Nutraceuticals In Weight Control

Nutraceuticals In Weight Control: Weight control Nutraceuticals are defined as those Nutraceuticals which are used for the control of weight and are given in the form of pills, powders, etc. Generally, Nutraceuticals provide medicinal and health benefits also. Therefore Nutraceuticals are used for the treatment of obesity. Following are the examples for Weight control Nutraceuticals:

Epigallocatechingallate (EGCG)

Epigallocatechin-3-gallate or epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG (19), an ester of epigallocatechin and gallic acid, is a type of catechin and the most abundant catechin in tea, it is also a constituent of several medicinal plants of the continent, including Limoniastrum feci (Girard) Batt (Plumbaginaceae) harvested in Algeria, Rumex vesicarius L. (Polygonaceae) from Egypt. Aspalath linearis (Fabaceae) and Sideroxylon inerme L. (Sapotaceae) found in South Africa

An antioxidant found in green tea, this substance may help your body burn fat, by its ability to increase thermogenesis (heat production), which in turn uses up stored fat as energy. It has antioxidant properties that may have therapeutic applications in the treatment of anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory properties, and several other disorders.


It is the pungent principle obtained in the fruit of various species of Capsicum, viz., Capsicum annum L. (Solanaceae).

Capsaicin (8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-none amid) is an active component of chili peppers, which plants are belonging to the genus Capsicum. Capsaicin and several related compounds are called capsaicinoids and are produced as secondary metabolites by chili peppers, probably as deterrents against certain mammals and fungi.

A chemical constituent found in spicy foods such as capsaicin, habaneros, and cayenne peppers can amplify your calorie burn and suppress your appetite.


Caffeine is an alkaloid occurring naturally in some 60 plant species, of which cocoa beans, kola nuts, tea leaves, and coffee beans are the most well-known. Other natural sources of caffeine include yerba maté, guarana berries, guayusa, and the yaupon holly.

Caffeine is metabolized in the liver via single demethylation, resulting in three primary metabolites, paraxanthine (84%), theobromine (12%), and theophylline (4%), depending on which methyl group is removed.

This natural stimulant that’s found in coffee and caffeinated teas can help you burn fat by boosting your basal metabolic rate, or BMR. It decreases the appetite.

Green tea catechins mixed with caffeine have been proposed as adjutants for maintaining or enhancing energy expenditure and for increasing fat oxidation, in the context of prevention and treatment of obesity. These catechins caffeine mixtures seem to counteract the decrease in metabolic rate that occurs during weight loss. Their effects are of particular importance during weight maintenance after weight loss. Other metabolic targets may be fat absorption and the gut microbiota composition, but these effects still need further investigation in combination with weight loss. Limitations for the effects of green tea catechins are moderating factors such as genetic predisposition related to (catechol-O-methyl-transferase) COMT-activity, habitual caffeine intake, and ingestion combined with dietary protein.

Dietary Fibres

Dietary fiber intake is associated with a plethora of health benefits, including reduced risk of developing coronary heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and dyslipidemias. In addition, a high intake of dietary fiber is associated with improved insulin sensitivity and may support weight loss and weight maintenance among obese individuals. However high fiber intake has been associated with lower body mass index (BMI) and enhanced weight loss and weight maintenance. Consequently, dietary fiber supplements may provide adjunctive benefits for weight loss/weight maintenance in those seeking to lose weight.

(a) Psyllium

Psyllium is obtained from Plantago ovate. Psyllium is a mixture of polysaccharides: pentoses, hexoses, and uronic acids.

Psyllium, one of the water-soluble fibers, is derived from blonde psyllium seeds; it ferments slowly, helps build up fecal mass, and is commonly available over the counter as a laxative. Several studies have shown that psyllium supplementation may lower or improve risk factors that are associated with the development of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, including obesity. Psyllium supplementation (up to 3.5 g per meal) may have significant beneficial effects on body composition changes in obese individuals, which include BMI and waist circumference while causing minimal or no abdominal discomfort.

