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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 874538, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ecam/nen067
Original Article

Weight Loss in Animals and Humans Treated with “Weighlevel”, a Combination of Four Medicinal Plants Used in Traditional Arabic and Islamic Medicine

1Antaki Center for Herbal Medicine Ltd, Kfar Kana 16930, Israel
2Research and Development Regional Center, the Galilee Society, and Qasemi Research Center, Al-Qasemi Academic College, P.O. Box 2205, Baga Algharbiya 16930, Israel
3Faculty of Allied Medical Sciences, the Arab American University Jenin, Jenin, Palestine
4Sprunk-Jansen, A/S Strandvejen 100, 2900 Hellerup, Denmark

Received 25 September 2007; Accepted 24 September 2008

Copyright © 2011 Omar Said et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Weighlevel, a mixture of extract of four plants used in traditional Arabic and Islamic medicine as well as in European herbal medicine, was prepared and assessed for its safety and efficacy in weight loss. Leaves of Alchemilla vulgaris, Olea europaea and Mentha longifolia L., as well as seeds of Cuminum cyminum, were used. Cultured human fibroblasts treated with Weighlevel did not exhibit any sign of toxicity as evidenced by lactate dehydrogenase release. These results were confirmed in experimental studies on rats where an LD50 of 15.3 g kg−1 was observed. Significant antioxidant properties were seen at very low concentrations of Weighlevel (10 μg ml−1) as measured by the lipid peroxidation method. Progressive and significant weight loss was observed in chickens given this mixture weekly for 4 weeks compared with controls. Furthermore, a 3-fold increase in the thermogenesis was seen in rat interscapular brown adipose tissue following exposure to different concentrations of Weighlevel extract as determined by measurement of increased oxygen consumption. In addition, a clinical study was carried out among 80 human volunteers with a body mass index (BMI) of 30.67 ± 2.14 kg m−2. All 80 subjects were asked to continue their usual diet but to eat only three main meals daily and to take one Weighlevel tablet 30 min before each meal. Fourteen subjects were excluded for not following the protocol, and 66 subjects were all evaluated for efficacy and tolerability of Weighlevel monthly for 3 months. Weighlevel was well tolerated by all subjects, and no side effects were reported. A progressive and significant weight loss was seen in these subjects during the whole study period. Higher levels of weight loss were seen in people with BMI of 25–30 kg m−2 (overweight) compared to people with BMI >30 kg m−2 (obese). The BMI was reduced after 3 months from 28.5 ± 1.2 and 32.1 ± 1.8 kg m−2 to 24.5 ± 1.4 and 27.5 ± 2.2 kg m−2 in overweight and obese group, respectively. Results indicate safety, tolerability and efficacy of Weighlevel.