BERLIN, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- German scientists discovered that a herbal ingredient from traditional Chinese medicine showed promising results in weight loss, and the findings were published in the latest edition of the journal "Diabetes".
Scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen (Helmholtz Center Munich) were able to show that the herbal active substance, Celastrol, used in Chinese medicine, leads to a significant weight loss and to an improvement of diabetes in obese mice.
Researchers were able to show that celastrol specifically activates satiety centers in the brain, which play a central role in the control of body weight.
Katrin Pfuhlmann, lead author of the study, described the effect as follows in a statement posted on the center's official website: "Normally, those affected lose their satiety because the corresponding hormone leptin no longer works. The drug celastrol we investigated restores leptin sensitivity and hence satiety. "
The researchers observed a significantly altered eating behavior in overweight animals. "The administration of celastrol resulted in significantly reduced food intake in the mouse model," reported Paul Pfluger, leader of the study. "Accordingly, we were able to determine an average loss of about ten percent body weight within a week."
To what extent the findings can also be confirmed in humans is still unclear, according to the authors. However, study leader Pfluger is confident, "The satiety hormone leptin in humans and the mouse is almost identical, so celastrol has great potential."
Clinical trials are currently under way in the US, Pfluger said they are expecting the first data from there.