The Use of a Stem and Leaf Aqueous Extract of Cissus quadrangularis (CQR-300) to Reduce Body Fat and Other Components of Metabolic Syndrome in Overweight Participants

J Altern Complement Med. 2019 Jan;25(1):98-106. doi: 10.1089/acm.2018.0016. Epub 2018 Nov 12.


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.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adipose Tissue / drug effects*
  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Cissus / chemistry*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Overweight / drug therapy*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Plant Stems / chemistry


  • Plant Extracts