Reduction of appetite and suppression of formation of new fat cells are some of the mechanism by which Caralluma fimbriata causes fat loss. What’s more, it affords other health benefits as well – helps fight metabolic disease like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Going by current evidence, Caralluma fimbriata seems to be the ideal fat-reducing agent – effective with no side effects and (not to mention) with other health benefits!
Lets us have a look at just what Caralluma fimbriata is and how it wields its magic.
What is Caralluma Fimbriata?
Since centuries, Indian tribesmen have used Caralluma fimbriata for suppressing appetite and increase endurance; even modern diseases like diabetes are known to be affected favourably (Kuriyan et al., 2007).
Caralluma fimbriata is an edible cactus that is indigenous to India, Africa and Europe (Rivera et al., 2006). There is evidence that Caralluma fimbriata was grown in the UK as far back as the 1830s (Loudon, 1830). Also, its use in Mediterranean recipes since the middle ages is well known (Rivera et al., 2006).
Most anti-obesity actions of Caralluma fimbriata are attributed to the bioactive ingredients present in it – pregnane glycoside is the principle one. Research into the active ingredients of Hoodia plant brought into focus the appetite suppressant action of pregnane glycosides (Shukla et al., 2009; MacLean & Luo, 2004). However, since Hoodia faces extinction, Caralluma fimbriata has assumed importance.
Slimaluma is the commercially available standardized extract of Caralluma fimbriata.
How Does Caralluma Fimbriata Cause Fat Loss?
Caralluma fimbriata allegedly reduces body fat by:
- Causing appetite suppression (Lawrence & Choudhary, 2004; Kuriyan et al., 2007; Kamalakkannan, Rajendran, Venkatesh, Clayton, & Akbarsha, 2010; Kamalakkanna, Rajendran, Clayton, & Akbarsha, 2011)
- Reducing leptin resistance and thus helping obesity favourably (Kamalakkannan et al., 2010)
- Inhibiting adipogenesis (formation of new fat) (Kamalakkannan et al., 2010)
- Suppressing proliferation and differentiation of fat cells (Plaza et al., 2005; De et al., 2005; Cioffi et al., 2006)
- Suppressing formation of new fat cells – a new and exciting method of fighting obesity (Kamalakkanna et al., 2011)
Other health benefits of Caralluma fimbriata
Health benefits profile of Caralluma fimbriata includes (Kamalakkannan et al., 2010; Kamalakkanna et al., 2011):
- Reduction of blood lipids – cholesterol – thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases
- Improved blood leptin sensitivity – affects obesity and metabolic diseases favourably
- Improves blood sugar levels – affects diabetes favourably
Sadly, the evidence if support of health benefits of Caralluma fimbriata comes mostly from animal studies.
What are the Effective Doses of Caralluma Fimbriata?
Currently, there isn’t enough scientific knowledge to define the effective dose of Caralluma for causing weight loss (WebMD, 2013). There is no choice but to go with the manufacturer’s direction – follow the instructions on the label.
Although Caralluma fimbriata seems to be devoid of adverse effects (see below), it is best to avoid it in the presence of metabolic diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and in states like pregnancy and when breast-feeding your baby.
Seeking the advice of your doctor, if in any doubt, is also a good strategy.
Are there any Adverse Effects of Caralluma Fimbriata?
Animal studies and the few human clinical trials conducted on Caralluma fimbriata have reported no adverse effects (Preuss, 2004; Kamalakkannan et al., 2010; Kamalakkanna et al., 2011).
Evidence in Favour of Caralluma Fimbriata
Most studies (human or otherwise) investigating the anti-obesogenic actions of Caralluma fimbriata have reported positive results. Although much of this evidence comes from animal studies, two human clinical trials that have been conducted concluded that Caralluma fimbriata does affect obesity favourably.
- In one of these human clinical trials – conducted in 2007 – researchers compared baseline indicators of obesity like serum lipids, blood sugar, anthropometric measurements, calorie intake and appetite suppression with those after 60 days of consumption of Caralluma fimbriata extract (Kuriyan et al., 2007). The results showed decrease in body weight, body mass index, body fat, hip circumference and food intake. The authors of this study concluded that Caralluma extract does seem to possess weight-reducing abilities.
