Researchers at RMIT University have found that antioxidant compounds in the roselle plant could help to tackle obesity by inhibiting the formation of fat cells. This discovery could potentially lead to the development of new drugs that may be advantageous over current treatments.
For the study, the researchers took stem cells and treated them with either phenolic extracts (antioxidant compound) or hydroxycitric acid. They also had a group of control cells to compare against. Once treated, the groups of stem cells were then turned into fat cells, which ended up yielding some interesting results. Upon analyzing the results of their study, the researchers found that the cells treated with phenolic extracts had 95% less fat versus the control cells. This highlights that phenolic extracts found in the roselle plant could help to treat obesity.
However, that's not all. The leader of the study, PhD candidate Manisha Singh, explained: "Because these polyphenolic compounds are plant-derived and can be consumed, there should be fewer or no side effects." If treatments are developed using these compounds, they will have a significant advantage in this regard over current obesity medications, which tend to have more side effects. So, what's next?
Now, the researchers want to focus on encapsulating the phenolic extracts for use, alongside continuing to explore other avenues.