Actinidia polygama extract prevents obesity

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By David Liu, PHD

Sunday Dec 23, 2012 (foodconsumer.org) -- Actinidia polygama extract or supplements may be taken to prevent obesity in individuals using a high fat diet, according to a new study in Molecular Medicine Reports.

Y. Y. Sung  from Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine in Daejeon, Republic of Korea and colleagues found that Actinidia polygama extract significantly reduced body weight, adipose tissue mass and serum triglycerides and leptin in mice fed a high fat diet.

"Actinidia polygama also known as Silver Vine and Cat Powder is a non-toxic plant in the Actinidiaceae family and it grows in the mountainous areas of Japan and China at elevations between 500–1900 meters," wikipedia states.

Actinidia polygama has been used or studied to treat a variety of health conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, cystitis, arthritic pain, hypertension, diuretic, sciatic pain, abdominal pain, high cholesterol, liver dysfunction, kidney disease, cardiac disease, stroke, cancer, neuralgia, back pain, fatigue, gout, symptoms of menopause, and poor circulation

The current study was intended to examine how Actinidia polygama extract would affect mice with high fat diet induced obesity.

In the study, one group of mice were fed a high fat diet and another a high fat diet supplemented with Actinidia polygama extract. Both  groups ate a similar amount of food.

The researchers found the high fat diet supplemented with Actinidia polygama extract reduced the food efficiency ratio and the sizes of adipocytes in mice, compared with the high fat diet with the extract.

Additionally, aspartate transaminase was decreased in mice fed high fat diet and Actinidia polygama extract indicating that the extract protected against the liver injury and other biomarkers including alanine  transaminase, blood urea nitrogen and creatinine were not significantly different between the two groups of mice.   Alanine transaminase is also an indicator of the liver health and urea levels and creatinine levels can be used to determine if there is acute kidney injury.

The researchers concluded "These results suggest that APE (Actinidia polygama extract) may be useful for treating metabolic diseases, including obesity and hyperlipidemia, without toxic side effects."

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