- In a paper presented at the 12th Annual World Congress of Anti-Aging Medicine at Las Vegas, Nevada, authors Lawrence and Choudhary reported similar results (Lawrence & Choudhary, 2004).
- In an animal study conducted more recently, the authors proved not only the antiobesogenic but also antiatherosclerotic abilities of Caralluma fimbriata (Kamalakkannan et al., 2010).
Almost all studies seem to rule in favour of Caralluma fimbriata. Further proof comes from the fact that Caralluma fimbriata is efficacious in Prader-Willi overeating syndrome which is otherwise quite notorious to treatment. In addition to its effectiveness, Caralluma fimbriata seems to be as safe as houses; none of the studies to date have reported any adverse effects.
Going by current evidence, in our opinion, Caralluma fimbriata seems to be the ideal fat-loss agent – effective with no side effects and (not to mention) with other health benefits!
- Cioffi, G., Sanogo, R., Vassallo, A., Dal, P. F., Autore, G., Marzocco, S. et al. (2006). Pregnane glycosides from Leptadenia pyrotechnica. J Nat.Prod., 69, 625-635.
- De, L. M., De, T. N., Sanogo, R., Autore, G., Marzocco, S., Pizza, C. et al. (2005). New pregnane glycosides from Caralluma dalzielii. Steroids, 70, 573-585. Online Reference
- Kamalakkanna, S., Rajendran, R., Clayton, P., & Akbarsha, A. (2011). Effects of Caralluma fimbriataExtract on 3T3-L1 pre-adipocyte cell division. Food & Nutrition Sciences, 2, 329-336.
- Kamalakkannan, S., Rajendran, R., Venkatesh, R. V., Clayton, P., & Akbarsha, M. A. (2010). Antiobesogenic and Antiatherosclerotic Properties of Caralluma fimbriata Extract. J Nutr.Metab, 2010, 285301. Online Reference
- Kuriyan, R., Raj, T., Srinivas, S. K., Vaz, M., Rajendran, R., & Kurpad, A. V. (2007). Effect of Caralluma fimbriata extract on appetite, food intake and anthropometry in adult Indian men and women. Appetite, 48, 338-344. Online Reference
- Lawrence, R. & Choudhary, S. (2004). ‘Caramulla Fimbriata in the treatment of obesity’ in Proceedings of the 12th Annual World Congress of Anti-Aging Medicine, Las Vegas, Nev, USA. Ref Type: Unpublished Work
- Loudon, J. C. (1830). Loudon’s Hortus Britannicus. A catalogue of all the plants, indigenous, cultivated in, or introduced to Britain. London: Longman. Online Reference
- MacLean, D. B. & Luo, L. G. (2004). Increased ATP content/production in the hypothalamus may be a signal for energy-sensing of satiety: studies of the anorectic mechanism of a plant steroidal glycoside. Brain Res., 1020, 1-11. Online Reference
- Plaza, A., Perrone, A., Balestrieri, M. L., Felice, F., Balestrieri, C., Hamed, A. I. et al. (2005). New unusual pregnane glycosides with antiproliferative activity from Solenostemma argel. Steroids, 70, 594-603. Online Reference
- Preuss, H. (2004). Report on the safety of Caralluma Fimbriata and its extract Hong Kong.
- Rivera, D., Obon, C., Heinrich, M., Inocencio, C., Verde, A., & Fajardo, J. (2006). Gathered Mediterranean food plants–ethnobotanical investigations and historical development. Forum Nutr., 59, 18-74. Online Reference
- Shukla, Y. J., Pawar, R. S., Ding, Y., Li, X. C., Ferreira, D., & Khan, I. A. (2009). Pregnane glycosides from Hoodia gordonii. Phytochemistry, 70, 675-683. Online Reference
- WebMD. (2013). Caralluma. Online Reference