Aim: The aim of the following study is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Caralluma fimbriata extract (CFE) in overweight and obese individuals in a prospective, randomized, placebo controlled trial.
Materials and methods: Commercially available CFE was assessed in overweight and obese individuals. A total of 89 patients were randomized into a treatment group (n = 47) and placebo group (n = 42) to receive either CFE in the form capsules/oral 500 mg b.d. for 12 weeks or matching placebo in similar way. Patients were evaluated clinically and biochemically at 4, 8 and 12 weeks for anthropometric measurements, appetite, biochemical investigations and other safety parameters.
Results: At the end of study period both CFE and placebo for 12 weeks caused only numerical reduction in weight, body mass index, waist circumference, hip circumference and waist hip ratio in overweight and obese individuals. However, these parameters failed to attain significant statistical levels (P ≥ 0.05). CFE and placebo both failed to elucidate any modification of the appetite. There were no significant changes in the biochemical and clinical parameters in both the test and placebo group. However, CFE was well-tolerated and adverse events noted were mild and transient in nature.
Conclusion: A commercially available extract of CFE in an oral dose of 1 g/day claimed to have anti-obesity effect failed to yield any positive results on anthropometry and appetite in overweight and obese individuals beyond placebo. There were also no significant differences in the clinical and biochemical parameters. However, CFE was well tolerated. Thereby, underscoring the need to carry more research before CFE is recommended as an anti-obesity drug.
Keywords: Anti-obesity drugs; Caralluma fimbriata; appetite; herbal; obesity.