A Food Supplement with Antioxidative Santa Herba Extract Modulates Energy Metabolism and Contributes to Weight Management

J Med Food. 2021 Nov;24(11):1235-1242. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2021.0016. Epub 2021 Jul 13.


The plant Santa herba (Eriodictyon californicum) contains high flavonoids, thus potentially exerting beneficial effects in context of obesity, often accompanied by inflammation and metabolic imbalance. The study assessed the impact of Santa herba on oxidative stress, energy metabolism, weight reduction, and eating behavior, combining in vitro models with clinical data. Santa herba binding of the adenosine receptor A2A (ADORA2A) was assessed using a radioligand binding assay. A Caenorhabditis elegans model was used to determine mobility boosting effects, and Santa herba oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) values were determined in comparison to antioxidative plants. Clinical data, that is, body weight and appetite-related parameters, were obtained from overweight and obese women receiving either Santa herba or placebo for 12 weeks. Results showed that Santa herba extract binds to ADORA2A, stimulates C. elegans motility (+7.5%) and locomotion, and yields high antioxidative capacities (ORAC: 819 trolox equivalent). Clinical data, obtained from 24 overweight and 25 obese women (mean: 47.5 years), demonstrated a reduced body weight (P = .042) and body fat (P = .044), and by trend reduced leptin levels (P = .065) in women with obesity after Santa herba consumption compared to placebo. In conclusion, Santa herba extract has energizing and antioxidative properties and may aid in weight management of people with obesity. ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03853603.

Keywords: body composition; energy metabolism; flavonoids; obesity.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Overweight / drug therapy
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology


  • Antioxidants
  • Plant Extracts

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03853603