This one is in vitro (studies done in a petri dish rather than a live animal or human) so there’s always a bit of skepticism when it comes to these kinds of astonishing results. But if future studies continue to pan out as well as this one, we could have an herbal powerhouse on our hands.
Morus Bombycis, a plant whose chemicals can often be found in cosmetics, has been shown to dramatically inhibit lipase enzymes and to increase lipolysis. Lipolysis as we’ve discussed in the past, isn’t the end all be all in the game, but it’s important, especially in times of fasting when the rate of fat release from cells begins to dwindle. But what makes this so interesting to me is the strong anti-lipase reaction that scientists were able to detect. Lipase is an enzyme required for the absorption and utilization of fact from the diet. Inhibit this enzyme and you don’t absorb fat. This is a lot like Alli, which relies on inhibited fat absorption for its results. Now, I’m not a fan of complete fat inhibition. I don’t believe we eat too much fat and that’s why we’re fat. We’re fat because we don’t move enough and we eat far too many calories in the form of starches. So inhibiting fat absorption wouldn’t be a huge game changer.
But when you look at a comprehensive goal to lose fat, it always helps to limit your intake of calories. If satiety is still needed (If you need to feel satisfied on a diet) then eating enough fat will help you achieve this. And then when you inhibit lipase you’re given a chance not to absorb all that fat even though your gut tells you it’s happy because it was fed.
So in the bigger picture, lipase inhibition isn’t the answer, but it’s a hell of a great addition to a solid diet, exercise and supplement program.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2010 Aug 9;130(3):621-4.
Anti-obesity effect of Morus bombycis root extract: anti-lipase activity and lipolytic effect.
Diabetic Complications Research Center, Division of Traditional Korean Medicine (TKM) Integrated Research, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine (KIOM), Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, Republic of Korea.
AIM OF THE STUDY: This study evaluated anti-obesity effect of the ethanolic extract of Morus bombycis root on lipase activity and lipolysis in adipocytes and adipose tissues. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Lipase (triacylgycerol acylhydrolase, EC 188.8.131.52) activity was determined by measuring the hydrolysis of p-nitrophenyl butyrate to p-nitrophenol at 405 nm. Lipolytic effects were assayed in fully differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes and adipose tissues. In vitro, phosphodiesterase (PDE) activity was also measured. RESULTS: Morus bombycis root extract exhibited strong anti-lipase activity, with an IC50 value of 2.07 microg/mL.In differentiated adipocytes and adipose tissues, the extract increased lipolytic effects such as decreased intracellular triglyceride and the release of glycerol. Further, the extract inhibited PDE activity in a dose-dependent manner. CONCLUSION: The present study suggests that Morus bombycis root extract might be of therapeutic interest with respect to the treatment of obesity. Crown Copyright 2010 Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
PMID: 20669373 [PubMed - in process]