Today the problem of Obesity is rising at an alarming rate. Obesity is a condition characterized by excessive bodily fat. It might have negative effect on an individual’s health. If the BMI or Body Mass Index is between 25 and 25.9 the person will be considered as overweight. If the BMI is above 30 the person is considered as obese. Unstable insulin levels are closely associated with weight gain.

Disturbed sleep also may lead to obesity. If one does not sleep enough he or she will produce a hormone called Ghrelin. Ghrelin is a 28 amino acid peptide and hormone that is produced mainly by P/D1 cells lining the fundus of the human stomach and epsilon cells of the pancreas that stimulates hunger. It is considered to be a counterpart of the hormone Leptin.

Professor Cappuccio explains that sleep deprivation may lead to obesity through increased appetite, as a result of hormonal changes. In fact, prolonged consumption of certain components in processes foods coupled with physical inactivity can cause obesity in children as well as in teenagers and adults.

Studies conducted for obesity in Scandinavia have shown that excess body fat distributed around the waist carries more risk than the fat distributed on the hips and thighs.

Causes of obesity:

Genes – obesity tends to run in families. Some people suffering from depression start over eating leading to Obesity and Excessive intake of food rich with calories is also a cause of Obesity.

Leptin deficiency, Adrenal disorders cause Cushing Syndrome and Ovarian disorders. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Drug induced obesity as in Sulphonyclurea, Corticosteroid, Insulin, Psychotropic drugs can all cause obesity.

Long term obesity may lead to Diabetes, Heart problems and Joint Pains. Obese people should eat fresh greens and try to add more vegetables and fruits to their diet. They should eat green salads containing mint leaf and tomatoes and should add cabbage, carrots, papaya and apples. Sleeping during day time should be avoided.

Drugs for weight loss and Obesity-

Some drugs prevent absorption of fat and glucose from intestine, so that some fat is excreted. Some drugs help in burning the fats. One must take these with the consultation of a Medical Doctor.

Sibutaramin is an appetite suppressant.

Phentermine is taken, short term up to 12 week for adults. It is an appetite suppressant the Side Effects include increased blood pressure and heart rate, nervousness.

Diethylpropion is used up to 12 weeks for adults. It is an appetite suppressant. Side Effects include headaches, sleeplessness, nervousness and dizziness.

Orlistat is taken up to 1 year for adults and children. It is a Lipase inhibitor. Side effects include Gastrointestinal issues (diarrhea, oily spotting), rare cause of severe liver injury is reported. Ref: NIH .gov/publications prescription.

Herbs and Herbal remedies for Obesity-

Triphala – It is a combination of Amla/ Indian Gooseberry, Chebulic and Belleric fruits. Triphala helps in detoxification of the body. It is a natural colon cleanser. Stimulates liver and helps in secreting bile juices that are very essential for fat metabolism. Helps to reduce fat amount in the body. Latest molecular study shows that Triphala is effective in treating obesity. Scientists of Biochemical Research of Delhi University in India have discovered that dynamic molecules in Triphala get attached to the cellular receptor for choleystokinin. It expresses a desire to limit future food intake as after completing a satisfying meal. Ref: Herbs 200.

Irringia Gabonensis has been shown to promote weight loss. It is a tree in the family Irvigiaceae, and is some time known as wild mango, African mango, Bush Mango. The seeds from the fruits of this tree have been investigated as a factor in weight loss.

Black Pepper has Piperine that has been shown in animal studies to increase the body’s expenditure of energy. Apparently Piperine does this by affecting the production of hormones like chemicals that regulate energy balance. This may have an important implication for human body weight regulation and obesity. Although, to date, there is little evidence to support such a benefit in humans. Ref. May 2010, an overview of the potential health benefit of black – pepper, funded by the McCormick Science Institute.

Garcinia Cambogia has the extracts that inhibit the accumulation of lipids in fat cells in adipose tissue. Study from molecular cell Biochemistry proved – (90 days study) – its efficacy in overweight management. The 60% HCA containing extract of Garcinia Cambogia was found to promote fat oxidation, enhance serotonin release and its availability in brain, helps with normalization of lipid profiles and reduction of serum Leptin levels in overweight individuals. Ref. Holisticherbalist.com /Garcinia cambergia. The active constituent of Garcinia cambogia is HCA. It has been clinically proved to have fat burning and appetite suppressing effect. In my practice I have observed when Garcinia Combogia is used, one must follow a diet that is not rich in fiber.

Commiphora Mukul or Guggul lipid is known to reduce hypercholesterolemia and it also has anti obesity and anti diabetic properties. Ref. New plant derived treatment for obesity and diabetes, described at ECO melting 2001-06-06 Mike Cawthorne presented results of a collaborative project between the Clore Laboratory, University of Buckingham, and Unilever Research to the II the European Congress on obesity, 30 may – 2 June 2001.

In my practice I have observed that Commiphora Mukul is useful to reduce Obesity, but it should be purified by the process given in Ancient Ayurvedic Texts. Shuddha Guggul along with obesity relieving Herbs is an excellent remedy for Obesity.

Dr. Veena Deo, B.A.M.S. (M.D.)
Dr. Veena Deo is an Ayurvedic Doctor in India. All the information provided above and opinions expressed above are her own and should not be construed as medical advice. This information is provided for educational purposes only. For questions or to consult Dr. Veena Deo, please send an email to dr.veenadeo@gmail.com.

Author's Bio: 

Education: B.A.M.S., M.D.(Ayurveda); 1984 Nagpur University, India.

Experience:

New product development consultant, Herbal Destination, New York.
Worked as a Medical Officer in “Matru-Sewa-Sangh” Nagpur 1987-88.
Worked as a Research officer in Datta Meghe’s Medical College, Wardha 1989-92.
Food & Drugs Cosmetic-Act-1940, Approved chemist from 1996.

Research:

Presented paper in International conference “Update Ayurveda” at K.E.M. Hospital Mumbai on “Efficacy of herbomineral formulation on Diabetes”.
Presented paper in International conference “Role of Indian Medicinal Plants” at Banaras Hindu University on “Management of Diabetes”.
Presented paper on “Pain Management” in National Conference at Nagpur.
Presented paper in National Symposium on Research Methodology in Ayurveda Field Pune.
Regular contributor of articles on Ayurvedic Topics to various magazines.
Talk shows on Radio & T.V. on Ayurvedic Topics mostly relating to women's Health Problems.