Background: Natural food supplements with high flavonoid content are often claimed to promote weight-loss and lower plasma cholesterol in animal studies, but human studies have been more equivocal. The aim of this study was firstly to determine the effectiveness of natural food supplements containing Glycine max leaves extract (EGML) or Garcinia cambogia extract (GCE) to promote weight-loss and lower plasma cholesterol. Secondly to examine whether these supplements have any beneficial effect on lipid, adipocytokine or antioxidant profiles.
Methods: Eighty-six overweight subjects (Male:Female = 46:40, age: 20~50 yr, BMI > 23 < 29) were randomly assigned to three groups and administered tablets containing EGML (2 g/day), GCE (2 g/day) or placebo (starch, 2 g/day) for 10 weeks. At baseline and after 10 weeks, body composition, plasma cholesterol and diet were assessed. Blood analysis was also conducted to examine plasma lipoproteins, triglycerides, adipocytokines and antioxidants.
Results: EGML and GCE supplementation failed to promote weight-loss or any clinically significant change in %body fat. The EGML group had lower total cholesterol after 10 weeks compared to the placebo group (p < 0.05). EGML and GCE had no effect on triglycerides, non-HDL-C, adipocytokines or antioxidants when compared to placebo supplementation. However, HDL-C was higher in the EGML group (p < 0.001) after 10 weeks compared to the placebo group.
Conclusions: Ten weeks of EGML or GCE supplementation did not promote weight-loss or lower total cholesterol in overweight individuals consuming their habitual diet. Although, EGML did increase plasma HDL-C levels which is associated with a lower risk of atherosclerosis.