NEW: Chinese Plant Treats Obesity

NEW: Chinese Plant Treats Obesity

The Lei gong teng, a Chinese plant treats obesity? A plant resulting from the traditional Chinese medicine and called Tripterygium wilfordii, or Lei gong teng, could supply a treatment of the obesity thanks to a compound, the celastrol. This latter favors the action of a hormone appetite suppressant, the leptin. The obese mice treated by the celastrol eat less and lose until 45% of their weight.

Chinese Plant Treats Obesity

Mechanism of action

The leptin is a hormone derived of fat cells which indicates to the brain that the body has enough energy. If the signaling via the leptin works badly, the individual eats too much and can suffer from obesity. This latter is a major cause of development of diseases which reduce the life expectancy such as the type 2 diabetes, the cardiovascular diseases, the hypertension or the Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

The drugs which favor the action of the leptin could be effective to treat the obesity.

So, they found a molecule with a profile of expression being able to be associated with an improvement of the function of the endoplasmic reticulum and the sensibility for the leptin : the celastrol. The celastrol is a natural compound extracted from the roots of the plant Tripterygium wilfordii, so called thunder god vine or Lei gong teng.


In only one week of treatment with the celastrol, the obese mice reduced their food contributions about 80% compared with obese mice untreated. At the end of the third week, the treated mice have lost until 45% of their body mass of departure, in particular by burning the stored fats.

The effect of the celastrol was even more important than that of a bariatric surgery for the mouse where the loss of weight is about 35 to 40%. Furthermore, the celastrol reduced the levels of cholesterol and improved the hepatic function and the glucose metabolism.


However, even if no toxic effect was noted to the mouse, it is necessary to remain careful as for the use of the product for human. The toxicology studies and clinical trials are necessary to demonstrate the harmlessness of the molecule for the human.

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