Veld grape: A traditional medicine for metabolic syndrome
05/30/2019 // Evangelyn Rodriguez // Views

A new study was published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine describing a supplement that can reduce body fat and attenuate the symptoms of metabolic syndrome. This supplement contained leaf and stem extracts from Cissus quandrangularis, a plant commonly known as veld grape. When taken daily by overweight individuals, this supplement effectively decreased their waist and hip circumferences and improved their lipid profiles. The researchers who conducted the small pilot study believe that supplementation with veld grape extracts could keep diseases associated with metabolic syndrome at bay.

Metabolic syndrome and related conditions

Metabolic syndrome (MS) is a collective term for the cluster of conditions that raises a person's risk of developing diseases, such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. The more metabolic risk factors a person has, the higher their risk. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the risk of having MS is closely linked to being overweight, obesity, and a lack of physical activity.

The five most common metabolic risk factors are: A large waistline, high triglyceride levels, low HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high fasting blood sugar. The first four factors are strongly associated with ischemic heart disease wherein plaques build up in the arteries, obstructing blood flow to and from the heart. The fifth factor is an early sign of diabetes. A person may, at some point, develop only one of these risk factors; to be diagnosed with MS, they must have at least three.


MS is becoming more common due to a rise in obesity rates among adults. It is expected to overtake smoking as the leading risk factor for heart disease in the future. To prevent or delay MS, adopting a healthy lifestyle, which includes proper diet and regular exercise, is advised. (Related: Here’s why people with metabolic syndrome should participate in a high-intensity interval training.)

Veld grape extracts decrease body fat and metabolic syndrome symptoms

Researchers from Cameroon, India, and the U.K. conducted an eight-week double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot trial involving 67 overweight individuals. These participants were asked to maintain their normal exercise and dietary routines. They were randomly divided into two groups: A placebo group with 32 participants who received 300 mg of corn starch daily and a trial group with 35 participants who received 300?mg of C. quandrangularis extracts (CQR-300) daily. The researchers also used two different methods: Bioelectrical impedance assay with a TANITA impedance meter and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) to measure the efficacy of CQR-300 in reducing body fat. They took blood samples at the beginning of the trial and again after eight weeks to measure the participants' lipid parameters.

After eight weeks of treatment, the participants of the placebo group showed a 1.05 percent decrease in body fat according to bioelectrical impedance analysis although DEXA reported no difference. The CQR-300 group, in comparison, had 8.9 and 12.8 percent decreases in body fat as measured by impedance and DEXA, respectively. Their body fat percentage values were significantly (p?<?0.05) lower than those recorded for the placebo group. The CQR-300 group also showed significant (p?<?0.05) decreases in waist and hip circumferences, systolic and diastolic blood pressures, total cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting blood glucose, and leptin levels, accompanied by significant increases (p?<?0.05) in their HDL-cholesterol and adiponectin levels. Leptin is a hormone associated with body fat and obesity. Adiponectin, on the other hand, is involved in the regulation of glucose levels as well as in the breakdown of fatty acids.

Based on these results, the researchers concluded that taking veld grape supplements once a day is an effective way of reducing body fat as well as improving blood parameters associated with MS.

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