Effectiveness of a polyphenolic extract (Lippia citriodora and Hibiscus sabdariffa) on appetite regulation in overweight and obese grade I population: an 8-week randomized, double-blind, cross-over, placebo-controlled trial

Eur J Nutr. 2022 Mar;61(2):825-841. doi: 10.1007/s00394-021-02678-x. Epub 2021 Sep 30.


Introduction: Polyphenols have shown capacity to improve appetite sensation, leading to enhanced control of body weight. However, despite being related with hunger-related hormones, metabolic and mechanism are not well known.

Methods: The effectiveness of a nutraceutical composed of extract to Lippia citriodora and Hibiscus sabdarrifa (Lc-Hs) for controlling satiety and hunger was analyzed in a cross-over, placebo-controlled (Pla) clinical intervention. The study was divided in two 60-day periods separated by 30-day length wash-out period. At the end of each period, overweight and obese subjects (n = 33; age = 33.76 ± 12.23; BMI = 28.20 kg/m2 ± 2.47; fat mass 30.65 ± 8.39%; both sexes were proposed to eat an ad-libitum meal. Meanwhile, appetite sensation was determined by visual analog scales at different times. Moreover, blood extraction was performed to determine biochemical parameters (lipid and glucidic profile and safety parameters) and to evaluate hunger-related hormones (insulin, leptin, ghrelin, adiponectin, GLP-1 and peptide YY).

Results: A decrease in appetite sensation was observed in Lc-Hs treatment, showing higher satiety quotient (Pla = 3.36 ± 2.33%mm/kcal; Lc-Hs = 5.53 ± 2.91%mm/kcal; p < 0.0001). Area under the curve was higher in Pla compared to Lc-Hs during the test, from baseline to minute 240 (240 (Pla 9136.65 ± 2261.46% x min-1; Lc-Hs 8279.73 ± 2745.71% x min-1; p < 0.014). Energy consumption was lower for subjects treated with Lc-Hs (774.44 ± 247.77 kcal) compared to those treated with Pla (849.52 ± 246.54 kcal) (p < 0.004). Leptin values varied from baseline (Pla 12.36 ± 1.98 ng/mL; Lc-Hs 13.13 ± 1.99 ng/mL) to the end of the study (Pla 12.60 ± 2.02 ng/mL; Lc-Hs 12.06 ± 2.05 ng/mL; p < 0.047). GLP-1 values varied (p < 0.001) in Lc-Hs treatment from baseline (4.34 ± 0.49 ng/mL) to the end of the study (3.23 ± 0.52 ng/mL).

Conclusion: The supplementation with the Lc-Hs extract decreases appetite sensation in overweight and obese population, reducing calorie intake after an ad-libitum meal. Due to variation on hunger-related hormones and the relationship between satiety feeling, it would be interesting to develop future research focused on the variation of the hormones themselves.

Keywords: Appetite sensation; Hibiscus sabadarrifa; Leptin; Lippia citriodora; Polyphenols.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Appetite
  • Appetite Regulation
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Energy Intake
  • Female
  • Ghrelin
  • Hibiscus*
  • Humans
  • Insulin
  • Lippia*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / drug therapy
  • Overweight / drug therapy
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Young Adult


  • Ghrelin
  • Insulin
  • Plant Extracts