Licorice Extract Helps With Weight Loss and Reduces LDL Cholesterol

August 15, 2009

licorice plant According to research, licorice flavonoid oil (LFO) could help with weight loss and LDL cholesterol reduction without any side effects.

These are promising results for this natural ingredient in the weight loss industry rife with false and misleading claims in the advertising of weight loss products and services. Americans invest over $30 billion a year in weight loss products and services. The use of deceptive, false, or misleading claims in weight loss advertising is rampant and potentially dangerous. Many weight loss supplements are of unproven value and some weight loss medications have been linked to serious health risks.

In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, moderately overweight participants (56 males, 28 females, BMI 24-30 kg/m2) were randomly assigned to four groups receiving a daily dose of either 0 (placebo), 300, 600, or 900 mg of LFO. Total body fat mass was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and visceral fat area by abdominal computed tomography (CT) scan at baseline and after 8 weeks of LFO ingestion. Body weight, BMI, and blood samples were examined at baseline and after 4 and 8 weeks of LFO ingestion.

Although caloric intake was similar in all four groups, total body fat mass decreased significantly in the three LFO groups after 8 weeks of ingestion. LFO (900 mg/day) resulted in significant decreases from baseline levels in visceral fat area, body weight, BMI, and LDL cholesterol. No significant adverse effects were observed.

LFO supplementation combined with restricted caloric intake and increased physical activity could contribute to substantial weight loss and decrease in LDL cholesterol in moderately overweight individuals.

1. Yuji Tominaga, et al. Licorice flavonoid oil reduces total body fat and visceral fat in overweight subjects: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Obesity Research &Clinical Practice, Volume 3, Issue 3, August 2009, Pages 169-178. doi:10.1016/j.orcp.2009.04.005.
2. Federal Trade Commission Report on Weight Loss Advertising.

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