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Vermaak, I., Viljoen A.M., Hamman, J.H. 2011. Natural products in anti-obesity therapy. Natural Product Reports 28: 1493–1533.
Obesity is a major health concern of modern
times and should be considered a global epidemic. Conventional or allopathic medicines used to
treat obesity have high abuse potential and frequently exhibit side
effects. Few botanicals included in
natural weight loss products have been thoroughly researched on a basic and clinical
level and it is imperative that this be done to validate their widespread
consumption for weight management. Many
natural weight loss products are sold and used globally with no (or very
little) proof of efficacy or quality and concerns regarding safety have
surfaced with good reason. The continued
search for new therapies has revealed multiple targets to combat obesity and
highly complex plant extracts are ideally suited to fulfill a multi-targeted
approach. This review explores targets for
anti-obesity treatment and contains a comprehensive, yet succinct overview of
the phytochemistry and scientific evidence collated for 50 commercially
important plants that have been investigated in vivo and/or clinically for
their anti-obesity effects.