Background: Previous work had shown the ability of an aqueous leaf and stem extract of Cissus quandrangularis (300 mg of CQR, CQR-300) to improve components of metabolic syndrome (MS) in overweight individuals.
Objective: This small pilot study aimed to confirm the efficacy of CQR-300 in reducing the percentage body fat measured using two different methods-bioelectrical impedance assay versus dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA).
Design: The study was an 8-week double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot trial on 67 individuals who were requested by a dietary counselor to maintain their normal exercise and dietary routines. Participants were randomly divided into two groups, placebo (32 participants) and the CQR-300 group (35 participants), and received 300 mg of corn starch or CQR-300 daily.
Methods: Body fat was measured by bioelectrical impedance using a TANITA impedance meter and by DEXA, with blood samples taken at baseline and at 8 weeks for the measurement of lipid parameters.
Results: After 8 weeks of treatment, participants of the placebo group showed a 1.05% decrease in body fat as determined by bioelectrical impedance analysis, but no difference using DEXA. In the same time period, the CQR-300 group had an 8.9% and 12.8% decreases in the body fat as measured by impedance and DEXA, respectively. These values were significantly (p < 0.05) lower than the placebo. Compared with the placebo, the CQR-300 group demonstrated significant (p < 0.05) decreases in the waist and hip circumferences, systolic and diastolic blood pressures, total cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting blood glucose, as well as leptin levels. On the contrary, there were significant (p < 0.05) increases in HDL-cholesterol and adiponectin levels.
Conclusion: CQR-300 administered as a single 300 mg dose daily was effective in reducing body fat as well as improving blood parameters associated with MS.
Keywords: CQR-300; DEXA; impedance; metabolic syndrome.