(b) Konjacroot fiber

Konjac is produced from the tubers of the “elephant yam” (Amorphophallus konjac). It has been grown and used as an important part of a traditional healthy diet in many Asian countries, including Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, and China. The polysaccharide from konjac is also a good source for film-forming materials.

it contains 8-10% of Konjac glucomannan. It is a heteropolysaccharide consisting of ß-D glucose and 3-D-mannose, with a glucose to mannose ratio of 1 to 3. It is reported that konjac glucomannan has side chains and the branches are at the 0-3 position of the mannose residue or both glucose and mannose residues.

Its fiber contains glucomannan, which is a fermentable, highly viscous dietary fiber, used for weight loss and improve lipid profile, glucomannan 1 g 3times a day produced significant weight loss (-5.5 lbs), in obese individuals, without any adverse effects.


The mycelia of Penicillium species contain approximately 20% of chitin. The major chemical constituent is Chitin may be regarded as a derivative of cellulose, wherein the C-2 hydroxyl groups have been duly replaced by acetamido residues. It is more or less cellulose-like biopolymer mainly consisting of un-branched chains of 3-(1-4) -2- acetamido -2-deoxy-D-glucose. It is also termed N-acetyl-D-glucosamine. It contains about 6.5% of nitrogen.

Chitin is a component of crab, shrimp, and lobster shells and is thus abundantly available in nature. Like dietary fiber, chitin is a polysaccharide that is indigestible by the human gut. It is deacetylated chitin. In rats, chitosan has been shown to reduce hepatic cholesterol and increase bile acid and fat excretion. In contrast, in humans, a combination of chitosan and glucomannan seems to decrease serum cholesterol (via fecal steroid excretion but not fat excretion). The exact mechanism of action is not well understood; however, it has been found that negatively charged lipid molecules keenly bind to the positively charged tertiary anion group of chitosan polysaccharide, and this decreases absorption and beneficial give the effect of chitosan for weight loss.

Guar Gum

Guar gum was obtained from the refined endosperm of the seeds of Cyamopsis tetragonolobus L. Taub. (Family: Leguminosae). Chemically, guar gum is an exo-polysaccharide composed of the sugars galactose and mannose. The backbone is a linear chain of ß 1,4-linked mannose residues to which galactose residues are 1,6-linked at every second mannose, forming short side-branches.

It is known to exert its action via imparting postprandial fullness and increasing bowel viscosity, which in turn may result in reduced appetite, lower food intake, and reduced appetite and have an impact on weight loss in obese individuals via lower energy intake; however, evidence from studies on the effects of guar gum supplementation indicates that it may help in weight loss. The purported mechanism via which they may induce weight loss includes increased satiety, reduced appetite, and blockage of dietary fat absorption. Although some gastrointestinal. discomfort/bloating may accompany acute increases in extract-based or dietary fiber intake; in general, fiber supplementation does not entail significant adverse effects.


Garcinia is known as Garcinia cambogia (Rind of brindle berry) for the botanical term. The phytochemical constituent mainly present are citric acid lactone, Ascorbic acid, tartaric acid malic acid, Garcinol, isogarcinol, cyanidin, and Xanthone. The latex of Garcinia cambogia contains two polyisoprenylated benzophenone derivatives, Cambogia (I) and Cambogia (II).

It has been proposed that hydroxycitric acid (HCA), the active ingredient of G Cambogia, competitively inhibits adenosine triphosphate citrate lyase, an extra-mitochondrial enzyme that may reduce de novo lipogenesis and reduce appetite in some in vivo studies. However, evidence of a positive effect of G.cambogia as a weight loss agent is lacking. More research is warranted regarding the role of this compound in weight loss. The HCA decreases fatty acid synthesis and reduces appetite, but further data in humans are needed to determine its role in weight loss.

Conjugated Linoleic Acids

Animal fats such as beef, lamb, and dairy foods. CLA is produced by microbial fermentation of PUFAs and isomerization of linoleic acid in the rumens of ruminants.

