A newly published study details a study of ginseng, a traditional herbal medicine used for medicinal purposes, and its alleged ability to help with weight loss,media slash Gear reported. The findings are positive, suggesting that ginseng can help control weight by activating brown adipose tissue(often referred to as “brown fat”) and trigger the formation of a similar energy-consuming tissue, “beige fat.”
The study, recently published in BMJ, details the work of a team of scientists at the headquarters of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. In short, scientists set out to study the benefits of ginseng in weight loss. The researchers used ginseng extract and noted its effect on gut bacteria. The team found that ginseng induces fecal enterococci, a strain of intestinal bacteria found in other human mammals.
This particular bacteria produces nutmeg, an unsaturated long-chain fatty acid that activates the brown fat that burns energy and triggers the formation of beige fat. Unlike white fats that store energy, brown and beige fats are much lower, and they work by burning fat.
Because beige and brown fats produce calories by burning energy, increasing and activating these adipose tissues may help to increase the number of calories burned in a day, thereby losing weight. While the study doesn’t recommend that people start eating ginseng as a weight-loss supplement, they do suggest that these findings could help shape future probiotic-based obesity treatments.