Dr Yinghua Yu, Professor Xu-Feng Huang and PhD student Yizheng Wu, from the Centre for Translational Neuroscience at Wollongong Uni, have been investigating some of the secrets of ancient Chinese medicine in an effort to fight obesity.
The study focuses on a compound found in ginseng, a plant used for thousands of years in China for a wide variety of ailments. According to the team’s findings, this compound, named Rb1, helps alleviate inflammation, which many scientists agree is an underlying cause of obesity, as well as other diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
In addition to the anti-inflammatory properties of Rb1, it also improves sensitivity to leptin, a hormone that makes us feel full.
The study is an important step in what the researchers call “molecular nutrition”, and with proper funding, the findings could be developed into a natural treatment for a global issue.
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[img source] University of Wollongong