It is a mixture of positional and geometric isomers of octadecatrienoic acid (a-linolenic acid, cis9, cis12, cis15-18:3 n-3) found in plant seeds. Three 8, 10, 12-18-3 isomers and four 9, 11, 13-18-3 isomers have been reported to occur naturally.

Conjugated linoleic acids (CLAS) are positional and geometric isomers of linoleic acid, a polyunsaturated fatty acid. CLAs are available in the trans and, more abundantly, in the cis form in meat and dairy products. Several studies have been conducted using in vivo and in vitro models to assess the effect of CLA in cancer, diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis, immune modulation, and possibly weight loss: The mechanisms of action have been proposed via which CLA isomers may exert the effect on weight loss; they reduce the fat synthesis and increase oxidation.


Animal products, particularly beef and pork. Redder meats tend to have higher levels of 1-1 carnitine. Carnitine (ß-hydroxy-y-N-trimethyl-aminobutyric-acid 3-hydroxy-4-N.N.N tri-methyl amino-butyrate) is a quaternary ammonium compound involved in metabolism in most mammals, plants, and some bacteria. Carnitine exists as one of two stereoisomers (the two enantiomers d carnitine (S-(+)-) and l-carnitine (R-(-)-).

L-carnitine is a compound that is involved in fatty acid metabolism and helps to transport fatty acids within the mitochondrial matrix, thus helping in the oxidation of fat stores. Red meat, fish, poultry, and milk are food sources of L-carnitine, but our body can produce it endogenously as needed in the muscles. It is being studied for its potential use in improving exercise performance in athletes and reducing fatigue because it is a component of muscles and aids in fat metabolism. In normal healthy adults, L-carnitine supplementation (1 g/3 time a day) has been shown to significantly enhance fatty acid oxidation, suggesting it may help in weight loss.

Ephedra (Ma Huang)

Ephedra consists of the dried aerial parts of Ephedra gerardiana Wall, Ephedra sinica Stapf, Ephedra equisetina Bunge, Ephedra neurogenesis Tineo and other Ephedra species, belonging to the family Ephadreaceae

Ephedra contains the alkaloids ephedrine, pseudoephedrine (isoephedrine), nor-pseudoephedrine (cathine), norephedrine, methylephedrine, methylpseudoephedrine, tannins, and other constituents, including quinoline and 6-hydroxykynurenic acid.

Ephedrine is the major alkaloid. The active chemicals of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine act as a sympathomimetic agonist exert therapeutic effects that include central nervous system and cardiac stimulation in addition to other effects. These effects are purported to aid in weight loss and enhance endurance training. In recent years, ephedra has been mainly marketed in the United States as a weight loss adjunct and supplement to improve athlete performance. Ephedra promotes the release of endogenous catechol-amines; ephedrine tends to slow gastric emptying, thereby affecting food intake and satiety and acting as a weight loss agent.

Germander (Teucrium)

Teucrium chamaedrys (Labiatae), the wall germander, is a species of ornamental plant native to the Mediterranean region of Europe and North Africa, and to the Middle East as far as Iran. It was historically used as a medicinal herb for the treatment of gout and sometimes as a component of Venice treacle.

Germander is composed of several compounds, including glycosides, flavonoids, and furan containing diterpenoids, all of which are converted by the P-450 system (especially CYP3A) into reactive metabolites.

Germanders, plants of the mint family that are found worldwide, traditionally have been used as a weight-loss remedy, especially in Europe. They are also used for gout. Unfortunately, multiple cares reports and are describing hepatotoxicity-related action.


Hoodia; known locally as “ghaap” or “bobbejaanghaap”) it is a genus of flowering plants (Hoodia Gordonii) in the family of Apocynaceae, under the subfamily Asclepiadoideae, native to Southern Africa.

Sources of appetite suppressants and isolated the oxypregnane steroidal glycoside, code-named P57AS3 (P57; 83), as the sole active constituent.

Hoodia is a plant indigenous to South Africa and Namibia. It is used locally as an appetite suppressant, famously by male tribesmen while on prolonged hunting excursions.P57 is the steroid glycoside present in Hoodia. P57is thought to suppress appetite through central nervous system pathways.

