and subcutaneous fat areas, and total abdominal fat area were also assessed.
Adverse reactions were noted in the WHS group: nine were considered mild and eight moderate. Two cases were deemed “possibly related” to WHS intake (menstrual pain and stomach pain), 14 were declared “possibly unrelated”, and one “definitely unrelated”.
The two abnormal reactions were treated with medication, which cured the symptoms. Overall, the safety evaluation concluded daily intake for the study period did not cause side-effects.
While the present study demonstrated the efficacy and safety of WHS in overweight or obese humans, the authors maintain a larger sample size with longer application is needed to fully determine potency and possible side-effects of WHS.
In addition, further analysis of the correlations between the fat mass and parameters related to the metabolic syndromes, including the insulin sensitivity and glycemia of WHS, are required to support the assumption that WHS can prevent the progression of obesity-induced metabolic syndromes.
Nevertheless, they add that “with this evidence, the development of WHS as a potential weight loss supplement is promising”.
‘Effect of Standardized Hydrangea serrata (Thunb.) Ser. Leaves Extract on Body Weight and Body Fat Reduction in Overweight or Obese Humans: A Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study’
Authors: Hee-Soo Han et al.