Obesity is a major public health problem associated with an increased incidence of diseases like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, liver disease and certain types of cancer.
Several approaches have been made towards combating obesity, which include the lifestyle changes, exercising to induce weight loss and reducing fat accumulation and dietary approaches like the caloric restriction that have no long-lasting effect.
Now, researchers are considering edible plants such as zobo and onions to combat obesity and its related diseases. Studies on zobo, ginger and onion showed that they contain chemical substances that are potent materials for treatment of obesity.
In new the study, researchers said modulation of certain strains of “good” friendly germs in the intestine as a result of onion supplementation has a therapeutic effect on obesity in mice.
The human body contains trillions of bacteria. The majority of these bacteria are located in a part of the intestines called the cecum. Bacteria in the intestine play several important roles in health, such as communicating with the immune system and producing certain vitamins.
The bacteria in the intestine can also affect how different foods are digested and produce chemicals that help make feel full. As a result, they can affect weight.
For example, humans cannot digest fibre but certain bacteria inside the intestine can. By digesting fibre, these gut bacteria produce a number of chemicals that benefit gut health and possibly promote weight loss.
A number of studies have shown that people with high fibre intake have a lower weight, which may be due to the role that gut bacteria play in digesting fibre.
A recent study found that the ratio of two types of bacteria in the intestines may determine how much weight is lost when given a particular diet.
These two bacteria are Prevotella, which digests fibre and carbohydrates, and Bacteroidetes, which people who eat more animal protein and fat have more of.
In 2019, Italian researchers in an overview of the studies focusing on potential benefits of onion in the treatment of obesity and related co-morbidities stated that onion enriched food might play an important role in the development of healthier foods useful against obesity.
According to the journal, Molecules, some studies showed that concentrated extract of onion can suppress fat accumulation or deposit, obesity-induced inflammation, increase energy expenditure in response to caloric excess, and significantly prevent an increase in cholesterol induced by a high-fat diet.
They added that quercetin and organosulfur compounds seems to be the compounds responsible for the anti-obesity potential of onion and so the most promising molecules for a therapeutic application.
Moreover, another study indicates the beneficial effects of ginger on the prevention of obesity through modulation of friendly bacteria in the intestine of mice.
In 2019 edition of European Journal of Nutrition, researchers in China observed marked decreases in body weight, liver fat, and low-grade inflammation as well as ameliorate insulin resistance in the mice high-fat diet that was treated with ginger.
They declared, “This study suggests that modulation of the gut microbiota as a result of ginger supplementation has a therapeutic effect on obesity in mice.”
Ginger, one of the most commonly used spices and dietary supplements, has been shown to exert beneficial effects against obesity and related disorders.
Similarly, researchers in 2019 edition of Molecules examined the effects of zobo on various parameters associated with the development of obesity such as body weight, fat accumulation in adipose tissue and blood cholesterol level.
Zobo also known as Roselle has a long history of usage as a beverage and folk medicine in places such as Thailand and, Nigeria, China, and India.
They said that zobo contain substances that are potent in the treatment of obesity with an evident reduction in body weight, inhibition of lipid accumulation and suppression of fat deposit.
Meanwhile, a number of different foods are good for gut bacteria, including whole grains that have not been refined. They are high in fibre, which is digested by healthy gut bacteria like Bifidobacteria and may aid weight loss.
Also Fruits and vegetables, as well as nuts and seeds, also contain many different fibres that are good for gut bacteria. Eating an assortment of plant-based foods, including nuts and seeds can improve gut bacteria diversity, which is linked to a healthy weight.