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Journal of Integrative Medicine: Volume 17, 2019   Issue 2,  Pages: 87-92

DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2019.01.009
Review
Evidence for the efficacy and safety of herbal weight loss preparations
1. Rachael Farrington (Adelaide Medical School, the University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia )
2. Ian F. Musgrave (Adelaide Medical School, the University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia )
3. Roger W. Byard (Forensic Science SA, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, Australia )

Abstract

Rising rates of obesity across the globe have been associated with an increase in the use of herbal preparations for weight control. However, the mechanisms of action for these substances are often not known, as is the potential for interaction with other herbal preparations or prescription pharmaceutical drugs. To investigate the reported efficacy and safety of herbal weight loss preparations, we conducted a review of the literature focusing on herbs that are most commonly used in weight loss preparations, specifically, Garcinia cambogia, Camellia sinensis, Hoodia gordonii, Citrus aurantium and Coleus forskohlii. There was no clear evidence that the above herbal preparations would cause sustained long-term weight loss in humans in the long term. Serious illness and even death have occasionally resulted from the use of herbal weight loss preparations. Few clinical trials have been undertaken to evaluate the efficacy and/or safety of herbal weight loss preparations. In addition, potential issues of herb-herb and herb-drug interactions are often not considered. Regulation of these products is much less rigorous than for prescription medications, despite documented cases of associated hepatotoxicity.

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Please cite this article as:
Farrington R, Musgrave IF, Byard RW. Evidence for the efficacy and safety of herbal weight loss preparations. J Integr Med. 2019; Epub ahead of print.
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