Cissus Quadrangularis L.

Cissus quadrangularis is a perennial plant of the grape family. It contains mainly gallic acid derivatives, steroids, iridoids, flavonoids, stilbenes, and triterpenes. There are various compounds in the Cissus quadrangularis which possess anti-inflammatory action.

Cissus quadrangularis, commonly known as Veldt Grape or Devil’s Backbone, is a succulent vine native to West Africa and Southeast Asia. It has been used in traditional African and Ayurvedic medicine. It is using in the treatment of infections, cardiovascular issues, and nervous system disorders has been studied to some extent. Recently; its role in reducing body weight has been attracting attention. Some evidence suggests that Cquadrangularis supplementation may help in reducing body weight, fat, and waist circumference along with markers associated with metabolic syndrome.

Bitter Orange

It is commonly known as bitter orange and its botanical name is Citrus aurantium L. (family Rutaceae). C. Aurantium is rich in p-synephrine, an alkaloid, and many health-giving secondary metabolites such as flavonoids.

The unripe fruit of Citrus aurantium (bitter orange) has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine. Recently, extracts have become popular in obesity treatment as an alternative to the banned ephedrine alkaloids. C Aurantium has physiological effects that are similar to ephedra, and the purported mechanism of action includes decreased gastric motility and thus early satiety and a lower intake of food Limited human studies have been conducted with this compound with conflicting results regarding effectiveness for weight control.

Fenugreek (Methi)

Fenugreek is an herb with small white flowers and light green leaves. It belongs to the Leguminosae family and is called Trigonella Foenum-Graecum or Greek hay. It is largely cultivated in the Middle East, North Africa, India, and Egypt.

The fenugreek gum has the highest galactose (48%; M/G, 1.02:1) in its, and its molecule has a linear mannan backbone, a 1-6 linked single galactose grafts with nearly all the mannose groups of the main chain part, as well fenugreek, Lucerne (Medicago Sativa) and clover (Trifolium pratense), have less common galactomannans, have 48% galactose.

The physiological effects of fenugreek seeds can be attributed to their fiber and high saponin content. Fenugreek has been previously reported to significantly reduce fasting blood sugar and improve glucose tolerance, reduce oxidative stress, improve the lipid profile, and reduce body weight.

Phaseolus Vulgaris

Phaseolus vulgaris, also known as the common bean, it is belonging to the family Fabaceae. The average moisture content was 11%, ash 3.5%, fat 1%, protein 25%, starch 40%, crude fiber 4% and pentosans 7%.

Phaseolus vulgaris, the common bean, is an herbaceous annual plant. The water extract inhibits the digestive enzyme-amylase and prevents starch absorption, represented weight loss property. Few clinical trials have shown the beneficial effects of this bean on weight control. Although these studies support the role of P Vulgaris in weight loss with no reported adverse effects. It is needed regarding potential gastrointestinal and other adverse effects.


Ginseng is the root of plants in the genus Panax, such as Korean ginseng (P. ginseng), South China ginseng (P. notoginseng), and American ginseng (P. quinquefolius), typically characterized by the presence of ginsenosides and gintonin.

Major chemical constituents are including ginseng saponins, ginseng oils and phytosterol, carbohydrates and sugars, organic acids, nitrogenous substances, amino acids and peptides, vitamins and minerals, and certain enzymes that have been isolated and characterized.

It is used as a supplement for weight loss. These supplements include conjugated linoleic acid, ginseng, glucomannan, green tea, HCA. L-carnitine, and psyllium, It is effective for weight loss, effective long-term, nonprescription dietary supplements have become popular among those seeking quick results. However, given the generally limited evidence of efficacy, even the smallest undesirable side effect of these supplements can shift the risk-benefit ratio to the unfavorable Thus, the available science, recommending nonprescription dietary supplements as an adjunct to weight loss.

Make sure you also check our other amazing Article on : Classification of Nutraceuticals
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